Two surfers walk into a bar: Surfing 101


Since International Surfing Day was yesterday (duh), and the next episode of Curl Girls comes out on Monday, I thought now would be a good time to give you a mini-tutorial about the world of women’s surfing.

Think of me as your own personal Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) from Weird Science. I have much to teach you. So put your bras on your heads, and let’s get started. By the way, this information will be useful whether you want to be a surfer girl or just want sit on the beach and hold a surfer girl’s towel. It’s up to you.

First, let’s review some of the top women surfers in the world, starting with top-ranked Australian Stephanie Gilmore:

Next, Sofia Mulanovich. From Peru, she has become a superstar in her country.

Here’s Brazillian Jacqueline Silva:

And this is Aussie Claire Bevilacqua:

At the Surfer Magazine website, you can add these and other surfers to your Fantasy Surfer team and score points based on how each one performs in the Women’s World Championship Tour events.

Next, I want to give you some surfing videos to watch while the Curl Girls are doing other stuff. Sarah gave you a list of sports movies, and if you like those, you should give action videos a chance. The women’s videos are pretty new, so some of them aren’t great. This, like many parts of women’s sports, is still an emerging market. I recommend throwing one on when you host your next party this summer. Surf movies are great to have playing in the background.

I like Blue Crush, because I know there are some professional surfers acting as stunt doubles in that movie (including a dude in a bikini who plays some of the women — sorry!). I can only watch that movie, though, if I turn down the sound and make up my own dialogue. In my movie, Sanoe Lake and Michelle Rodriguez hook up in a Blair-Jo fantasy fulfilled kind of thing.

Quick surf lesson: Any wave over your head even a little is pretty big. A wave that is twice your size — a “double overhead” — is HUGE. Sketchy, big, scary huge. Want to know what it feels like to get slammed by one of these waves? Stand in the bathtub and have a friend drop a couch on your head. Then shove a water hose — going at full blast — up your nose, and also empty a saltshaker into it.

The ESPN X-Games are also coming up. The women’s surfing can be streamed live starting July 3 at 8:00 a.m. ET.

The best thing, of course, about the growth of women’s surfing? Now lesbians have something to wear in the summer when the flannel gets too hot. If you went to the Dinah Shore weekend, you noticed that 87.5% of all lesbians wear long board shorts over bikinis. We owe Roxy, Billabong and other surf companies for this major addition to the lesbian wardrobe. The oversized surf shorts to the knees can now be added to the white ribbed tank as a major staple.

The biggest lesson I want you to learn? I’ve surfed in Florida, Hawaii and Southern California, and I have never, ever heard any surfer worry about the shake or whatever someone else has going on like the women did in episode 1 of Curl Girls. Most surfers are way too focused on other stuff — like surfing. Or buying surfing gear. Or watching surfing videos. Or scraping money together for travel.

The June 18 edition of ESPN Magazine has some quotes from professional surfer Holly Beck. This one sums up how most surfers I know see relationships:

“One of my favorite things at home is the garden … If my boyfriend doesn’t water [the plants] when I’m on the road, I yell at him.”

In other words, she is out surfing at competitions, while her boyfriend is at home watching the house. Her boyfriend also built her a shaping room (the place where you build boards) in her garage. Holly paints her own surfboards.

I have to give the Curl Girl surfers a little hell. I met a few of them out in L.A. one night, and was introduced to them as a group of “surfer girls.” I didn’t know who they were at the time. I asked them about places to surf, and they were no help at all. Curl Girls: learn some local surf spots!

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