While every sport has a library you can turn to for technique, history, rules, recommended gear, and any other number of things, there are few books that capture the essence of what a sport is about. Not the nuts and bolts, but the sort of inside dope, whether fiction or non-, that the outside world could never understand but that those devoted few, whether in the grip of competition or mere nostalgia, cling to like sport-specific bibles. These are our picks for the 11 best.
Cult Sport Books: Surfing
by Daniel Duane
Never mind big waves or pro-tour showdowns – 500 surfers worldwide are out there chasing those thrills. The rest of us – 6 million or so – are into surfing for the reasons that Duane (an 'MJ' contributing editor) details here. There's the ride itself, sure – but also the mindless parking-lot banter, the guilty pleasure of all those wasted hours driving the coast looking for surf, and the long, quiet minutes between waves, when everybody else has left the water.