Freestyle surfing great Clay Marzo and his mastery of the waves, as well as his life with Asperger's Syndrome, are the subject of "Just Add Water," a biography by Robert Yehling. The book is scheduled to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2014.
The book will feature Marzo's rise to greatness as one of the most unique and gifted surfers ever, as well as his lifelong struggle to deal with everyday life because of what was diagnosed as Asperger's Syndrome, a developmental "re-wiring" of the brain, in 2007.
"Clay's life is amazing for a number of reasons," says Yehling, who is in Maui working with Marzo on the book. "What strikes me most is not that he blows all of us away in the water despite living with Asperger's, but that his laser focus on surfing and the ocean may make him so great because of Asperger's, at least in part."
Marzo was already well-known to the Hawaiian surfing community when he came to the U.S. mainland in 2005 and won the NSSA National Championships open division at age 15 -- with two perfect 10 scores, the only time it's ever happened in the 35-year history of the event. His power and ridiculously difficult maneuvers prompted onlookers to consider him the world's next future surfing great. .
In 2007, after years of misdiagnoses, Marzo learned that he lived with Asperger's Syndrome. It came as a relief to he and his family. Shortly thereafter, he was the subject of a major documentary Quiksilver produced, also called "Just Add Water," which showcased his relationship with waves, the ocean, and Asperger's.