Pioneers of the 1930s, competitors of the 80s, big surfers today … three groups of surfers have had the honors of the press in recent weeks … But seeing with what determination they have mobilized to be able to go surfing or have their talent recognized, we tell ourselves that their success does not ultimately owe much to chance!
Pioneers of the 1930s
We thought that the first female surf club date back to the early 1960s … The history of surfing has just taken a new leap in time with the discovery of an album retracing the adventures of San Onofre Surfing Wahines… in 1938 !
25 before California Coast Girls Surf Club (and 20 before the start of surfing in France), this group of surfers met to share sessions on their large hollow boards, dance evenings, or days spent in the hut they had established on the beach of Saint Onofre.
The historian David Matuszak investigated 7 years before even hearing about this club, but now recounts its journeys in the second edition of his 1,500-page reference book: San Onofre: Memories of a Legendary Surfing Beach.
Photos : @sanonofrebook
Competitors of the 80’s
By this time, surfing had become extremely popular and general public. Sponsors’ money was pouring in for competitions, but in this macho world, the women only got a tiny fraction of it as they surfed the rottenest waves of the waiting period.
The documentary Girls Can’t Surf due out next year, tells how a group of surfer girls rose up against this patriarchal model. While increasing their level of performance in the water, they launched a fundamental movement against inequality, homophobia and chauvinism surf business leaders.
Pam Burridge, Lisa Andersen, Wendy Botha, Rochelle Ballard, Pauline Menczer, Frieda Zamba… Contrary to the provocative title of the film, these girls knew how to surf well, and it was thanks to them that the surfer girls got theequal pay many years later.
Photos : @girls_cant_surf_movie
Big surfers today
Yes the big wave riding Seemed to be the last Everest to be conquered by surfers, many of them are already reaching new heights in this area. For this Hawaiian season, in addition to the WSL competition organized at Jaws / Pe’ahi, a group of handpicked surfers will compete in the first big wave competition for women only.
From December 1 to February 28, as part of the Red Bull Magnitude, surfers like Paige Alms, Keala Kennell, Justine Duphave are invited to make a video summarizing their performances in waves of more than 5 meters on all spots of the Hawaiian archipelago.
A panel of judges made up of Rochelle Ballard, Betty DePolito, Kai Lenny et Mark Healey determine the distribution of $ 40,000 in prizes. A great reward for them, and a chance for us who will see the images to see that the descendants of the “Surfing Wahines” have never let go!
Photos : @redbull