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SKU: 9781905916931

David Flanagan came from a long line of seafarers and thought learning to surf would be easy, despite the fact he was scared of the ocean and fast approaching middle age.


As a journalist living in an island community, he had intended to write a light-hearted account of his progress towards surfing nirvana, but instead found himself facing danger, doubt and the spectre of childhood bereavement in an often wild and unwelcoming sea.


Meanwhile on land, and back riding a skateboard after a 30-year-gap, David found himself facing bemusement, ridicule and the wrath of the medical profession. But his decision to turn back the clock to the 1970s would also prove remarkably life changing and, occasionally, utterly catastrophic.


Warm, funny, touching and honest - with a strong dose of adrenalin - Board explores loss, ego, fear and fatherhood, charting a quest for inner peace against a backdrop of thundering Atlantic waves. At its heart, Board is an inspiring story about accepting some limitations and overcoming others, while completely ignoring common sense and social convention.

I'm standing on a rocky finger of a coastline, looking out across the expanse of the Mediterranean. It's the height of the July day and the temperature in St Raphael has climbed into the 90s. Intense, broiling sunlight plays across the surface of the rather murky water, while a few feet below me gentle waves lap the base of my vantage point. The small beach to my right is packed with sunbathers, amongst them my three friends.

This is the first day of our week's holiday on the French Riviera. Having graduated in journalism two years previously, we're all now employed as junior reporters in Scotland. My three friends work urban beats in and around the city of Glasgow, whereas I work on the local weekly newspaper in my island home of Orkney. As such, I'm the only one who lives close to the ocean. I see and smell it every day and regularly travel across it on a ferry. I've come from a long line of seafarers and my blood should be slightly saline. But my nautical genes are about to prove utterly worthless.

I've clambered onto the outcrop with the intention of diving dramatically into the water. Already badly sunburnt, I'm wearing only a pair of skimpy Speedo swimming trunks and have equipped myself with a cheap mask and snorkel set, picked up for a few francs in the campsite shop.

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