Stealing the Wave: The Epic Struggle Between Ken Bradshaw and Mark Foo

Andy Martin, Author . Bloomsbury $23.95 (244p) ISBN 978-1-59691-380-6

In a tale set mainly in the Hawaiian Islands, London-born Martin (Walking on Water ) narrates the decade-long conflict between two of the world's best known "big wave" surfers: Ken Bradshaw and Mark Foo. A large, irascible Texan, Bradshaw considered himself lord of Oahu's Waimea Bay in the 1980s and had a habit of biting chunks out of the boards of any surfers who dared to trespass on his domain. While Bradshaw was an old-school purist, the younger, Chinese-American Foo was alive to surfing's commercial potential and had a feel for the spotlight. The rivalry endured through one board-chomping and numerous monster waves. Yet as media attention and technological advances such as Jet Skis raised the stakes in big-wave surfing, the two men developed a grudging respect for one another. Their budding partnership was cut short in 1994, however, when Foo drowned while surfing with Bradshaw at Maverick's, south of San Francisco. A scene insider and surfing journalist, Martin knew both men well and is at his best writing about the lure of the waves. In the end, Martin tells a gripping story of not only the intrapersonal competition between the two men but the real struggle each faced against the ocean. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/02/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
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