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Longboarders, shortboarders, goofyfooters, hotdoggers, soul surfers, surfer moms, middle-aged novices-women of all ages and skill levels are finding themselves out in the waves. They confront the depths of the sea to experience danger and exhilaration. To get an adrenaline high. To find that elemental connection to nature that has been lost in the jangle and clamor of modern life. To find God. The coolness, the wildness, the unmistakable aura of sexuality-these are part of ...
Longboarders, shortboarders, goofyfooters, hotdoggers, soul surfers, surfer moms, middle-aged novices-women of all ages and skill levels are finding themselves out in the waves. They confront the depths of the sea to experience danger and exhilaration. To get an adrenaline high. To find that elemental connection to nature that has been lost in the jangle and clamor of modern life. To find God. The coolness, the wildness, the unmistakable aura of sexuality-these are part of surfing's ineffable appeal.
Women surfers of today have proven time and time again that they can hold their own in the surf lineup, challenging the same waves as the men. From Linda Benson and Joyce Hoffman in the '50s and '60s to Layne Beachley, Lisa Andersen, Sofia Mulanovich and others catching waves today, Surfing Women of the Waves shows that women have always had an inexorable connection with the sea. Female surfers have overcome challenges of all degrees by finding solace on their boards, each surfer leaving her own mark for generations to come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Until recently, the sum total of Linda's surfing experience consisted of memorizing the lyrics to the Beach Boys' songs. Then during one of her frequent visits to Hawai'i, she tested her mettle in the surf off Oahu's North Shore. This experience (and newly found passion) led to an opportunity to write this book. Based in the Los Angeles area, Linda has written for numerous publications, including The People's Almanac, Book of Lists and leading hotel magazines. She has covered everything from food and wine to the arts to sports and has interviewed leading figures in these fields. Meanwhile, she practices her pop-ups and checks out the waves at Malibu whenever she can.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Elizabeth Pepin has been surfing since the mid-1980s and photographing women surfers since 1997, as one of only a few women surf photographers in the world. Her surf imagery has appeared in books, magazines and museums. She is also a coauthor of Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Jass Era and makes films both independently and for PBS. Elizabeth currently works as a producer at KQED-TV in San Francisco and has won four Emmy Awards for her documentary film work.
Jacket design: Ryan Christopher
Jacket photos © 2007 Elizabeth Pepin
IN THE CHILLY PRE-DAWN, WOMEN THE WORLD OVER STRUGGLE AWAKE AND MAKE WHISPERED CALLS, AN URGENT SINGLE-MINDED QUESTION: IS IT GOOD TODAY? AND THE WHISPERED ANSWER COMES, JOYOUSLY, EAGERLY: TODAY IT IS GOOD.
10 Prologue: Why do women surf?
14 Chapter 1: Girl on the Shore
30 Chapter 2: The Sport of Queens
38 Chapter 3: Makaha
46 Inspiration: Rell Sunn
48 Chapter 4: "The Surf Sounds Loudly"
56 Chapter 5: "I'm Ready for My Gnarly Wave, Mr. Demille"
68 Chapter 6: Surfing in Style
78 Inspiration: on being Bethany Hamilton
82 Chapter 7: She Who Surfs Better Than Thou
90 Chapter 8: Where the sun rises out of the water
96 Chapter 9: Huntington Beach
104 Chapter 10: A Season In the Surf
116 Hawaiians Unleashed
120 Chapter 11: The Long (and Short) of It
130 Inspiration: Angela Masden
132 Chapter 12: The Surf Breaks of the Apocalypse
144 Chapter 13: Surf Breaks of the Apocalypse: the Sequel
150 Chapter 14: Black/White, Man/Woman: Racism and Sexism in Women's Surfing
166 Chapter 15: Girls Only
168 Inspiration: Zeuf
170 Epilogue: on the shore no more