Ollestad, 41, was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing at a very young age by the father he idolized. Resentful of a childhood lost to his father’s reckless and demanding adventures, young Ollestad was often paralyzed by fear. Set in Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970s, the book captures the earthy surf culture of Southern California; the boy’s conflicted feelings for his magnetic father; and the exhilarating tests of skill in the surf and snow that prepared young Norman to become a fearless surfer and ski champion--which ultimately saved his life.
In February 1979, just as he was reaping the rewards of his training, a chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his father, his father’s girlfriend, and the pilot, crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California and was suspended at eight thousand feet, engulfed in a blizzard. Norman’s father, his coach and hero, was dead, and the 11-year old Ollestad had to descend the mountain alone and grief-stricken, through snow and ice, without any gear.
Stunningly, the boy defied the elements and put his father’s passionate lessons to work. As he told the LA Times after his ordeal, “My dad told me never to give up.”
Condition: Very Good
Goodreads rating: 3.61/5