I've been re-reading Daniel Duane's excellent, Caught Inside: a Surfer's year on the California Coast. The book describes the author nearing 30, caught in a dead end job, constantly reminiscing about his youthful forays into surfing and the beach culture. With great courage, he chucked his career, girlfriend, most possessions, and moved to Santa Cruz for the sole purpose of surfing every day. The book chronicled his year in Santa Cruz, starting out with the wrong board and wetsuit, and eventually becoming a dialed in surfer, at one with the sea. Along the way, he met a professor who had the magical ability of predicting exactly where a wave would break and always managed to catch the wave of the day. The professor became a guru of sorts, a mentor and buddy, and helped him on his spiritual quest. He also taught him the finer points of surfing and helped him with his style.

The professor was a Joe DiMaggio type believing in the economy of motion which he applied to his surfing, An undertone of the book, very apparent when re-reading, is that as he got better in his surfing, his thought processes became more coherent, less rambling and more linear. This book is a great read for any surfer, and is an essential read for those who want to learn about the life that ends at the shoreline. Someone once told me, or I read it or saw it in a movie, I can't remember where, "There's two kinds of people in the world. Those who live at the beach and those who don't." Such a true statement on so many levels.


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