Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $35.89

After 2 months, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard - legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc. - shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport's equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life - a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

With a preface to the second edition, introduction, and epilogue read by the author.

©2016 Yvon Chouinard (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Let My People Go Surfing

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    146
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    109
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    114
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Cam
  • 12-09-2018

7 Hour Marketing Pitch

I’ve been a big fan of Patagonia for a long time and was excited to start on this book.

Having just finished “Shoe Dog”, Phill Knight’s story of founding Nike and Elon Musk’s book I was really starting to get pumped up for what I thought was going to be a really good time...

Unfortunately 30mins in it became very clear what I was going to be in for...a 7 hour marketing spiel on how “amazing” everything Patagonia does...it also started to feel like a lecture of sorts with their “environmental” addenda been pushed hard at every opportunity.

Also unfortunately the translation from the written word to the audio book was executed poorly, with a lot of long passages of quotes being read in a confusing manner.

I ended up getting quite frustrated and any type of halo feeling I had to one of my favourite brand has now gone.

Reluctantly I would recommend giving this one a pass, and if you haven’t already give “Shoe Dog” a listen.
It’s a lot more genuine, interesting and personable. I didn’t want it to end.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good overall message.

While it certainly doesn’t hold up to the likes of Shoe Dog or Losing My Virginity, this book has left a lasting impression on how to do better in all aspects of life.

I admit that mid-way through I was underwhelmed, but I stuck with it and enjoyed the journey in the end.

It’s really a book about ethics, environment and empathy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Reluctant Entrepreneur story

not your usual management book though instinctive, environmental journey that is exactly what everyone should be doing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

business meets environment at its best, I totally recommend this as an easy to understand book with solid principles

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

live more simply

Let's all live more simply. A motivating and eye opening read. A nice touch hearing the authors ow voice

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the story of Patagonia

This book made me realise the impact of what we buy has on our planet. I'll definitely choose things more carefully in future.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational

If we all had 10% of Yvon’s drive and commitment to the planet, the world would be a better place.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book ever

This is amazing, insightful, true and is filled with inspiring values we all need to be living by

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Wokey virtual signalling

This book is an intellectual wank.
Basically a capitalist with a fat footprint cleansing his guilt by environmental projecting
And trying to be so woke & self congratulatory it’s nauseating to have to read / if Bernie sanders had a clothing line , this would be the t book he would write /

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, good message - a bit preachy

Interesting read and a good story as well as some good business learnings. To me it felt a bit preachy towards the end.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Colin
  • Colin
  • 03-10-2016

From the Heart

I have a lot of respect for Yvonne Chouinard. He lived an amazing life and was mindful the entire way. after listening I yearn to climb mountains, to work in such an amazing company as Patagonia, to start an organic farm, and to practice Civil Disobedience. To think about life and put your thoughts to action.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jim Perkins
  • Jim Perkins
  • 25-05-2017

Good presentation, though a little preachy

I respect Patagonia and the fact that the company stands behind its values. I was hoping for more on the overall management of the company, not so much on this is what is wrong with the planet and let me give you a ton of statistics to back it up.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Colby
  • Colby
  • 04-11-2016

A great look at how business can be used for good

A great read that I would recommend to any and every business owner, or entrepreneur, that gives a damn about the world they operate in. It is both a good adventure in how Patagonia came to be and a insightful journey about the founder Yvon and his deep rooted values that shape the company. This book will force you to critically examine your business and the impacts that it has on the world as a whole. There are also some very insightful ideas that can be applied to any business that desires to operate in a more "sustainable" manner. Yvon is an inspiring figure whom makes no excuses when critically examining his own company and holding it accountable for any impact that it has, both positive and negative. Patagonia is a role model that all businesses should look to aspire to. Yvon and this book have definitely inspired me personally and I think it will for you as well if you give it a chance.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Em
  • Em
  • 02-11-2016

Must Read

A personal, yet totally relatable (and usable) manifesto on business, adventure, environment, and just being human. This book will help you see more clearly the right path forward in whatever it is you're doing.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark Lindberg
  • Mark Lindberg
  • 20-10-2016

Half and half not

The first half of this book was insightful, however the second half was too specific to clothing manufacturing or restatements of previous points.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shukin
  • Shukin
  • 16-07-2017

Rethink, Reuse, Reniew

In the first five minutes of listening to this book I knew it was going to change the way I think. Actually it took me back to thinking the way I did in the 1980s. Somehow through consumerism I developed a hopelessness for the environment, but this book has restored hope and belief that I can make a difference.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Katie Ryder
  • Katie Ryder
  • 13-04-2018

Stands out from other memoirs

Where does Let My People Go Surfing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the better audiobooks I've listened to. There was a nice mix of storytelling and advice and wisdom. Not too dry.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Yvon Chouinard (the author and one of the only real characters in the book)

Have you listened to any of Christopher Grove and Yvon Chouinard ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book inspired me to try and be a more environmentally conscious person over all. It made me want to cut down on my consumption and rethink and reevaluate the way I look at clothing and the outdoors.

Any additional comments?

Great read, not just for people who want to learn about business or Yvon Chouinard.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tyler C.
  • Tyler C.
  • 29-03-2018

one of the most eye opening books I've ever read

I work in an entrepreneurship college, where every day I see co-workers, students, and business owners succomb to the pitfalls chouinard references. If I took one thing away from this book, it's that simplicity really will likely be our greatest innovation. "Turn around and take a step forward"

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 20-07-2017

amazingly inspiring

Thanks for shinning the way for us in order to work TOGETHER for a better world!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brandon
  • Brandon
  • 18-11-2020

I hate it. You should still read it. But I hate it.

