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Talking the History of Women's Surfing amongst Cori Schumacher

Surfer too shaper Cher Pendarvis. Photo past times T. Threinen too courtesy of History of Women's Surfing. 

How practice you lot write history? Trying to document an entire history of women’s surfing is a crazy ambitious project amongst no roadmap, no incorrect agency to get too a maze of tangents, but 2 women are tackling it, 1 storey at a time.

Coming from unlike generations of women surfers — Cori Schumacher who competed inwards the 1990s too Sheri Crummer, who competed inwards the 1960s-1970s — they’ve seen inwards their lifetime how a few gatekeepers accept controlled the bulk of what nosotros know most women’s surf culture. For instance, that Cher Pendarvis, was shaping fish keel fins too glassing surfboards since the 1970s too that women formed their ain surfing association inwards 1975 because the pro surfing tour decided to you lot know, simply exclude women.

Their project, The History of Women’s Surfing, hopes to expand upon the go-to noesis banks — "History of Surfing" past times Matt Warshaw, "The Complete History of Surfing" past times Nat Young, "Girl inwards the Curl: Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 Century of Surfing," too countless academic too independent publications — amongst a fuller painting of the many unlike woman mortal faces inwards the line-ups around the world.

Being obsessed amongst vintage surf culture, nosotros were stoked to become downward the rabbit hole amongst Cori Schumacher, a footing entitle longboarder too environmental activist, to verbalise storey most some of the unsung heroes  of women's surfers, why it’s non that slowly to discovery data most women’s surfing during the 1970s – 1980s, too why correct at nowadays is an awesome fourth dimension to live on a women surfer.

If you lot dear looking at vintage photos too reading inspiring stories most women surfers, don't forget to cheque out the History of Women’s Surfing indiegogo campaign to contribute to the cause. Look out for the Seea packages to acquire some swell gear inwards gratitude for your donation!

Australia champion surfer, Pearl Turton. Photo past times Ron Turton courtesy of History of Women's Surfing. 

How did you lot too Sheri come upward to start the History of Women’s Surf project?

Sheri is somebody my mom competed amongst [in surf] contests piece I was a youngster running around the beach wreaking havoc. [Now beingness friends every bit adults], we’ve had these conversations [about women’s surf history] too thought, “Why don’t nosotros include people inwards the conversation that we’ve been having?”

Why is it of import that women surfers accept their ain platform to say their stories?

Our civilization has underappreciated women too their stories to highlight the heroic narrative of the warrior human being who goes out at that topographic point too conquers the ocean. That’s been the dominant narrative of surfing too competitive surfing has been the focus.

What we’ve seen is a real narrow vision of women’s surfing, every bit its been controlled past times the larger surf brands who accept co-opted the surf narrative pretty much since surfing started at the fourth dimension that "Gidget" emerged. We wishing to deepen, expand too highlight the fact that at that topographic point is such a deep rich civilization of women’s surfing. We wishing to practice that specifically through personal history. That’s the most powerful vocalism that human beings have.

All girls surfing guild inwards the 1960s. Photo past times Rhys Faunce, courtesy of History of Women's Surfing.


Why practice you lot holler upward a lot of these stories were getting lost?

For a real long time, the manufacture wasn’t making coin off of women. The media had absolutely no involvement inwards archiving too collecting the stories from women. The icon of women’s surfing was simply an accessory to a to a greater extent than heroic tale of the virile mortal surfer. As nosotros got into the 1990s, the manufacture too media got to live on able to construct coin off of women because Roxy came about. All suddenly you lot accept the start of this documentation of women’s surf history. So inwards the history of our imagination, women’s surfing starts inwards 1995 amongst Lisa Anderson.

There are some historians, similar Matt Warshaw, who accept highlighted women who were top of their game: Joyce Hoffman, Linda Benson, Margo Oberg, but its similar iii pages out of 1,000. Julie Cox has done the exhibit, Women too the Waves at the California Surf Museum inwards Oceanside, too we’re edifice off of those too trying to force deeper.

