The Essentials of Surfing is a textbook for surfing. You can't learn to surf by reading a book, but The Essentials of Surfing will give you the knowledge you need to be more confident about learning to surf, avoid conflicts with other surfers, and diminish your chances of becoming a productive member of society. The Essentials of Surfing has useful information for surfers of all levels, but it does not cover advanced topics, like pulling aerials, conquering big waves, or tube riding, nor does it teach other sports like bodysurfing, kitesurfing, or carsurfing. The Essentials of Surfing starts out by describing waves, the main resource of surfing. It then lists the many types of surfboards you will see in the water, explaining which ones work best for learning and how to care for your own board. You'll also get advice on what to wear in the water to protect you from sun, rashes, and the cold. Most importantly, The Essentials of Surfing lists the informal rules of surfing to help you get along with other surfers in the line up. Surfing is not as dangerous as driving to the beach, but The Essentials of Surfing outlines common hazards and how you can protect yourself from them. If this doesn't put you off, you can read a step-by-step lesson in surfing your first wave. The Essentials of Surfing then gives general advice on how to advance beyond the beginner level. A glossary at the end lists some technical jargon and slang specific to surfing. Read straight through to get the big picture. Then, use it as a reference as you learn. When you're done, teach a friend and give it to them. After reading The Essentials of Surfing, you will be more informed about the realities of surfing. Maybe you'll decide to take up surfing, or perhaps you'll realize it's not for you. If surfing is for you, you'll be able to converse with other surfers and know what to look in a surf shop. When you leave the shop and head to the beach, you'll be able to better understand the waves and what surfers are doing on them. This will help you learn faster and smarter.