Looking at surfing’s ‘other side’

In the next week or so, Andrew Crockett will head off down the Pacific Highway towing his work from the last four years behind him - several thousand copies of his second book, Switch-foot II.

By the time he gets back on December 22, he would have driven to Torquay in Victoria and hopefully, made the return trip with an empty trailer.

Author, producer, band manager and surfer, Andrew has self-published the 368-page book and is distributing it himself, mostly to surf shops, on the trip down the coast.

His latest effort follows Switch-foot I which came out in 2005 and like its predecessor, the new book looks at the ‘other side’ of surfing, mostly from the pre-leg rope and pre-professional surfing era.

It features contributions from 90 surfers from around the world including locals George Greenough, Rusty Miller and Geoff McCoy and more than a thousand images, many from collections of legendary surf photographers.

Andrew, 33, came to Byron Bay with his parents when he was five and grew up surfing at The Pass.
He later lived at Mullumbimby and now lives just up the highway at Burringbar – but is still a regular at The Pass and other Byron Bay breaks.


He launched into his second book pretty much straight after the first one came out and he has described putting it together as very much a labour of love.

“I get described as the Indiana Jones of the surfing world searching for all this stuff,” he said.

“I have spent thousands of hours over the last four years living on the smell of an oily rag.

“Every penny, every moment I have spent doing this.”

Andrew makes it pretty clear his book is not about the Kelly Slaters and Occys of the surfing world.

He makes the case that surfing is not a sport, but an ‘art’ – a case, he said, he would be willing to argue in court.

“Every single contributor (in the book) is into surfing for the thrills of the ride, the lifestyle and being part of the wave.”

Andrew launched Switch-foot II at Byron Bay’s Book City and Ho’okupu on Sunday with a Sydney launch set down for Manly on December 5.

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