Sharing Waves: An Oral History Collection of the Everyday Surfer


In partnership with the California State University Oral History Program, a series of interviews with surfers from Southern California have been included to document the experiences of these surfers and to understand how they influence the greater culture of Californians.  By curating the memorabilia of everyday surfers through the medium of a digital archive, the characterization of this imagined community begins to take shape. This work-in-progress has infinite potential due to the collaborative effort be used to educate millions interested in California cultural history with regards to surfing.

Our Gallery hosts a series of collections of various items to explore. Items in the archive chronicle the progression of surf culture over the years in relation to the everyday surfer.  All items are open to users who can comment on the items in order to facilitate the surf history narrative. Take a minute to listen and/or watch each item, then leave a comment.

The Bill Kent Interview was conducted with a retired everyday-surfer from Southern California, Bill Kent.  Bill Kent and another retired surfer Dennis M., discuss the emergence of California's surf culture through the presence of clothes, music, food, cars, and movies.

The Narrative juxtaposes clips from the interview and interpretive analysis of significant symbols of surf culture to foster a necessary dialogue on the ordinary surfers role in supplementing California culture and assisting in maintaining coastal areas. Click on each picture to learn more about each item.