Ghost Wave by Chris Dixon [Book Review]

Rising from the depths of the North Pacific lies a fabled island, now submerged just 15 feet below the surface of the ocean. Rumors and warnings about Cortes Bank abound, but among big wave surfers, this legendary rock is famous for one simple (and massive) reason: this is the home of the biggest rideable wave on the face of the earth. In this dramatic work of narrative non-fiction, journalist Chris Dixon unlocks the secrets of Cortes Bank and pulls readers into the harrowing world of big wave surfing and high seas adventure above the most enigmatic and dangerous rock in the sea. The true story of this Everest of the sea will thrill anyone with an abiding curiosity of—and respect for—mother ocean.

If you are looking for a great read that tells a story of utter devotion to the ocean, it’s mysteries, and it’s dangers, then ‘Ghost Wave: The Discovery of Cortes Bank and the Biggest Wave on Earth’ by Chris Dixon is definitely the book for you.

The Cortes Bank is home to the biggest surfable wave we’ve ever seen, but it’s more than that, and is home to centuries of exploration and drama.

Chris Dixon tells the story of this wave, weaving surfing legends like Mike Parsons, “Flame” Moore, and Greg Long into the story of those who tried to turn Cotes Bank into a new country and those who had first discovered this mammoth rising up from the ocean floor.

All the while Dixon keeps us in the loop on the science being played out in this extreme location. How is it that such big waves are generated here and what is the final limit for this location?

The answer? Seemingly limitless.

I loved this book. Dixon writes with a little less bias than Susan Casey in her brilliant book ‘The Wave’, allowing for both sides of the coin to be explored, while not taking any particular side.

Dixon also sheds some light onto the desire and addicting need these surfers have for finding the biggest and best wave.

In the end, you’ll walk away from ‘Ghost Wave’ with a deeper understanding of waves, a deeper passion for surfing, and a real affection for the real-life characters portrayed through these pages.

This is definitely a book for anyone wanting to get a grasp on the unpredictable oceans and see into the terrifying yet exhilarating lives of big wave surfers.

Ghost Wave: The Discovery of Cortes Bank and the Biggest Wave on Earth

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