OK, full disclosure: like Charlie, I don't surf. And after reading Surf Survival it's possible I am too scared to ever try, but if I do you can bet your waterlogged ass I'll take this book with me. SS is written by a trio of doctors: Andrew Nathanson, Clayton Everline and Mark Renneker, with a foreword by surfing legend Gerry Lopez. Their purpose seems to be to catalogue everything that could possibly go wrong to inflict pain, disease and humiliation on a surfer's body.
And oh do they succeed. After a few gentle chapters on basic sea sense, fitness – accompanied by beautiful surfing SheFlogger yoga pictures – and nutrition, they get to the gory stuff. Graphic photos of throats cut by surfboard fins. Nasty shots of third-degree sunburn. Shark bites, rashes, knobbies, ulcers, it's all here baby. The cure for most of this? Piss: "…surfers from all corners of the globe seem to share the widely held belief that urine is the universal antidote for all manner of marine stings… if it is a jellyfish sting, piss on it. Fire coral sting, piss on it. Sea urchin, stonefish, whatever: piss on it. Unfortunately, this time-honored remedy is not supported by a single shred of scientific evidence…"
No backcountry buddy should ever let so-called scientific evidence stand in the way of urinating on a friend, but let's ignore that for the moment. Surf Survival is easily one of the most comprehensive sport-specific health and wellness handbooks we've ever seen. With solid advice from medical professionals, statistics to back up their claims and information on everything that can go wrong with every part of the surfer's body, this book is clearly an instant classic. Call it sixteen chapters to a longer life. For diagnosis, prevention and treatment, Surf Survival is the go-to book for grommets and bitchin' betties alike.