The past hundred years has seen the surfer as the craftsman, the waterman, the burnout, the artist, the activist, and the philosopher – all of which were aiding in the development of a wonderfully nuanced history of wave riders. Birthed by plank-carving Polynesians and popularized by harmonizing beach boys, surfing is undeniably a cultural entity of depth and complexity. The Encyclopedia of Surfing, the most recent project of surf writer Matt Warshaw, is a platform from which to view surfing’s mosaic history and culture – surfer by surfer, surf term by surf term. The site is a compilation of vignettes giving descriptive accounts of individual topics logging surfing history and culture. The concept is exactly the same as an encyclopedia: if you are interested in Reno Abellira, simply search. Warshaw’s project is inventive and vital, providing a space where surfing culture and history can be recorded and remembered.
Surfing, alone among sports, generates laughter at its very suggestion, and this is because it turns not a skill into an art, but an inexplicable and useless urge into a vital way of life.
– Matt Warshaw, Maverick’s: The Story of Big-Wave Surfing
The much-anticipated biography of flamboyant surfing legend Dewey Weber (1938-1993) is the inspiration for the current exhibition at the Surfing Heritage Foundation.
The exhibition, Little Man On Wheels, is curated by Barry Haun and consists of key surfboards (such as the Dewey Weber Performer, the single most produced longboard model in the history of surfing), photographs, illustrations, and other objects that punctuate the development of Dewey Weber as an iconic surfer, millionaire businessman, and tireless industry promoter.
The Dewey Weber Exhibit began in September, and will be on display untill Dec. 22, 2012.
This video montage was produce by Matt Warshaw. Matt is the creator of the Encyclopedia of Surfing, which will soon be available online.