In the world of sport surfing is unique unique in that it never was a sport in the first place and for most surfers today, still isn't. Born from the Hawaiian love of the ocean and their love of taking days off when the waves were good surfing swiftly crossed the cultural membrane into the Western world, seducing generations of kids. To these kids surfing's appeal was simple: nobody owned the waves. No rules, no boundaries. It was total freedom.
Surfing might have seduced the West, but at the same time the very Western ideals of progress, commerce, rules and boundaries began working on surfing, and a group of surfers suddenly dreamed of something bigger - the idea of surfing as a sport and the intoxicating notion of going surfing for a living. And so evolved pro surfing and the world tour; a troupe of wave-hungry gypsies travelling the globe from Hawaii to Hainan, surfing well, behaving abominably.
The Carnival of the Animals is a mad adventure spanning 50 years of astounding achievements, epic failures, rags-to-riches businesses, billionaire sugar daddies, dirty city beaches and tropical wonderlands. It tells the story of surfers who saw a chance to turn their love of surfing into gold. Some succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, plenty didn't. This is the story of the champions, the train wrecks, and the champion train wrecks. For the first time, read their tales in their true context, the sweeping tale of a sport that never was and a sport that succeeded despite itself.