• Cocaine + Surfing

  • A Sordid History of Surfing's Greatest Love Affair
  • By: Chas Smith
  • Narrated by: Tom Pile
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-12-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell, a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award for Nonfiction

It is likely not terribly surprising that surfers like to party. The 1960-'70s image, bolstered by Tom Wolfe and Big Wednesday, was one of mild outlaws. Tanned boys who refused to grow up, spending their days drinking beer and smoking joints on the beach in between mindless hours in the water.

As the surf brands accidentally morphed into a multimillion- then multibillion-dollar industry beginning in the 1980s, however, the derelict portrait began to harm business. In order to achieve wild year-on-year growth that came to be expected, surf trunks, T-shirts and sunglasses had to be sold en masse through Midwestern mall stores. Moms in Des Moines did not want corn-fed junior to be a delinquent. And so the external surf image of the 1980s and '90s and into the present became Kelly Slater and Laird Hamilton. Health, vitality, bravery, clean living, positive, and pure, with heavy doses of puritanism.

Internally, though, surfing had moved on from booze and weed to its heart's true home, its soul's twin flame. Cocaine's rise in American popular culture as the choice of rich, white elites was matched, then quadrupled, within surf culture. The parties got wilder, the nights stretched longer, the stories became more ridiculously unbelievable. And there has been no stopping, no dip in passion.

The surfer and his lover are entwined in gorgeously dysfunctional embrace. A forbidden love like Romeo and his Juliet, and few, if any, outside the insular surf world knew or know about this particular rhapsody. A byzantine ethic keeps interlopers far away. Bad behavior is also kept very well hidden, even from insiders, but evidence of psychosis rears its head from time to time. Overdoses, bar fights, surf contests, and murders and cover-ups.

Cocaine + Surfing peels the curtains back on a hopped up, sometimes sexy, sometimes deadly relationship and uses cocaine as the vehicle to expose and explain the utterly absurd surf industry to outsiders. It also explores where dreams go when they die.

©2018 Chas Smith (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Narrator

Narrator can’t pronounce surf terms, brands, names or locations

Story of the death of real surfing— caused by surf industry is a excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Book!

enjoyed the content but the Narrator sounded like a kook. Definitely no pterigium. Nice to hear to here the truth about drug use and what really goes on. Kids should understand what their heroes are all about for better and worse. Fucking surfers, fucking Cocaine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not the right narrator

I could only make it through 3 chapters, Tom Pile is probably an amazing narrator but TERRIBLE for a Chaz Smith book. The inflections are wrong for the names of things, company names and the slang. It’s like having your grandfather narrate the X-Games, super disappointing

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Chas is a self-proclaimed douche but the guy can write.

I finished it in two days. Couldn’t put it down. I find Chas Smith to be a bit of a jerk on surfsplendor’s Grit podcast but the guy can write. It’s a pretty loose story, wandering like Kerouac through surf history and his own narcissistic stream of consciousness, but it’s so fun and, at times, laugh-out-loud hilarious. I finished it thinking, Really...that’s it?, but if I’m honest I’ll probably listen to it again.

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good listen

a few sections were clunky but overall fun and thought provoking. audible reader should have learned how to pronounce surf terms though

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Pretty funny

I went into it not expecting much, I've only really read one good book on surfing. Chas was really funny, there was a point where I got a little annoyed because it seemed to much like trying to sound like Hunter S Thompson. I'm glad I made it to the end though because Chas did stich it together and it really had a point. Overall pretty fun and it'll make you laugh.

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Honest sarcasm, refreshing storytelling

Surfing is the thing for huge numbers of us. The author’s all out approach to a search for ruthless truth about the industry, drugs and surf stardom is more or less perfect. If you’re a surfer, you’ll be entertained from the start. If you’re not, you don’t matter any way. Enjoy.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Painfully awful

How could anyone find this interesting? I turned this book of 2 hours into it. I am convinced the high rating on this book are rigged. What a hoax!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful