Guide recognizes girls are next big wave
If you've spent any time surfing in Hawaii the last couple of years, you've noticed a dramatic increase in the number of women vying for tube time.
"Surfer Girl: A Guide to the Surfing Life"
by Sanoe Lake with Steven Jarrett
(2005, Little, Brown, $12.95)
What the 1959 book "Gidget" did to popularize surfing for the masses, the 2002 film "Blue Crush" has done for wahine on the waves.
Sanoe Lake, Kauai born and raised and a "Blue Crush" co-star, is a competitive surfer-turned-model who has turned her attention to writing. With "Surfer Girl: A Guide to the Surfing Life," she not only encourages more of her gender to "go get wet," but provides a primer for how they can stay afloat.
"There are so many beginners in the water," Lake says early on in the softcover tome. "My friends will be like, 'They don't know what to do,' but I'll try to give them a hand. We were all there once."
"Surfer Girl" is co-authored by former television writer Steven Jarrett and written in a simple style -- never cutesy or patronizing -- accompanied by color photos and illustrations to provide all that wannabe riders need to know about the ocean lifestyle. That includes the importance of the right equipment -- surfboards, sunscreen, attire -- and a step-by-step guide on how to wax and carry a board, paddle, catch waves -- up to more advanced wave-riding maneuvers.
Lake offers insider info on the correct use of the word "dude," how to deal with guys hitting on you in the water and health and safety concerns about being in the ocean during a woman's monthly cycle.
The authors emphasize the relationship between women and surfing through a brief history of female surfers. Though women surfers have made great strides, few receive as much money as their male counterparts, Lake says.
Lake cites some current women chargers, such as Keala Kennedy, who has been riding giant surf with more frequency but still is not getting much media attention.
"Girls are underestimated in the water," Lake said.
She might have added, "For now."
The real charm and value of "Surfer Girl" is in encouraging girls' interests in surfing as a healthy hobby, lifestyle or even profession.
The book is indispensable for essentially saying "it's OK," and there's enough focus on safety to make any mom or dad feel a bit better.