Patting the Shark

Tim Baker was living the dream. A best-selling and award-winning surf writer with a beautiful family, a lifetime of exotic travel and a home walking distance to quality waves. That all changed on July 7, 2015, when he was diagnosed, out of the blue, with stage 4, metastatic prostate cancer. So began a descent into the debilitating world of aggressive cancer treatments and a fight for a survival as brutal as any big wave hold down.

Tim writes candidly and with a raw vulnerability about this perilous journey through chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation and surgery, and his own determined lifestyle strategies to maintain mind, body and spirit. Happily, surfing provided one of his most powerful forms of therapy, and writing about his experiences has proven deeply cathartic.


Bustin’ Down The Door is a story of unfaltering self-belief, of immense hardship and struggle, and of hilariously wild times, as Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew sets off from Australia’s Gold Coast, surfboard under his arm, to conquer the surfing world. Rabbit recalls outrageous adventures shared with surfing’s most famous figures – including Nat Young, Michael Peterson, Mark Richards, Tom Carroll and Kelly Slater.

“No triumph-over-adversity cliches or mind-numbing statistical blasts here. A sports read offering a legitimate story untouched by agents or PR flunkies … a fine book.” Steve Rielly, The Age.


Tim Baker has profiled the surfing world’s most inspiring characters, encountered over two decades of surf writing, to highlight the life lessons and boundless inspiration to be gained from a lifestyle built around waveriding. The common theme in all these surfers’ lives is how their personal journeys have been shaped and informed by their experiences in the ocean.

"I was blessed to come into contact with Tim Baker's High Surf recently, a very wise compilation of Baker's profiles of the most intriguing modern surf personalities ... Baker will make you look at wave riding -- and life -- in an entirely new light.” Jamal Yogis, author Saltwater Buddha.


Child star at sixteen, ranked third in the world at seventeen, winner of the Pipeline Masters at nineteen – Mark Occhilupo looked set to sweep all before him with a radical, spontaneous, irresistible brand of surfing. Yet a spiralling descent into drug abuse and depression snuffed his flame out prematurely. His celebrated comeback to win the world title in 1999, sixteen years after his career began, is a sporting fairytale without equal.

"Occy was always a missile going hyperspeed, about to blow up at any moment. - it's true of so many highly intelligent or gifted people . . . All of his passion was put into his surfing." Kelly Slater, 11-time world champion.


The Rip Curl Story is the remarkable tale of two young surfers – Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick and Brian Singer – who pursued an audacious dream to make a living in pursuit of the ultimate ride. Tim Baker tells this implausible story in an irresistible series of ripping yarns, offering rich life lessons, a maverick business primer and a wild ride of adventure, good times and outlandish ambitions spectacularly realised.

“Tim Baker has written a rip-snorting yarn that should be required reading for anyone in business, or anyone aspiring to get into business, to remind them what it’s really all about.” Karyn Scherer, Senior reporter, The National Business Review, NZ

previous arrow
next arrow


Tim Baker is an award-winning author, journalist and storyteller specializing in surfing history and culture, working across a wide variety of media from books and magazines to film, video, and theatre.

Tim is the best-selling author of The Rip Curl Story, Occy, High Surf, Bustin’ Down The Door,  Surf For Your Life, Century of Surf and Surfari.  He is a former editor of Tracks, Surfing Life and Slow Living magazines, a three-time winner of the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame Culture Award, and a popular and compelling public speaker.

“Tim Baker may well be the most brilliant and incisive surf writer working today, or on any given day for the last twenty years.” 


Photo Ted Grambeau