WL Rating

There are a lot of books that try to capture the essence of moving from kook to reasonably skilled surfer. In this artificial genre of “kook evolution books” there are the highly contrived offerings like Gidget, and then there are professionally crafted and marketed choices like Kook.  Author Amy Waeschle’s book Chasing Waves is a bit different, reading much more like a travelogue than a confessional. Waeschle starts off as a frustrated, floundering kook who happens to be dating a guy with some solid surfing skills. Of course her early experiences are awful and frustrating, but what makes Waeschle’s narrative unique is the feminine quality of her writing. Your average male would probably talk about the battle with the waves, and the need to overcome mother nature, etc. Waeschle, on the other hand, speaks readily of her near-tears (or actual tear-shedding) frustrations in a way that didn’t alienate (or induced gagging from) this male reader. Now, it’s possible that I may be more in touch with my feminine side than other guys, but I don’t think that’s giving Waeschle enough credit for putting in writing the emotions that just about everyone feels when they started this silly, sublime sport. As you read the book you start to wonder about Waeschle’s complete obsession with surfing, while secretly envying her collection of trips to Hawaii, Cost Rica, Fiji, North Africa, Sicily, etc. For such a short time surfing she’s hit more spots that most long-term surfers. Even so, there are parts of the book that could be a bit shorter, but I’m willing to forgive her for those chapters since I found the overall book a really nice read. I think women surfers and more evolved males will both enjoy this book.  (April 2011)

Chasing Waves - Amy Waeschle


Category: Non-Fiction

Reading Style: Easy

Pages: 168

Pub Date: 2009

Tags: Surfing