What do surfing and politics have in common?

June 6, 2014 | Surfing
Empire in Waves: the other side of surfing

What do surfing and politics have in common? Scott Laderman, author of "Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing," is about to shock a few naive souls.

Surfing is more than just a sport. The activity of riding waves is widely known for its broad spectrum of influence. As we know, surfing has been touching cultural, economic, social and political edges for a long time.

Scott Laderman, associate professor of History at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, explains us why the surfing hides a darker side, despite its transparent image boosted by "Gidget", The Beach Boys, and the "Blue Crush".

Reality can be shocking, especially when surfers and surfing play a decisive role in the course of History. Mentioning world tourism, surfing paradises in the Third World, apartheid, Cold War, and independence movements may be enough hints.

"Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing" does not intend to judge the sport of surfing. However, it represents a paramount research towards the clarification of controversial issues that have never been made public.

Laderman is sufficiently clear. The globalization of surfing "went hand in hand with the blood and repression of the long twentieth century." His book is a must-have in your surf library.

Get "Empire in Waves."

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