It’s about the sight, smell, the wind… It’s as much about a sense of place as it is about the surf,”
asserts Kenny Braun of his latest book, Surf Texas.
Kenny Braun, professional photographer and author of Surf Texas, was astonished that no one was doing a book on Texas surfing. He was “honored” to be the first to capture the essence of Texas’ surfing culture in a book of photojournalism. Kenny Braun’s “labor of love” features surf culture photography shot in black and white over a period of several years. His photographs started as a nostalgic way to reconnect with the Texas Gulf Coast. It soon grew into an expansive photo project. The book features highlights of the Texas surf culture, even depicting artsy tide charts.
“Very few writers that I’ve read are able to really articulate the experience of surfing. It’s like with any sport. It’s ultimately impossible to describe without doing it. It’s like describing a color or something,” commented Braun. His black and white stills need no colorful description. They help Texas surfers relive their rainbow of experiences, whether it be through tanker surfing, surfing with dolphins, or surfing hurricane swell like Hurricane Isaac. It also reveals to other Texans and the world that there is indeed surf in Texas. “Texas is known for cowboys… Anyway, I think nowadays there are more surfers than cowboys. There are even a few cowboys who surf. I think the stereotype of Texas is exactly that, a stereotype. There’s a lot of Texans that don’t even know there’s a coast, much less surfers. So, that’s been the coolest thing, I think. Most people have no clue. So, it is kind of like a curiosity, ya know? Of course to the surfers, I’m preaching to the choir,” hypothesizes Braun. Who knew Texas was one of the top six surfing states in America? In terms of the large populace and the vast coastline, it makes sense.
The Surf Texas Book Tour hit Galveston’s coastal population mid-October. Open to the public, Ohana Surf and Skate proved that the Gulf Coast is no novice to southern hospitality. Surf photographer, Kenny Braun mingled with local surfers and swapped surf stories at the book signing. He grew up in Houston, later moving to Austin near his publisher, University of Texas Press. Braun came back down last summer to shoot the tanker surfers. The September before, he shot Hurricane Isaac’s swell. He observed, “You can’t put out a Texas surf book without hurricane swell.” This book is more than just a coffee table book. It is a nod to the Texas surfing community, evoking an emotional response that only comes from turning the pages.
The book is available for order here.
For more info: http://www.kennybraun.com/