The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora
The first biography of legendary surf hero, Miki 'Da Cat' Dora - the greatest surf story never told
Reclusive and gregarious, cocksure and cryptic, uncompromising and contradictory, Miki 'Da Cat' Dora was surfing's most outspoken practitioner, chief anti-hero and enduring mystery. At a time when the Beat poets were howling about the need to just, like, be yourself, man, Miki and a small group of social fringe-dwellers were realising those desires on the translucent swells of Southern California. But who was the real Miki Dora?
Born in Los Angeles in 1934, Miklos Sandor Dora was one of the pioneers of the 50's surf scene - chasing wave after perfect, empty wave, from San Onofre to Malibu to Rincon. But as the beaches became more crowded and the businessmen took over the sport, Miki turned his back on the culture that had made him a hero, preferring instead the life of an outlaw. His scams caught up with him and in 1973 he was charged with fraud, but he skipped bail and went on the run. He was finally arrested in France in 1981 and spent a year behind bars in the US. After his release Dora quickly became an expatriate and settled variously in New Zealand, South Africa, and France. He would return America once in a while – but never again to live, and in the end only to die. Yet through it all, Dora remained one of surfing's most seductive icons, captivating the imagination of generations.
In this brilliantly comprehensive biography, based on interviews with hundreds of people who knew him, David Rensin sets out to uncover the man behind the myth. Miki's is the story of traversing life's least-travelled road; the rewards and the costs it brings. It is also a story of innocence lost, of the growth and commercialization of the California lifestyle and, in surprising parallel, the rise and fall of Los Angeles. The life of Miki Dora is the greatest surf story never told.
“All For a Few Perfect Waves is a wonderful book. In the mysterious, magnificent and mercurial Miki Dora, David Rensin has found the perfect subject. You may like Dora. You may hate him. But you will never tire of him through the very impressive shine of Rensin's reporting and writing.”
Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights
“From the depths of hell to flying as high and as free as an eagle - and everything in between - All For a Few Perfect Waves left me laughing and crying at the same time.”
Greg Noll, world-reknowned big wave rider
“Book of the week by a mile is David Rensin's excellent biog of Miki 'Da Cat'”