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Women’s surf history archive project director Sheri Crummer announces campaign kick-off
By Andrea Swayne
The history of surfing has tales to tell about the amazing women who have been a part of it all since the beginning. The problem is, their stories are scattered throughout pages and pages of surf history written about men and far from complete.
Sheri Crummer of San Clemente and Cori Schumacher of Carlsbad, have announced the kick-off of a funding campaign for the History of Women’s Surfing, a new project aimed at creating a complete online archive of women’s surf history from around the world by collecting the stories of female surfers and filling in the blanks with stories yet to be told.
Crummer, a three-time U.S. amateur longboard champion, and Schumacher, a three-time world longboard champion and women’s surfing advocate, have co-founded The History of Women’s Surfing online project as the first major undertaking of the nonprofit Inspire Initiative. The initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization focused on empowering and enriching women of all ages through surfing with a focus on education, media literacy and building a core community of leaders who will impact the world.
“It became really apparent to me when I lost my dear mentor Donald Takayama (a surfing and shaping icon with one of the most celebrated careers in surfing) in 2012 that a project like this, where we’re still able to physically talk to the surfers we surf with and communicate their stories while they’re still living, is important, “ Schumacher said. “For me that was the main impetus. I grew up surfing with the legends and the legends are all starting to die. I want to capture their stories before they pass.”
Secondarily, she said, a lot of the stories of women’s surfing are dotted in different places, in between thousands of pages of men’s stories—in books, on shelves—few and far between and often difficult to find.
“I thought it would be amazing to have a completely accessible, exhaustive archive of women’s stories available to the new generation of surfers for the 21st Century, all up online,” she said. “And adding to that, all the stories I’ve heard but haven’t seen written or otherwise communicated yet.”
The fundraising campaign will run through Dec. 15 on Indiegogo.com.
“Our stories are important and should be told as they really happened, not as portrayed by mainstream surf media and Hollywood over the years,” said Crummer. “There are so many women who have contributed so much to women’s surfing and we want to bring them to light and honor them for their contributions.”
To contribute to the project, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/history-of-women-s-surfing-online. For more information about the nonprofit, the project and links to the fundraiser, see www.theinspireinitiative.org and www.historyofwomensurfing.com.
Those who have stories, photographs, movie clips or other information to contribute should send an email to email@example.com or mail the Inspire Initiative at PO Box 2147, Carlsbad, CA 92018.