The Anthropology of Surfing

Posted on April 15, 2010


Michael (who used to contribute to my travel blog Shortcut) has just published a new book Sweetness and Blood, a “folk history of modern surfing, arguably America’s most influential sport”.

Michael’s traveled the world as surfing anthropologist extraordinaire, gathering clues to the origin of the sports and its worldwide adoption after World War II:

How did an obscure tribal tradition from pre-colonial Hawaii — nearly eliminated by Christian missionaries — jump oceans to California and Australia? How did it become a world sport, and how does it clash with cultures in corners of the earth where the surf might be excellent but the society is highly traditional, or superstitious about the sea?

Find out on Amazon (US) as of June 2010.