Traveling the world to study surfing is not exactly a hardship and
over the course of a ten- year project I have happily accumulated
many debts that are a pleasure to acknowledge. I am fortunate
to have received support from Rice University’s Mosle Fellow-
ship from 2001 to 2004, and generous support thereafter from the
dean of the School of Humanities at Rice, Gary Wihl. I am also very
grateful to have worked with Reynolds Smith, Duke’s senior acqui-
sitions editor. This is one of the final books Reynolds saw through
to its end before pursuing his own projects in retirement. From
his first solicitation of the book to the final production phase,
Reynolds offered me wisdom as well as an old- fashioned kind of
friendship between editor and writer. I am glad to have had him
as my editor for a time.
I have named many surfers over the course of the book, but
I would offer particular thanks here. In California, appreciations
go to Jane MacKenzie (Jane at the Lane), who initially introduced
me around the Santa Cruz scene. The filmmaker and photogra-
pher Elizabeth Pepin of San Francisco brought her insider’s sense
of subcultural life to my questions and I was saved many errors
of judgment by her helpful corrections and no- nonsense ana-
lytic mind. We commiserated about gender politics, surfing, and
big business over sushi lunches and time at Pacifica—the most
female- friendly and gender- bent surf spot on the planet (where
else does one find Drag Surfing?). Pepin’s photographs of women
are featured throughout these pages and the black-and-whites
from Pacifica are among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I look
forward to collaborative projects we have in the works.
The community that collects around Paradise Surf Shop in
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