THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SURFING

posted by / Video / August 29, 2003

From Mav’s to moves to Buttons’ afro, when it comes to surfing, bigger is always better. Well, brace yourself for the leviathan of surf literature, an 816-page, {{{600}}},000-word reference book called The Encyclopedia of Surfing. Set to release in October, master journalist Matt Warshaw spent the past three years completing his mega-piece, enlisting the help of two other researchers and the world’s most thorough database of surfing media. ”For me, it was like a giant garage-cleaning project,” says Warshaw, author of such prior successes as Maverick’s and Surfriders. ”Just endless days, weeks, months and then years of research, followed by lots of compact writing.” It may have been tedious to build, but the result is an eight-pound product you can’t put down. Filled with heroes, waves, and contests (including every event’s champions), plus famous movements, moments and terms (did you know ”stoke” comes from a Norse word?), the Encyclopedia’s 1500 entries stand as an eye-opening cross-section of our sport. In fact, a single page can span100 years and infinite influence with subjects running from Kimo Hollinger to ”hollow” to ”hollow surfboard.” According to Warshaw, ”The language and lifestyle was really important to me from the very beginning because I wanted to bring in more than just names — I wanted to bring in all of surfing’s flavor.” Warshaw sure gives his audience a lot to chew, crafting a complete resource tool where any surf-thirsty researcher can get his fill. But the EOS’ biggest surprise is how enlightening it is as a casual read, using wild variety and perfect pacing to offer greater revelations into surfing’s vast reach. – Matt Walker

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