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Caught Inside: A Surfer's Year on the California Coast
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Caught Inside: A Surfer's Year on the California Coast

by Daniel Duane
 

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A wondrous, uproarious, and surprisingly informative account of a year spend surfing, Caught Inside marks the arrival of an exuberant new voice of the outdoors. This remarkable narrative of Daniel Duane's life on the water is enhanced by good-humored explanations of the physics of wave dynamics, the intricate art of surfboard design, and lyrical, sharp-eyed

Overview

A wondrous, uproarious, and surprisingly informative account of a year spend surfing, Caught Inside marks the arrival of an exuberant new voice of the outdoors. This remarkable narrative of Daniel Duane's life on the water is enhanced by good-humored explanations of the physics of wave dynamics, the intricate art of surfboard design, and lyrical, sharp-eyed descriptions of the flora and fauna of the Pacific wilderness. From Captain Cook and Mark Twain to Robinson Jeffers and Jack London, from portraits of famous (and infamous) surfers to an analysis of Gidget's perverse significance, Duane expertly uncovers the myths and symbols bound up in one of our most vibrant and recognizably American subjects.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Wonderful . . . [Duane is] an ontologist of dudedom, Henry David Thoreau doing aerials on a fiberglass board.” —Will Blythe, Esquire

“Enthralling. Duane has an honest take on surf culture, seeing both the romance and the irony . . . Best of all are his evocative, compelling observations about nature: fresh and thrilling descriptions of scenery and life on the coast.” —David Sheff, Los Angeles Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Surfing enthusiast Duane quit his unfulfilling retail job in Berkeley, Calif., and moved to Santa Cruz, where he spent the better part of a recent year riding waves, exploring the coastline, researching the history of surfing and befriending and philosophizing with various locals who have arranged their lives around the quest for the perfect wave. The results of these pursuits are recorded here in quietly meditative prose that simultaneously deglamorizes the sport and seeks to imbue it with a kind of metaphysical profundity. Dedicated surfers, Duane discovers, tend to feel a measure of guilt about their willingness to give their favorite pastime precedence over career ambitions and family responsibilities. At the same time, surfing yields unique and valuable opportunities for appreciation of and communication with nature. Duane is clearly anxious to justify an ostensibly hedonistic lifestyle, and his arguments on its behalf are not always convincing, but the deftly rendered observations and epiphanies make his own experience seem decidedly worthwhile. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Duane (Lighting Out, 1994) is a surf hound, doubtless, but he explores a whole lot more than great green rooms of tubular water in this testament to an obsession.

The narrative starts with Duane drowning, nearly, pounded by the waters of the Point, his chosen venue, a slice of the Pacific Ocean off Monterey Bay. Neither new to surfing nor a veteran, Duane wanted to spend an intimate year with the waves, to feel their soothing, healing effects and astounding violence, to live the surfer's life. But sliding down the water's face is only part of the process; he wanted the whole zeitgeist, and he delivers it with easy precision. The technicalities are handled with aplomb: how to craft a board, from the old 18-foot Hawaiian prototypes to today's 7-foot shredding marvels; how to interpret the color of the water, the vectors of wind and swell. He conveys a physicist's appreciation of wave forms—frequencies and amplitudes and periods, energy as measured by joules per second. He is an appreciative audience for the natural world during walks to the beach, seeing and describing mustard and hemlock, cougar and bird. On the water, he explains traffic rules and pecking orders (more than once falling foul of the strictures); up and running he dips a "finger in the water just to believe it's happening, and feel the light joy of effortless, combustion-free speed"; surrounded by a pipe of water, he "physically penetrates the heart of the ocean's energy," then gets slammed onto the deck once again. Duane willingly takes his knocks. Utterly intriguing are the psycho-probings he assays with his surfing friends into the fanaticism of surfers, how it reflects their past, brackets their love lives, defines their expectations.

Duane wrestles poetry from the surf's chaos—wild and vital, supple and elegant.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780865475090
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
740,606
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Duane was born in 1967 and is the author of Looking for Mo and Lighting Out: A Vision of California and the Mountains. He lives and surfs in Santa Cruz, California.

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