Presenting The Breitling Book of Surfing by Ben Mondy

Explore new perspectives on surfing with Ben Mondy’s latest masterpiece, “The Breitling Book of Surfing.” A treasure trove of stories, this book isn’t just about surfing as a sport or lifestyle but a profound exploration of surf communities across the globe.

Mondy brings to life the tales of iconic surfers like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, and Jeremy Flores, alongside the lesser-known yet equally compelling narratives of individuals like Effie Vrakas from Greece, Freddie Meadows in the cold waters of the Baltic, and Italy’s Roberto D’Amico.

What sets this book apart is not just the stories it tells but how they’re presented. The imagery—vibrant, arresting, and utterly captivating—complements the exceptional art direction and the premium quality of the paper and printing. Described by Breitling as “as much an in-depth travelogue as it is a beautiful photography book,” it stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity of surfing culture around the world.

“The Breitling Book of Surfing” offers more than just a visual feast; it’s an invitation to explore the myriad travel angles, delve into the essence of surf communities, and get up close with the spots that have shaped the sport. Whether you’re a fan of the waves or a lover of beautifully crafted books, there’s something here for you. This book is not just a collection of surf stories; it’s an adventure, a piece of art, and a journey worth taking.

We caught up with Ben to talk about his new book, the inspiration behind it, the adventures it recounts, and the people it celebrates.

What inspired you to write this book?

Breitling approached me with the idea. I liked the fact they were concentrating on the community aspect of surfing and that they had singled out surfers that ranged from the GOAT Kelly Slater to relatively unknown longboarders in Uruguay. With a solid idea, incredible imagery and its heart in the right place, it was easy to get on board. 

Tell us about the partnership with Breitling…

Breitlng has had a long relationship with surfing, having Kelly Slater, Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons as ambassadors. Look, I’ve been around long enough to know the end game of this book is to sell expensive timepieces. And yet, by concentrating on community, and by examining surfers with a wide breadth of ages, backgrounds and experiences there is, hopefully, a sense of authenticity that pervades the book. It was great working with a brand that had a sense of clarity and purpose. Oh and budget. 

Which story did you find most interesting / inspiring and why?

An ongoing highlight for me was finding out how surfers started their surfing addiction. Aged 8, Andrew Cottie Cotton’s parents made him join the local Croyde Boardriders to stave off his hyperactivity after swimming and lifesaving had failed. Aged 12 in Ahus Sweden Freddie Meadows wore two wetsuits, dishwashing gloves, and a beanie under a swimming hat. His board was a windsurfer he had “borrowed” from under a neighbour’s house. The best though was Italian Roby D’Amico who would sit in the flat summer Mediterranean Sea at the front of his house and wait for the 7PM  daily ferry from Sardinia to Fiumicino. Its huge wake would send waves toward the rocky shore. He would wait, and ride one wave, or two if he was lucky. He may have been the only surfer on the only rideable waves for hundreds of miles.

Mikey February’s depiction of the waves and scene around Cape Town was really interesting. It’s such a rugged, beautiful place, just with these empty, powerful waves. His tales of travelling the rest of Africa, finding new waves and seeing new surf cultures emerge were also a highlight for me. 

What’s next for Ben Mondy?

Go surfing, write about surfing, and generally try to do more of the former and less of the latter.