Surfer Kim Mearig inwards 1986. Photo past times Simone, courtesy of History of Women's Surfing.
Rell Sunn. Photo past times Simone Reddingius, courtesy of History of Women's Surfing. 

What is the state of surf civilization at nowadays that is craving these women’s surf stories?

I holler upward there’s a key shift inwards what nosotros appreciate inwards surf culture. We’re no longer taking what the manufacture gives us. The thing past times which surfing is judged is the virile mortal professional person surfer. I holler upward people are shifting to a unlike appear on a moving ridge too shifting how nosotros value surfing. That shift is absolutely essential to valuing women’s surfing.

Women surf differently than men. It’s to a greater extent than an immersion too harmony amongst the wave. Men practice it to, on longboards to a greater extent than frequently than non — the menstruation with, rather than the domination of. When you lot accept women who are trying to surf similar men, because that’s the valued seat too that’s what they’re judged on, you lot lose the inventiveness that comes amongst beingness exterior of that box.

The rising of Seea, for instance, the rising of smaller brands that are to a greater extent than connected to the kernel too the community, the whole argue these brands are able to flourish is this wishing to reconnect amongst that kernel sense of what surfing is.


 Cher Pendarvis, 1969, amongst her arc tail twin fin, made past times Cher too her friend Tom.
Photo: T. Threinen

Thank you lot Cori! We agree, at that topographic point is definitely a cultural shift of surfers expanding their vision exterior of competitive surfing, too fifty-fifty the types of boards they are riding. One storey that you’ve been involved inwards sharing is Cher Pendarvis, 1 of the commencement woman mortal surfboard shapers. Tell us to a greater extent than most Cher!

Cher Pendarvis is somebody who I’ve grown upward with. I’ve known her for a long fourth dimension too I had no persuasion that she was the real commencement woman mortal staff fellow member at Surfing Magazine. No persuasion most the fact that she was job of the crafting of boards. We await at making boards every bit something that is real virile mortal oriented. She made the fins too glassed the boards that Jimmy Blears rode, which catapulted the fish shape into the surfing mainstream consciousness. She’s been quietly working too doing her thing for a real long time.

The Autry Museum inwards Los Angeles held a California Designing Women Show from August 2012 through Jan of 2013. It showcased woman mortal designers from 1896 to 1986. Cher was 1 of the recipients of the prestigious Henry Award, which recognizes excellence inwards pattern awarded past times the pattern community. She won for a 1976 surfboard she designed. This was the entirely surfboard featured inwards the exhibit. Cher said she was honored to win the award, but she also said, "it meant a lot to accept surfing represented inwards the exhibit amongst all the other wonderful awards." Cher constantly defers to the importance of surfing rather than spending whatever fourth dimension ruminating on her ain astounding contributions.



Jericho Poppler Champion Woman Surfer from The Inspire Initiative on Vimeo.

You’ve mentioned Jerico Poppler every bit a adult woman who’s also progressed the sport of women’s surfing. What's her story? 

Jerico Poppler, 1 time again somebody I grew upward amongst too surfed amongst on the beach, super eccentric, outgoing woman. She was a founding fellow member of WISA (Women’s International Surfing Association) too they established that women’s surfing was a desirable, marketable activity. They got the IPS (the precursor to the ASP) to truly add together women’s surfing because of the operate that they did.

Jerico was a founding fellow member of the Surfrider Foundation, founding fellow member of the Golden Girls, the women's respond to the Australian "Bronzed Aussies" which sought to legitimize surfing every bit a sport. She pushed pretty difficult to acquire into the Surfing Walk of Fame. One of the things she kept coming upward against was there’s no documentation that you lot did what you lot said what you lot did. No 1 printed the names of women or the things that they did inwards surf media, too hence there’s “no documentation” of the reasons why this mortal deserves to live on inwards the Surfing Walk of Fame, which I discovery utterly ridiculous too profoundly wrong. It’s some other job of why we’re doing this project.

