What we’re reading – California Surf Project


Sometimes it’s fair to say that dropping the day job and jumping on a plane has crossed my mind a number of times in full time corporate employment. A slave to shareholders and beholden to a keyboard and desk often makes you contemplate “what if”…it’s often that these “what if’s” are beaten back by our sensible brain telling us “you wouldn’t be able to afford the rent” and other such life burdens that society impose on us. But what if you did just jack it all in for a life of surfing, road tripping and adventure…

The California Surf Project

In 2009 Chris Burkard, a talented photographer, and his buddy Eric Soderquist quit their jobs listening to the “what if’s” circulating in their minds and set about documenting the California Surf culture from border to border along the Pacific coast – travelling from Portland all the way down Route 1 to the Tijuana straights on the border of Mexico. They enlisted the help of a trusty steed in the form of a 1976 VW Campervan, packed their belongings, surfboards and of course their cameras and set out on their California Surf Project.


It’s not just cars that interest us at District AutoClub, it’s the closely associated “outlaw” or individual expressionism sub cultures too – surfing is one of those. Having been a fan of Chris’ work and the California Surf Project book it was about time it featured in these pages.


The book follows the duo from top to tip of the pacific U.S coast, taking in the surf spots and culture from Portland to the Mexican border all detailed through beautiful photography and captivating stories.

The ups and downs the two faced, the people they met, the stories told around the camp fires and the adventure they undertook are detailed and sandwiched in a wonderfully printed and bound hard cover book. After getting through the 200 plus photographs you’ll be fighting the urge to hot step it out from behind your keyboard and hit the nearest swell

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