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  • List of Abbreviations  ix
    Acknowledgments  xi
    Introduction / Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee and Alexander Sotelo Eastman  1
    Part I. Coloniality and Decolonization
    1. On a Mission: Hiram Bingham and the Rhetoric of Urgency / Patrick Moser  29
    2. A World Apart: Pleasure, Rebellion, and the Politics of Surf Tourism / Scott Laderman  47
    3. Kai Ea: Rising Waves of National and Ethnic Hawaiian Identities / Isaiah Helekunihi Walker  62
    4. Consolidation, Creativity, and (de)Colonization in the State of Modern Surfing / Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee and Alexander Sotelo Eastman  84
    5. Decolonizing Sustainable Surf Tourism / Tara Ruttenberg and Peter Brosius  109
    Part II. Race, Ethnicity, and Identity
    6. Surfing beyond Racial and Colonial Imperatives in Early Modern Atlantic Africa and Oceania / Kevin Dawson  135
    7. Pushing under the Whitewash: Revisiting the Making of South Africa's Surfing Sixties / Glen Thompson  155
    8. Space Invaders in Surfing's White Tribe: Exploring Surfing, Race, and Identity / Belinda Wheaton  177
    9. Indigenous Surfing: Pedagogy, Pleasure, and Decolonial Practice / Colleen McGloin  196
    10. Appropriating Surfing and the Politics of Indigenous Authenticity / Dina Gilio-Whitaker  214
    Part III. Feminist Critical Geography
    11. Surfeminism, Critical Regionalism, and Public Scholarship / Krista Comer  235
    12. Desexing Surfing? Pedagogies of Possibility / lisahunter  263
    13. "My Mother Is a Fish": From Stealth Feminism to Surfeminism / Cori Schumacher  284
    Part IV. Capitalism, Economics, and the Commodification of Surf Culture
    14. Free Ride: The Food Stamp Surfer, American Counterculture, and the Refusal of Work / Kristin Lawler  305
    15. The Political Economy of Surfing Culture: Production, Profit, and Representation / Douglas Booth  318
    16. Soulful and Precarious: The Working Experiences of Surfboard Makers / Andrew Warren and Chris Gibson  342
    17. Branded Primitives / Robin Canniford  365
    18. Surfing and Contemporary China / Clifton Evers  386
    Bibliography  403
    Contributors  443
    Index  449
  • Isaiah Walker

    Krista Comer

    Douglas Booth

    Belinda Wheaton

    Glen Thompson

    Dina Gilio-Whitaker

    Colleen McGloin

    Andrew Warren

    Chris Gibson

    Clifton Evers

    Cori Schumacher

    Kevin Dawson

    Kristin Lawler

    Patrick Moser

    Robin Canniford

    Scott Laderman

    Tara Ruttenberg


  • "Editors Hough-Snee and Eastman have curated 18 essays that go above and below the waves to explore the deeper social, cultural, and political meaning of surfing. Recommended. All readers."


  • "Editors Hough-Snee and Eastman have curated 18 essays that go above and below the waves to explore the deeper social, cultural, and political meaning of surfing. Recommended. All readers."

  • “Surfing is beautiful, thrilling, fun. Everyone knows this. But surfing is also complicated and deeply paradoxical—and therefore a hell of a lot more interesting than it looks on the surface. The gathered writers in The Critical Surf Studies Reader understand this, and the sport is vastly more interesting for their contribution. An indispensable book to anybody who really wants to understand surfing.” — Matt Warshaw, author of, The History of Surfing

    “Focusing on surfing as a social act, these essays bring surfing into the study of postcolonialism, gender, ethnicity, media, and other fields. This collection offers the best surf studies scholarship to date.” — Joan Ormrod, coeditor of, On the Edge: Leisure, Consumption, and the Representation of Adventure Sports

    “Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee and Alexander Sotelo Eastman have produced a deeply informed and much-needed critical counter-voice on surfing's dominant culture and media. This volume offers a range of interventions on the current state of wave-riding and its many worlds. A go-to volume for figuring out critical surf studies.” — David Theo Goldberg, lifelong board rider and author of, Are We All Postracial Yet?

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  • Description

    The evolution of surfing—from the first forms of wave-riding in Oceania, Africa, and the Americas to the inauguration of surfing as a competitive sport at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—traverses the age of empire, the rise of globalization, and the onset of the digital age, taking on new meanings at each juncture. As corporations have sought to promote surfing as a lifestyle and leisure enterprise, the sport has also narrated its own epic myths that place North America at the center of surf culture and relegate Hawai‘i and other indigenous surfing cultures to the margins. The Critical Surf Studies Reader brings together eighteen interdisciplinary essays that explore surfing's history and development as a practice embedded in complex and sometimes oppositional social, political, economic, and cultural relations. Refocusing the history and culture of surfing, this volume pays particular attention to reclaiming the roles that women, indigenous peoples, and people of color have played in surfing.

    Contributors. Douglas Booth, Peter Brosius, Robin Canniford, Krista Comer, Kevin Dawson, Clifton Evers, Chris Gibson, Dina Gilio-Whitaker, Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee, Scott Laderman, Kristin Lawler, lisahunter, Colleen McGloin, Patrick Moser, Tara Ruttenberg, Cori Schumacher, Alexander Sotelo Eastman, Glen Thompson, Isaiah Helekunihi Walker, Andrew Warren, Belinda Wheaton

    About The Author(s)

    Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee is a Ph.D. candidate and instructor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Alexander Sotelo Eastman is a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth College.
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