The Vogue magazine field-guide to women's surfing

(This post must begin with yet another apology to my long-suffering friend, Kate. Who, despite what she knew would happen, pointed me in the direction of this particular magazine. You, dear Kate, are a true friend.)

Obviously, I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about surfing and women who surf. I spend a lot of time trying to understand certain aspects of surf culture and where and how women fit within it all. So I can't tell you how pleased I was to find that the latest edition of Australian Vogue magazine has pretty much done the job for me, exploring, developing and illustrating what is essentially a 'field-guide' to Australian women surfers!

I will admit that I was a little surprised at first, but then I remembered that fashion magazines not only provide high-quality and hard-hitting journalism but also are pretty on-trend, so who am I to dispute their findings. So in case you are on far-flung shores, or in case you would never in a million years pick up a copy of Australian Vogue to find info about surfing culture (and I'm throwing an accusing look at all of you right now!!) I have scanned some of the most relevant pages from the copy I just jauntily collected from my local newsagent.

(Note: Not ALL the pages that are about surfing, just the most relevant.)

Vogue finally provides an explanation for why more women don't surf;
While the surf girl has long been a bona fide icon, surf style hasn't always been chic.

(Please note the unexpected use of the word 'icon')

The Hippie Surfer
Style point: Diamond earrings just don't work for the hippie surfer girl.
Movies they watch: Big Wednesday...

Are you confused yet?

The Urban Surfer
You can still surf in the city but the look switches from urban to glam.

I SWEAR I AM NOT MAKING THIS STUFF UP! I am honestly quoting the text!!

The Glamazon Surfer
Get post-surf perfect in a bright [insert brand here] blue necklace, neon-coloured [insert ridiculously priced brand name here] sandals and fluoro [insert out of this stratosphere insanely inappropriate brand here] shoes.

Also, a life-changing insight from Luealla Bartely, fashion designer,
The wetsuit is one of the sexiest garments.

Oh. And she's not being 'ironic' either. I checked.

And in case you are interested, the black Chanel board in this picture is priced at $9,300.

As you can see, Vogue has clarified many important questions which I have been grappling with over the years writing this blog. In many ways, they have made me feel as though I wasted a lot of time thinking over things that could be so easily explained. In other ways, the writer appears to be living in another universe to me. Also, I don't reckon they surf.

Still, after careful consideration, I remain unsure which 'surfer girl' category - Hippie, Urban or Glamazon - I most completely inhabit. I'll keep you posted.


  1. I do it bec because posts like this one, bring me so so so much joy!!

    Now if only Nicole Kidman would take up surfing!

  2. Haha.

    She could go shred with Elle, and Keith could become the country version of Jack Johnson - surf/country is such an untapped genre.

    It would be an Australian super-celebrity surfing paradise.

    My guess would be that between them they'd buy up Wategos in its entirety and have Rae's made into their post-surf hang out spot!! But they'd call it a 'shack'. (And they'd paint over the current pinkness and probably add more of a Balinese flavour to the decor.)


  3. oh no - you made me remember that pathetic Elle Mcpherson publicity stunt - thanks bec, I'll send you my therapy bill.

  4. Haha! Indeed Jamie.

    At least we can point and laugh at it though.

  5. ahahahahahahah

    GOLd, GOLD

    i must rush out and purchase this fine publication. thank you, Vogue.
    ...because wearing the GLAMAZON clothes is 80% of the battle...

  6. What the fuck?!


  7. Wow. Perfect peices for post surf partiees in poppy colour combinations? I'm coining the term 'rape marketing' here.bluuuggghhhh.
    Ill admit that im partially responsible for that 'pathetic elle marketing stunt'. She used my board and my suit (cant attatch photo), gulp. Please slap me on the wrist. Somehow, she still looked like a supermodel still after a tenfold shoredump...for sure she was truly stoked right?
    That new vogue photo shoot with Abby Lee is even worse.
    When I look at this image, of this strange pale model clutching a shiny (unwaxed) blue MOTHE board, it feels peculiar. I feel slightly repulsed and slightly offended that my favourite passion in the world, further, the image on it, is being whored by some trash ‘summer’ fashion campaign. What are they trying to take from surfing that is of benefit to them?
    What annoys me more is that just as women are barely beginning to creep into surf media at a slightly even keel (not just a piece of ass on display advertising shoes or wax) ,shoots like this come and throw out this detached seductive image of a girl and a surfboard. I don’t want to be seeing half interested fashion babes trying to surf because it’s sexy at my local beach. Nor do I want to ever be perceived as that. I would love to have them there if they are genuinely interested and invigorated by the sport, but otherwise, get out.

  8. What, you guys arnt dieing for that 10 grand Chanel board? And I always wear platforms with my holey bathing suit. You dont?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Laura Crane has skin in the game: a surf story in five parts*

'A Lunar Cycle': Easkey Britton in the ocean

'Notes For a Young Surfer' by Clifton Evers - a review.