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Encyclopedia of Surfing hits digital landscape

Digital sample of the Encyclopedia of Surfing


Surf Culture

Encyclopedia of Surfing ties in with Kickstarter to keep project moving forward

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 November, 2011 : - - The Encyclopedia of Surfing online is the greatest collection of surf matter on the planet. A gigantic aqua-blue-tinged mass of history, culture, and commentary. Imagine your local library packed floor to ceiling with surf-related books, magazines, newspapers, photos, movies, TV shows and documentaries. There's a friendly reference librarian to help find anything you’re looking for. Now put that whole thing onto your laptop. That's it!

Want some history on your local break? Check out Encyclopedia of Surfing online. Winners from yesterday’s big contest? Got it right here. Wondering if Gerry Lopez was really all that cool and suave at Pipeline back in the day? Check the footage. And yes he was.

Harcourt published the Encyclopedia of Surfing in 2003. Sixteen-hundred A-to-Z entries. Half-million words. It’s the biggest, best-reviewed, most-respected book ever written on the sport. Salon called it a “masterpiece.” Amazon named it the #2 sports book of the year. (Right behind Moneyball. Can't beat the baseball-industrial complex.) EOS is now the industry standard reference work on surfing. It’s been cited not just in every surf magazine and website, but in Outside, Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, and the New York Times.

All great. Except reference books are dead in the water.


The Encyclopedia of Surfing online is like the book, except reborn for the digital age. A zillion photos, video clips, and links. Fully searchable. Updated constantly. All the archive material, plus a rundown on what’s happening in surfing right now. The site is already designed, and it’s off-the-chart awesome. Clean as a whistle. Fast and functional. No exclamation points. No ads. All of the text from the book is now updated and loaded into the site. New entries are being written. Photos and video clips are right now being scanned, edited, logged, and tagged. (Prime stuff, too. Contributors include  Art Brewer, Taylor Steele, Bruce Brown, Ron Stoner, Jeff Divine, Alby Falzon, Flame, Chris Malloy, Ron Church, Doc Ball, Don James, Steve Sherman, Tom Servais, Warren Bolster, Dana Brown, Thomas Campbell, and the list goes on.)  


Right now, it’s just me hacking away at this unruly beast of a project, with help from talented surf media up-and-comer Justin Housman. Kickstarter money will keep us solvent for the next few months while we put all the pieces together. I also need to pay the site designer. That, and a hundred more little costs associated with getting a home business up and running. If we go over our Kickstarter target amount, fantastic, the money goes straight into some much-needed hardware upgrades, and hopefully toward bringing a third person onboard - probably a tech guy.

ONE LAST THING: The Encyclopedia of Surfing online is registered as a California Non-Profit Corporation. That’s how I’m getting all those gold star photogs and filmmakers to throw me stuff for free.

ONE LAST LAST THING: Predicted launch date: mid-2012.

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Matt Warshaw

Encyclopedia - Surfersvillage


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