“Surfing as a dance:
How one woman found grace in and out of the water”


It’s over two years since my first book “the dharma of surfing: wisdom from the water for life” was published and I’m thrilled to announce that my second book was launched on 8 December 2018 at Currumbin on the southern Gold Coast.

“Surfing as a Dance: How one woman found grace in and out of the water” is a memoir about my unlikely surfing life and reinvention as a surfing, yoga and fitness instructor at the age of 50. But it’s more than a story about surfing and reinvention … it’s a love letter describing how I came to find joy, delight and meaning in life.

This is a beautiful book crafted collaboratively with photographer Alison Gowland (Currumbin Ali), designer Ingrid Schroder and editor Dianna Timmins. There are 21 stories and poems included alongside an array of dreamscape ocean and surfing photographs in a gorgeously designed grown-up storybook.

Here is our book trailer.

Here is the first review of the book – by Tim Baker for Coastalwatch in December 2018.

Here is an article in Pacific Longboarder Magazine.

And here is a lovely article about the book from the Gold Coast Bulletin…


The book is in full colour, it’s hardback and is 20cm x 20cm – a perfect companion book. In fact, it’s a sister book to “dharma” and we hope it will become like a dear friend to our readers – a book that speaks with compassion and wisdom about the journeys and stories we all share.

“Surfing as a Dance” is available here at our bookshop and author Sally MacKinnon can write a personal message upon request. It can also be bought from Amazon and other online book retailers.


During Summer 2018/19, Sally is hosting interactive Pop Up Book Clubs for “Surfing as a dance” across the Gold Coast and Northern NSW. Sal is an experienced facilitator and will share her ‘behind-the-scenes experiences of writing and curating “Surfing as a dance”. She will introduce some of the key characters and read extracts of from some of the stories and poems in the book. She will guide shared conversation about our gifts from the sea; and lead gentle practices in mindfulness and gratitude.

Please contact Sally if you’re interested in hosting a Pop Up Book Club with friends and neighbours at your home, local cafe or local park.  Writer’s groups, book clubs, surf clubs, community libraries, cafes and surf shops are also welcome to host a session.

Entry is by donation or dana. Ninety minute – two hour sessions. Signed books will be available for purchase at $35.

“the dharma of surfing: wisdom from the water for life” 


In mid-2016 “the dharma of surfing: wisdom from the water for life” a beautiful  hardcover book collection of 52 surf-life wisdoms and full colour photographs, was published.

“the dharma of surfing” was written by surfing, yoga and fitness instructor Sally MacKinnon who lives and works in the mountains and beaches of South East Queensland Australia. Evocative full colour photographs are by surfer-sailor Scotty Johnson and educator Huon MacKinnon-Farnworth.

“the dharma of surfing” is a love letter to life…

It is a book for everyone, that invites readers to dive into surfing and the ocean as a metaphor for life and also offers practical guidance to surfers of all levels for when they are out in the big blue.

“Surfing is more than standing up on a surfboard. It is, I believe, the language of ‘Oceanspeak’ of feet on waves, of heart in sky, of breath and body in synch with Mother Nature.

“Perhaps if we surf with a spirit of sharing, connection, love, mindfulness, gratitude, humility, joyfulness, awareness, playfulness and curiosity then we might also take those qualities further into our lives as a right way of living”

(from the Introduction to “the dharma of surfing: wisdom from the water for life”).

You can purchase a copy direct from author/publisher Sally MacKinnon, with a personal message and signature for $A30 + postage at our bookshop.

“dharma” can also be purchased online at the Book Depository  and at Amazon.

Sally was interviewed about “the dharma of surfing”  on ABC Gold Coast Radio by Nadia Sunde in May 2016. You can listen to this 12 minute interview here

This book has also been successfully integrated into one-day organisational and corporate workshops called “Wisdom from the Water” which include beach yoga and a group surf lesson with Sally. There is more information about this and other retreats here or you’re welcome to contact Sally direct.