When I say I hate it, I don’t necessarily mean there isn’t anything good about it. I just, overall, hate it. I’ll break down the good and bad from my perspective.
Good:
You don’t have to conform to society’s standards in whatever it is you do. You don’t have to run your business or live your life the way Forbes or Instagram tell you to. It was cool to hear Yvon’s different means of doing things his own way in different aspects of business and life.

This book is very devout. I can find respect for anyone who chases after something with everything they’ve got until it becomes an obsession rather than a pastime or hobby.

The Bad:
I’ll start with just my critiques on the book purely from a content standpoint. The book’s format is basically to present Patagonia’s major company philosophies, why they’re that way, and why that way is superior. This is just a personal preference, but I enjoy narratives, and this book tends to avoid storytelling and opt for rants that run down various rabbit holes. There is certainly a thread of storytelling that runs throughout the book, but it’s a thin red strand that branches down gaping rabbit holes more often than not. Also that man said he ate cat food mixed with oatmeal. He just said that like it was normal. It is not.

Now to my gripes about the content itself. Goodness this book is self-righteous and preachy! If you’ve ever had an Amazon Prime account, opened a Robinhood account, thought nice things about dams or hydroelectric power, or bought food from anywhere other than the organic section, prepare to be personally blamed for global warming. Random companies and Christians catch stray bullets as well. How does a Christian not believing in evolution to the same extent that Yvon does result in global warming? I’m still not sure, but he did find two opportunities to complain about it.

The mail order catalog. HOW. MANY. TIMES. can this man mention his mail order catalog and how absolutely sweet it is in one book? If you walked away from this book with the impression that Patagonia is in the business of producing catalogs, I don’t think anyone could blame you. He talks about them almost equally as much as his first business.

It’s pretty easy to see that Yvon isn’t very fond of considering things from multiple perspectives. After reading Shoe Dog, I walked away thinking that perhaps I don’t understand everything about factory work in China and that perhaps I should study it further to better my understanding of the dynamics surrounding it. Or at the very least, I should be more critical in studying how factory conditions and wages have improved/declined since a large company began having goods produced there. After reading this book, I had to question if Yvon had ever once considered that he may be wrong about something that he was once passionately opposed to. I’m not saying he hasn’t, but I am saying he doesn’t do that in this book.

One last point, it’s pretty annoying how many times he basically says, “yeah I mean Patagonia also probably maybe sorta does more harm than good for the environment, but :( we :( feel :( sad :( about :( it :( and absolutely no other company on Earth feels sad about their damaging effects to the environment. Probably because they’re publicly traded companies. Also I don’t know the differences between class A and class B stock that would allow me to take my company public without actually letting shareholders tell me how to run my company, but I won’t let that stop me from bashing every single public company that exists. Other than Northface, of whom I will say neutral things.”

I am thankful Audible allows us to return books and exchange them for credits. I would feel very wasteful to have this sitting in my library collecting digital dust.

Also I do still recommend reading it (once). Clearly I think it sucks, but it’ll at least challenge your viewpoints on a few things and make you reflect on what you do, why you do it, and how you could do it in a way that makes other people and the planet’s lives better. Still sucks tho.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for dc-l
  • dc-l
  • 22-04-2017

Highly recommended

In a world where many people are naive enough to think that life's goal is the accumulation of wealth at the expense of all else, Yvonne provides a working example of how we will be measured, not by our bank balance but by the lack of impact our actions have on the planet.
A brilliant book form end to end.
Highly recommended.
Read it, then live it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bradley P
  • Bradley P
  • 25-01-2018

Patagonia leading to do environmental business

Next time you buy anything, ask yourself "who made it," "where was it made" and does this company care about the environment and the labour staff. This is a great book which provides insight into the how a company made mistakes and what actions it took as soon as it realised that their product was toxic.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Yemi
  • Yemi
  • 03-10-2017

Do you plan to let your people go surfing?

An insipration on knowing what your purpose is when setting up a business and knowing the role the business plays both in society and in relationship to the planet

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-09-2017

Buy the book

Great book. loved the environment section. I would prefer to read the paper book though.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-12-2020

An essay on climate change

I struggled to finish this book. I bought it believing it to be about the history of the brand patagonia, but in the main it focuses on the issue of climate change and environmental problems. It became tedious. I wouldn't have chosen a book on that subject and perhaps I didn't research it enough before purchasing, but i cant recommend it as a business related autobiography.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laira P.
  • Laira P.
  • 28-07-2017

inspirational

beautifully written book, inspirational and profound. packed with so much information and insight I'll be reading this over and over again.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Big Rico Suave
  • Big Rico Suave
  • 05-01-2017

The future of business

Thought provoking and insightful in equal measure, this is a rallying cry to business to challenge the convention of hierarchical, command and control consumer driven enterprise and pursue the creation of a new type of commercial organisation motivated by its purpose and it conscience rather than just money.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. D. W. Kettle
  • Mr. D. W. Kettle
  • 01-04-2021

An interesting read

As a climber and Business Studies teacher I should have known about Yvon C and Patagonia, but I didn't! Interesting read on the steps they have taken to try to be a more sustainable business.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr Mark T Stevens
  • Mr Mark T Stevens
  • 16-01-2021

Life changing

This book is inspiring and educational. How to do business, how to do better business.
Most importantly raises the question what impact do you have on the environment and to look at what you can change to reduce your footprint.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joslo
  • Joslo
  • 13-01-2021

An inspirational story of doing business right

I knew little about the Patagonia brand before purchasing this audiobook. I owned a few garments but nothing more. I'm not a committed unofficial brand ambassador for them. The book tells the story of how the company was started as a way to make climbing equipment that the founder could not afford and continues along a logical path that gives an insight into the workings of this global company and their attitude to staff, their customers and the products they make.

I dare anyone with a conscience to finish this book and not start googling for ethical clothing.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.