Book of the Week hangs ten

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Rather be surfing something besides the Web right now? Jerry Johnson’s way ahead of you with his new book The Old Timers Surfing Classic: Photo Highlights of the 2006 Old Timers Long Board Surfing Classic. These pictures of the Wellfleet Old Timers Long Board Surfing Classic show surfing at its most elemental: No wetsuits, no leashes, no fear. Jerry caught some truly classic surf moves: grabbing the underside of the board mid-wave, catching air on a wipeout, and the obligatory fist-pump at the tail end of a gnarly wave. As my friends from the Cape might say, “Wicked!”

oldtimers Book of the Week hangs ten

True, some of those surfers do look suspiciously young to be old timers. But old timer classics are a big draw not only in Cape Cod but here on the West Coast too, with all ages carving up the waves and the competition on pre-1970s old-school boards. These boards aren’t exactly small or easy to maneuver, and when they smack you in a major wipeout, you’ll feel it.

While most of us might consider that fair warning, dedicated surfers take it as a worthy challenge. Jerry’s photos capture that thrill of facing the waves for those of us who remain deskbound … at least until spring comes.

Congrats to Jerry, and to all you old-school surfers back east in Cape Cod, hang loose.

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