Book Provides Gritty View of Surfing's Triple Crown

'Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell,' a new book by Chas Smith, exposes the beauty, excitement and danger of surfing's Triple Crown Competition.

Welcome to Paradise

Photo Courtesy of Harper Collins

Welcome to Paradise: Now Go to Hell: A True Story of Violence, Corruption, and the Soul of Surfing, a soon-to-be-published book by former war correspondent and lifelong surfer Chas Smith, takes readers into the hidden world of competitive surfers vying for supremacy in the Triple Crown competition on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Oahu's North Shore is generally considered a paradise, but the idyllic location is transformed by both nature and human action once the Pacific's winter storms arrive. Powerful 30-foot waves tower over hidden, razor sharp reefs. And with the storms comes one of the most anticipated surfing contests in the world, the annual Triple Crown competition.

Each year, thousands of surfers, tourists, reporters and even criminals descend on the area for the competition. Smith's book is a detailed and gritty account of what happens when all these forces converge. The book hints that the monster waves braved by surfers are the least dangerous aspect of the sport, as crime, drug use and violence lurk hidden from outsiders to the world of surfing.

A lifelong surfer, Smith was born and raised on the coast of Oregon, and he spent five winters on Hawaii's North Shore. A versatile writer, he has written articles for GQ, the New York Times Magazine and Surfing Magazine, where he is also the editor. As a war correspondent, he covered battles, conflicts, wars and dirty politics in dangerous places like Yemen, Lebanon and Azerbaijan.

Welcome to Paradise, published by Harper Collins, will be available in both hardcover and as an eBook on Nov. 19.

Photo Credit: Harper Collins


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