"Lost in the Ether" — Andrew Kidman

This book and DVD could be said to be expensive. But it's not. I'd leave all my other surfing books and DVDs to the flames and save this one. "Lost in the Ether" by Andrew Kidman is the richest, most beautiful conglomeration of writing, photographs, film, information, surf-love, passion and craft that I've had the wonderful pleasure to absorb.

If you have the wherewithal I'd get one before he's sold out. This edition is limited to 1000 copies.

The book is black hardback with nicely embossed cover. The inside is uncoated paper smartly typeset with lots of photographs, many stunning, all with an atmosphere and taste that pervades (the book was designed by Jim Newitt). In fact, uncoated, might well reflect the whole project. Earthy coloured sea. Poetic. Not bombastic.

The text is largely interviews and discussions with people like Michael Mackie, Dave Parmenter and Wayne Lynch and the DVD extends that with footage of the same people. And the boards. And what boards! Running through history with templates, understanding, passion and finesse these 'backyard' shapers are cooking up delicious new recipes for new shapes. Bastard shapes. Wonky shapes. Accidental shapes. There's no commercial agenda here. No persuasion that the vertical cutback (or other 'ASP move') be possible with the latest thing - just that with understanding, patience and persistence you might just find yourself a few 'magic boards' in your lifetime. I love the section in the DVD where Garth Dickenson is shown repeatedly falling off one of Mackie's shapes. He said it was really hard to surf but eventually when he shaped his style to meet it he discovered a wonderful board.

Dave Parmenter reminisces on when he used to fart in Rusty Preisendorfer's shaping bay. (Apparently air purification into a shaper's mask makes this a potent horror.) There's an awful lot to love here. The way the boards discussed are shown and rotated in front of the camera with names and measurements. There is a real sharing of rich information. Andrew Kidman tells all about his "Dreamboard" (you may have seen a bit in The Surfer's Journal).

Andrew says about the project: "I was trying to make it like a car manual for surfers, to try and help them
understand their boards, if that makes any sense."

I absolutely love it - thankyou so much Mr Kidman for putting this together and sharing your world. It's proper tasty.


  1. You've just reminded me how much I want this!

  2. I got this book with the accompanying dvd just before Christmas, and must agree one of my favorites.


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