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A Massive but Cheerful Online Digital Archive of Surfing Read more

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This project was successfully funded on December 7, 2011.

A Massive but Cheerful Online Digital Archive of Surfing

Matt Warshaw
Project by

Matt Warshaw

First created  |  15 backed

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About this project

WHAT IT IS: 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.

BACKSTORY: 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.

GOING DIGITAL: 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.)

WHERE DOES YOUR KICKSTARTER DOLLAR GO? 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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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    26 backers

    Along with our sincere thanks, your name gets listed on the EOS donor page.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    73 backers

    You’re on the donor page, and you get a semicollectible artifact from Matt Warshaw’s long and fairly robust career in surf publishing. Could be nearly anything. Promo piece from the 2003 EOS launch party. A page of original hard copy. We’ll pick out something nice, Matt will sign it to you personally and mail it out.

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    Pledge $50 or more

    35 backers

    Both of the above, and a T-shirt with “I Contributed to the Encyclopedia of Surfing and all I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt!” printed on the back. Limited edition!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    72 backers

    All of the above, plus a signed print copy of the Encyclopedia of Surfing.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    13 backers

    Your name on the site, artifact, T-shirt, and a three-pack of signed Matt Warshaw books: The Encyclopedia of Surfing, The History of Surfing, and whatever else we’ve got in stock.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers

    Everything above, plus an 11” x 14” print of your choice from legendary surf photog Jeff Divine. Guy's been producing incredible shots for decades. Pick out your favorite Divine shot, we’ll take it from there.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    6 backers

    The rest of the goodies, plus Legacy Founder status on the EOS website. Doesn’t matter if Bill Gates drops a million bucks on us somewhere down the line. He’s not a founder. Only you visionaries who kick down one large here at the start get this honor. Your name, photo, and short bio will be digitally emblazoned onto our Legacy Founders website page. Forever.

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Funding period

- (30 days)