Always click on the LEGENDARY SURFERS icon to return to this homepage. LEGENDARY SURFERS
A Definitive History of Surfing's Culture and Heroes
By  Malcolm Gault-Williams

Updated on 27 March 2008
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2500 B.C. to 1910 A.D.


The first volume in the LEGENDARY SURFERS collection, LEGENDARY SURFERS Volume 1, was printed by CafePress in 2005, with very little promotion and no advertising (outside the LEGENDARY SURFERS Newsletter and website).

This first of, hopefully, many more volumes to come, covers the very beginning of surfing's history, 2500 B.C. to 1910 A.D., through the life of Duke Kahanamoku. Volume 1 incorporates not only all the material available on the LEGENDARY SURFERS website for that period, but greatly expands on all subjects as well as offers totally new material unavailable at the website or anywhere else. The colored cover paperback dimensions are: 7.5 inches X 9.25 inches. Total pages: 358. Total wordage: 145,950. Black and white historical images: over 50.

Several Books In One

Volume 1 goes into the realm of the beginning and early days of surfing in an exhaustive and detailed manner. Nowhere else can you read about the pre-modern days of Polynesian and Hawaiian surfing in such detail, extensively footnoted, and all in one volume. You would have to buy half a dozen books on history and surfing just to get a portion of what is contained in LEGENDARY SURFERS Volume 1

Chapters include:

  • The First Surfers
  • Traditional Hawaiian Surf Culture
  • Ancient Hawaiian Surfboards
  • Legendary Polynesian Surfers
  • Mo'ikeha and Sons
  • The 1800's: Surfing's Darkest Days
  • The Ka'iulani Board
  • Surfing's Revival
  • Bronzed Mercury: George Freeth
  • Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

  • Depth of Coverage

    As I've been writing, my emphasis has been on depth of coverage on all aspects related to surfing's history, culture and heroes. Most of you know that I have been writing about surfing's history for more than a decade and have one of the oldest surfing websites on the Internet. My work has appeared in such important surfing resources as The Surfer's Journal and Longboard Magazine and, along with Tom Blake's good friend Gary Lynch, I wrote the definitive Tom Blake biography, TOM BLAKE: The Journey of a Pioneer Waterman, published in 1991.


    LEGENDARY SURFERS Volume 1 is only available by order on the Internet, through print-on-demand publisher CafePress. Why can't you just pick it up at or your local bookstore? Because I make most all my own material. That is: I write it, lay it out, market it and send out to a print-on-demand (POD) publisher (in most cases, CafePress) that not only prints the material, but also handles credit card payments and order fulfillment. Once I'm done writing and creating the finished product, I let them handle the rest.

    I don't go the author-agent-publisher route. Why? Am I too good for that? No. I just write for a very small, niche market. Agents and traditional publishers don't want anything to do with me. They want to sell lotsa books. I'd like to do that, too, but I know that hardcore surfing history is not a big thing with most surfers and far less so for non-surfers. All you who are reading this now are a very special but relatively small group. I custom my approach to you by doing most everything myself.

    Despite my homespun approach to publishing in the digital age, the website that houses most of my surf writings -- -- has been used by surf veterans, surf writers, gremmies and millions of surfers and non-surfers over the past decade. Currently, the site averages 24,000 user sessions a week, which is up from 9,500 this time last year.

    By the way, continues to offer the vast amount of my material for free, with less than a dozen chapters requiring payment in order to read. Material is periodically updated and new chapters added throughout the year.


