A former teacher, he now works in the rural family business in Hawke's Bay. An avid surfer since he was 14, Topp also compiled Creating Waves: How Surfing Inspires Our Most Creative New Zealanders, a collection which explores the role of surfing and sea in the lives of leading musicians, painters, sculptors, poets and writers.
On Lowly's Book Blog, Single Fin is commended: 'Just like Wendy Orr's Peeling the Onion written as she recovered from an injury was powerful, this book has the same powerful heartfelt resonance of truth. There is enough surfing lingo and information to please any young male reader. . . . . The situations ring true.'
Reviewing Creating Waves in Boat Books, the book is described as 'full of fascinating insights into New Zealand's surfing world' and makes you 'want to pick up the surfboard and head for the beach'.