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California Surfing and Climbing in the Fifties is the second big format art book project between photographer and photo anthropologist Dean Fidelman (of Stone Nudes reknown), and legendary designer and art director, Tom Adler. And what do rock climbing and surfing share in common save for the restless young men with dangerous dreams who sought adventure in the California sun? Namely, the parallel movements that swept through the 1950s - of cowboy independence and the birth of “adventure sports” - as they came to life on the big rock faces (most notably in Yosemite Valley) and scattered beach breaks strewn along the So Cal coastline. Adler’s ultra-clean “museum” design and Fidelman’s artful handling of the black and white images furnish a charmed time machine to more innocent times, when gasoline was 23 cents a gallon and the modern rudiments of climbing and surfing were fashioned on the spot by a cast of charismatic rogues immortalized in these pages.

- John Long

Courtesy T. Adler Books, Santa Barbara CA Print copies available for sale from Arcana Books in Culver City, CA

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