A slapstick coming-of-age story set in a small Australian town. For his 14th birthday, Lockie gets not only a neoprene vest to keep him warm while he's surfing but also a sudden steady--Vicki Streeton--rich, bright, and beautiful. Lockie revels in the new-found popularity this social connection brings him, while eagerly exploring both Vicki's body and the changes within himself--until it dawns on him that Vicki's emotional waters are rather shallow; as he puts it, ""I don't know anything about sex, and you don't know anything about love."" Lockie rides the waves like a pro but he's a klutz on dry land, so there's plenty of physical comedy here, augmented by nearly impenetrable slang (""There were big kids who were better, but among the grommets Lockie ripped""). The cast is full of intriguing characters, particularly Lockie's well-read, pacifistic father, a police officer. Lockie is part of a recent crop of teenage protagonists who are willing to take some time growing up; fortunately, the author doesn't burden his lighthearted story with messages.