What are some examples of how women were misrepresented past times surf media, too how you lot wishing to alter that story? 

Pearl Turton, the commencement nationally recognized champion inwards Commonwealth of Australia (1963) was featured inwards the "Endless Summer." The agency they presented her was absolutely ridiculous too embarrassed the heck out of her. Just later showing the heroics of men surfing Waimea, the boys create upward one's hear to surf a Sydney suspension when Pearl walks past times inwards a bikini bottom that shows the top of her crack. The entire department is a ridiculous portrayal of "boys volition live on boys" too "girls are at that topographic point to ogle" goofiness that diminishes too trivializes Pearl.

This is par for the class for truly quite a few women we’ve come upward into contact with. They acquire ridiculed inwards media too they drib underground.

[On the other hand,] Mary Lou McGinnis Drummy, the commencement president of WISA was a moving painting inwards 1969 called "Follow Me." It was based a lot on the "Endless Summer" too she was position inwards at that topographic point during a fourth dimension when women weren’t shown at all inwards grassroots surf films except every bit props. There were entirely iii characters too she was 1 of the commencement women to accept a Pb inwards a grassroots surf film, non "Beach Blanket Bingo" stuff.

Mary Lou McGinnis Drummy inwards 1962. Photo courtesy of History of Women's Surfing.

What most the History of Women’s Surfing earlier the smash of the 1950s-1960s?

We also wishing to highlight the emerging scholarship on global surf history. I've been getting farther fascinated past times the stories of pre-Western contact surfing. There was a tradition inwards Nippon of riding waves on bellyboards (like paipos) that existed for at to the lowest degree 100 years prior to WWII blokes bringing over their boards. The oldest recorded proof beingness from 1821!

Right now, at that topographic point is a South African grouping of women who are pulling together their history for us, too nosotros are also looking to highlight pre-colonial times when, for instance, Peruvians would surf lilliputian reed boats [called caballitos de totora, "ponies of reed"]. Scholarship has shown that Peruvian surf history is truly older than Hawaii. Even though nosotros await to Hawaii every bit the nativity of surf culture, it’s non the entirely house that had this type of riding.

An indigenous surf historian inwards Commonwealth of Australia too a surf historian hither inwards the USA is going to live on collecting historical data every bit well. We’re truly trying to dig deep every bit far every bit a whole collage too perspective.

Photo of Japanese moving ridge riding on wooden bellyboards. Photo via Knobbywoodsurfboards.com 

You’re collecting donations on indiegogo to effort too acquire all these stories too to a greater extent than out into the world. What tin people live on a job of past times donating to the History of Women’s Surfing site?

The funds we’re bespeak for at nowadays is going towards website maintenance for adjacent v years, too the journal archiving. We’re truly thankful for Sunshine Makarow who is the publisher for "Surfing Life for Girls" too Marylin Edwards, publisher of "Wahine" who donated amount collections of their respective magazines that we’re going to position online.

We demand cameras, microphones, too to move to live on able to celluloid too collect the stories. We also wishing to practice long-term membership. We volition accept some world data online too some stories that are behind [a paywall]. Like a museum, it’s non costless all the time. We wishing the archives to accept value. To acquire photographs too content, you lot accept to pay for the job of those.

For me, I’m minute generation surfer. My mom surfed. I grew upward amongst surfers, I know Rabbit Kekai, who is forthwith connection to Duke Kahanamoku. Those guys, too women, are starting to overstep away. I’m starting to appreciate it doesn’t affair how much coin you lot make, it doesn’t affair how much you lot accomplish. The greatest gift nosotros tin give to the adjacent generation is our wisdom, what we’ve learned too our stories are the most of import thing nosotros have, how nosotros say them too who nosotros say them too.

Thanks too hence much Cori! We are excited to go along sharing women's surf stories throughout history amongst you. 

Friends of Seea, don't forget to cheque out the campaign to donate! In add-on to especial Seea perks, fine art past times Andy Davis, handplanes past times Jon Wegener too historical photograph prints are also upward for grabs.