    It's been my honor to advance my writing in plain view of you all (via the Internet) and, sometimes, receive appreciations and criticisms personally from many of you. Some of the nicer things that have been said over the years (that I've saved), include:

  • "Hey, Malcolm: You are the keeper of the flame, every time I get you newsletter I learn something... Email me when your ready to let the rubber meet the road. Anyways, there's nobody doing what you are. Keep up the great work. 'AS ALWAYS,'"
    -- Tubesteak (January 2005)

  • "Malcolm, I just wanted to tell you that Legendary Surfers is getting better and better all the time. Keep it coming. I am enjoying every news letter better than the last. Thanks,"
    -- Gary Howe (December 2004)

  • "My old pal, Chuck Shipman, lives across the street from Sunset, hosted Mal Piau (sp) the navigator from Yap island. He has retold me many storries about the birth of the Hokule'ia and how it was destined for trouble... History cannot be lost to time, it is too valuable an asset. This is evident by your extensive research, Malcolm. Mahalo and aloha"
    -- Jim The Genius (November 2004)

  • "At 45 & surfing most of my life , it wasn't till I went through you're volumes, did I realize just how heavy the surfing STOKE really is and always has been. I'm especialy moved by the old Hawaiian stories, and of course, the fact that woman were so much a big part of that history. I've been to Hawaii twice and somehow this info never passed through this thick skull! Long story short, I really think these volumes should be mandatory for all people, young and old who have an interest in the sport. It would undoubtedly alter many attitudes out in some of the more pleasant line-ups we have today... sincerely and kudos to yah,"
    -- Al Allison (January 2004)

  • "Hi Malcolm: thanks for putting me on your list. I continue to be amazed at your prolific output and dedication. Keep up the great work -- a valuable and lasting contribution to surf culture and history. Best regards,"
    -- Paul Holmes (November 2003)

  • "I really think you have been doing an incredible service to the surfing community. I have been fascinated by all the info... Mahalo and all the best!"
    -- Randy Rarick, North Shore, O`ahu, Hawai`i (May 2003)

  • "Always find something interesting in your newsletter. Aloha Always, Jack"
    -- Jack McCoy (August 2003)

  • "Aloha from Kona .... I'm really enjoying reading all these biographies. I've read a few books on Hawaiian surfing and Tom Blake's book. Your stories seem to go more in depth which I really like."
    -- J.D. (August 2002)

  • "Thank you for all your great work. I've really enjoyed reading all the things you've written! Especially all the stuff about the old time classic surfers -- some of whom I know."
    -- M.B. (November 2001)

  • "You have it all. There's nothing better around; you did a lot of homework. It's great stuff; makes it seem like it was yesterday and not 43 years ago."
    -- Tubesteak (April 1999)

  • "Kudos and accolades." -- E.J. Oshier (1998)

  • "Your [writings web] page is a very big asset to preserving and celebrating the historic figures of Surfing. Terrific..."
    -- Fred Hemmings (April 1997)

  • "I think you've got it like I said it, even with the local talk we use when we're among friends. Thanks for taking the time."
    -- Wally Froiseth (May 1996)

  • "Malcolm Gault-Williams is on a mission to record oral histories as told to him by as many of our great surf elders as possible, in scholarly fashion, before they are lost forever. He submits his manuscripts painstakingly footnoted. He transcribes and presents the interviews verbatim, the way they were spoken, false starts, verbal stumbles and all. This allows a fuller sense of the personality and nature of the speaker than the condensed, sanitized versions normally published."
    -- Steve Pezman (Fall 1996)

  • WOW! - With guys like these saying nice things about my writing, I feel confident you will be stoked by all that is in LEGENDARY SURFERS Volume 1... But, if for any reason you are not...


    Volume 1 -- as with all stuff I sell -- is 100% guaranteed. If, for whatever reason, you decide you do not want the book, simply return the it to CafePress within 30 days of purchase and you'll be refunded the full purchase price.


    To purchase your book, just click on the book icon at the top of this page. If the links do not work in your web browser or you do not see the book image, you can order Volume 1 by going to:

    LEGENDARY SURFERS Volume 1 sells for $29.95, plus shipping and handling. Orders are shipped within 2 business days.

    Not sure about any of this? You can always email me with any question you may have about the book or any of my work. My email address is:


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    Copyright © 1992-2008 by Malcolm Gault-Williams... Aloha Nui Loa!

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