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Surfing has emerged from ancient roots to become a twenty-first century phenomenon – an 'alternative' sport, lifestyle and art form with a global profile and ever-increasing numbers of participants. Drawing on popular surf culture, academic literature and the analytical tools of social theory, this book is the first sustained commentary on the contemporary social and cultural meaning of surfing. Core themes of mind and body, emotions and identity, aesthetics, style, and sensory experience are explored through a variety of topics, and particular attention is paid to: * evolving perceptions of the sea and the beach * the globalization of surfing * surfing as a subculture and lifestyle * the embodiment and gendering of surfing. Surfing and Social Theory is an original and theoretically rigorous text that sets the agenda for future work in this area. Along with the Surf Science courses now appearing in universities around the world, this text provides students and researchers in sport, sociology, culture and geography with a new perspective and a thought-provoking text.