The History of Surfing by Matt Warshaw

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496 pages.
Chronicle Books 2010. ISBN 978-0-8118-5600-3

Matt Warshaw's History of Surfing is as close to an Encyclopedia Britannica as surf literature gets. A heavily researched and entertaining chronology of wave riding which covers, in incredible depth and breadth, the centuries old history of wave sliding... starting in ancient Peru and ending in a wave pool somewhere in the American interior.

This is 496 pages literally overflowing with information all presented in Matt Warshaw's charming anecdotal style.

Like the majority of highly successful surf journalists, Matt Warshaw started his career on the pro circuit. He was one of the original Z-Boys before Jeff Ho's Zephyr Competition Team mutated from surfing to skateboarding and turned Jay Adams and Tony Alva into rockstars. Amongst others, Warshaw started writing for Surfer Magazine in the early 1980s and by 1990 was the editor. A staunch bastion for community and history in surfing, he left Surfer and Southern California shortly thereafter, citing the commercialisation of surfing and overcrowding at So Cal breaks as his reasons. His work on the Encyclopedia of Surfing website and The History of Surfing Book have earned him the hallowed status of surf history oracle. Outside of surfing publications he has also written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Esquire & Outside amongst others.

If you have some time to kill we definitely recommend a visit to Warshaw's online Encyclopedia of Surfing. Just don't get sucked too far into the rabbit hole, it goes pretty deep!

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