The Western Gate

A second printing and new edition of classical takes on the well studied.

Light / Dark

In 1997, TSJ reviewed a book of photographs and writing from Santa Barbara surfer Paul Kemnitzer. The self-published effort—a holistic hardbound illustrated with soulful, hand-tinted shots by the author—described a lifetime of lessons learned at both Point Conception and in Western Australia. We were enamored with the small-run volume. Now, in the presence of a two-book redux—including new photos, new stories, new continents—we still are.

The original book can be found on the shelves of foundational surfers in both the West Oz wilderness and the California ranchlands. This new diptych is available directly from the publisher’s headquarters, should you find yourself drawn to the topic and visuals. 

“One book is on and about travels and surfing in mostly Western Australia,” says the author of his latest release. “The other features England, Ireland, Scotland, the American southwest, Hollister Ranch, and includes portraits of the people encountered along the way. All the pictures in the book are hand-colored from black-and-white, and were taken from 1973 through 2016. Almost all were printed in a solar-powered darkroom at my home on the Ranch. At 70 years old and now living in Colorado, I have mostly given up my hardcore surfing life but I still get back to the Ranch to try and surf a few times a year.”

Available via or by emailing the author at