Get Ready for Summer With These Two New Books Filled With Vintage Surf Photos

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It might be a tad bit premature, but with the cold weather moving out, and the summertime just a few pages on the calendar away, we really can’t help but dream of the beach. Since we’re gearing up for the day when it is totally fine to don our bathing suits and run onto the sand, two books being put out by Taschen, LeRoy Grannis: Surf Photography of the 1960s and 1970s and Bunker Spreckels: Surfing’s Divine Prince of Decadence, provide an opportunity to study up on the art of doing summer right. Whether you plan on getting on a surfboard or not, these two books are textbooks for looking good in the summertime.

The book on Spreckels (which originally came out in 2007, but was so popular that it went out of print) is especially fascinating. The heir to the Spreckels sugar fortune and Clark Gable’s stepson, Spreckels was the surf version of a rock and roll god; a combination of talent, good looks, and an endless fortune, who died before he turned 30 years old. While the Grannis book does provide some unforgettable shots, the Spreckels book is a more interesting story, with some really cool shots of surf’s “divine prince of decadence.”

By Art Brewer via Taschen

Bunker flying down the line on his downrailed “Alma” board, Banzai Pipeline Rights, Oahu, Hawaii, October 1969

By Art Brewer via Taschen

Target practice, Kaena Point, Oahu, Hawaii, September 1973

By Art Brewer via Taschen

Bunker wielding his stepfather Clark Gable’s knife from the film Mogambo, London hotel, July 1975

Leroy Grannis via Taschen

Makaha, Hawaii, 1962. A classic forties-era woody flanked by a crew of young surfers between heats at the Makaha Championships.

Leroy Grannis via Taschen

San Onofre, 1963. With its wide beaches, grass shacks, and long, rolling waves, San Onofre is called “California’s Waikiki.”

Leroy Grannis via Taschen

Pipeline, 1970

Leroy Grannis via Taschen

Makaha, 1966. The infamous Makaha shore break launches another victim. This classic shot has been used in many advertisements.