Online database presents history of surfing


Surfing enthusiasts now have an easy-to-access resource that encompasses the history and lore of the sport with the introduction of an online database dedicated to their subculture.

The Encyclopedia of Surfing custom online database builds on a book of the same name published by Matt Warshaw in 2003. The project went online Sept. 30. Users can perform keyword searches, view video or look at the thousands of images included with articles about the people, places and moments in surfing history, according to The Atlantic. Encyclopedia entries have been updated and can be edited as events unfold.

The original encyclopedia included some images, but they were in black and white. For the online database, Warshaw approached surf photographer Art Brewer, who allowed his images to be posted online without charge.

“The difference between the book and the website is sort of like when Dorothy first gets to Oz,” Warshaw told the source. “Her black and white world is all of the sudden in bright technicolor.”

Warshaw set the encyclopedia up as a nonprofit organization and does not charge access fees or accept advertising, according to Surfer Today. The project is funded through membership and donations.

Users can search the online database alphabetically by using a navigation bar or type in their own keywords. Images on the landing page lead to articles about famous surfers, techniques and even esoteric subjects such as religion and surfing. The site also links to Warshaw’s blog, where he and other contributors post about news within the sport.