Reading Time: 3 minutes

The truth is I am not one for non-fiction, but Against the Water is an inspiring and captivating memoir that takes readers on a thrilling ride through the life and career of Owen Wright, a surfing champion with an unwavering determination to achieve Olympic glory.

On the morning of December 10, 2015, Owen Wright entered the water at Pipeline, Hawaii, determined to become a world champion.

After being pounded by a set of monstrous waves, he ended up fighting for life and facing extensive brain trauma.

Written in Wright’s own words, this book offers a deeply personal and introspective account of his journey, making it a must-read for both surfing enthusiasts and fans of inspirational stories.

Wright’s storytelling is engaging, honest and filled with raw emotions, allowing readers to connect with his experiences on a deeper level.

Such an interesting life, from his humble upbringing.

Even before the injuries it was fascinating to hear about Wright’s childhood – his father’s approaches to raising their kids, and how that impacted Wright’s trajectory and early struggles in the world of surfing to his relentless pursuit of excellence.

Wright’s narrative unfolds like a gripping tale, keeping readers hooked from start to finish.

But you have to ask yourself at what point does bravery become folly?

The book’s greatest strength lies in Wright’s ability to convey the challenges and obstacles he faced along the way.

Whether it was dealing with injuries, overcoming self-doubt or facing fierce competition, Wright’s resilience and unwavering spirit shines through.

His story serves as a powerful reminder that success is not achieved without setbacks and it is the ability to persevere in the face of adversity that truly defines greatness.

What sets Against the Water apart from other sports memoirs is its exploration of the mental and emotional aspects of competitive surfing.

How thankful I am that we now live in a time where mental health is talked about and not hidden behind the curtain.

Readers will find themselves inspired to chase their own goals, overcome obstacles and embrace the journey towards their own personal triumphs.

But this sport memoir could equally occupy the personal development shelves in a book shop as we see Wright’s vulnerability in sharing his inner struggles which adds depth and authenticity to the narrative, making it relatable to readers who have faced their own personal challenges.

Wright delves into the mindset required to excel in the sport, discussing the importance of focus, visualisation and maintaining a positive attitude.

The book also provides fascinating insights into the world of professional surfing and the arduous journey towards Olympic qualification.

Wright’s descriptions of the training, preparation and sacrifices made in pursuit of his dreams are both enlightening and inspiring.

The book offers a glimpse into the dedication and commitment required to compete at the highest level, leaving readers in awe of the physical and mental strength possessed by these athletes.

Against the Water is not just a story of individual triumph; it is a celebration of the power of community and support networks.

Wright acknowledges the importance of his family, friends, coaches and fellow surfers in his success.

Their belief in him and their encouragement during the toughest times highlight the significance of genuine connections and the impact they can have on one’s journey.

Readers will find themselves inspired to chase their own goals, overcome obstacles and embrace the journey towards their own personal triumphs.

The lessons Wright teaches transcend the world of surfing, serving as a testament to the power of dreams, hard work and perseverance.

So much more discussion is needed around concussion victims in sport.

Surfing fans, sporting fans and people interested in the human experience will love this book.

It’s a book perfect for readers of Sam Kerr and the incredible biography by Matthew McConaughey.