Women in the Water

In celebration of Women’s History month we’re recognizing women in the water. While surfing has historically been a male dominated sport, over the years, this has begun to change and you can spot steller women in the water. In honor of this progress and some of the women who made it possible, a new movie called, “Girls Can’t Surf” has just come out in Austria and New Zealand and will be available to watch in the US on March 25. In anticipation of the US release of this movie we’ve compiled details about the film and the chicks involved so you can celebrate women in the water asap!

This film is about women surfers in the 80’s that blazed the trail for women surfing competitions. It is a documentary style film, following Jodie Cooper, Frieda Zamba, Pauline Menczer, Lisa Andersen, Pam Burridge, Wendy Botha, Layne Beachley and others, giving a historical account of women in the surfing culture. It discusses the ways that women’s surfing competitions were not taken seriously and the steps these females made in order to change that. These women had to fight to be respected in the sport they were excelling at and their skill went widely unappreciated in the surfing culture. Because of this, women had to work to keep women’s surfing competitions alive after threats of canceling it all together. 

This film takes place in the 1980’s, so you get a taste of the 80’s surfing vibes. As mentioned in the movie, this time is the “Golden age of surfing.” During this time, when talking about surfing, the men were the ones always mentioned even though these women were shredding. The film documents the steps they took in order to gain recognition for themselves and the future of women’s surfing. And they have made huge strides. Just months ago, the surfing culture went wild when Maya Gabeira, a woman surfer, broke the world record for the largest wave ever surfed.  

Even so, the fight for recognizing women in surfing is a long one that has yet to come to end. Only last year did the World Surfing League announce that they would provide equal pay for women and men. While there are more women in the water than ever before and growing recognition for the way we shred, there is way more work to be done!