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This is the radical journey of an Italian surf punk studying Chinese in the late 1980s, fuelling surf adventures in the 1990s through work as a Mandarin interpreter., running Surf News magazine in the 2000s, tackling the Silver Dragon river bore in 2007, and then moving the so-called 'Peoples Republic of Empty Waves' to explore the virgin breaks and the surf development of China. Along the way, Nik discovers an untold history of wave riding in dynastic culture. How do the breathing techniques of Daoism, the flow of calligraphy and the pragmatic values of Confucianism relate to the art of wave riding? Strangely, and quite brilliantly, this happens in the oldest continuous civilisation in the world over 1200 years ago.