“Women now make up between 20 to 30 percent of surfers, and that number continues to grow,” writes professional surfer/writer Lauren Hill, in the foreword to her new book, “She Surf”. “As girls are given the opportunity and support to engage with the sport, and accessibility to boards and beaches increases, we will make up for lost decades in getting back to surfing’s legacy of inclusivity. As we work to catch up — not to men’s surfing — but to what our own minds, hearts, and bodies are capable of and long for in the water, we are witnessing the depth and diversity of a truly global women’s surf culture.”
“She Surf” is a celebratory look at women’s surf culture and history. It’s 250 pages of inspiring photography and storytelling, featuring chapters on a wide variety of subjects, including historical vignettes and profiles on the likes of 7x World Champ Steph Gilmore, “National Geographic” Adventurer of the Year Emi Koch, environmental activist Belinda Baggs, Brazilian logger Chloe Calmon, expert photographer Sarah Lee, all-around inspiration Bethany Hamilton, the founding mothers of pro surfing, female board builders and many, many more.
“This isn’t a book just for women and girls,” Hill tells us. “It’s also for men who have an interest in the lives, perspectives and experiences of women. Which is all men, I hope?”
Read below for an interview with Hill, and then click here to purchase her book.
For starters, how did this book go from concept to reality? Talk a little about that process.
When European publisher Gestalten approached me about writing a book about women’s surfing in July of last year, I was excited, but skeptical. Women’s surf media has tended to focus more on passive “lifestyle” and aesthetics than actual, technical skill. I didn’t want to make that book.