The third day of surfing with Naturexperience was awesome again but then some serious conversations started to happen with Finn’s Dad. We were talking on the beach while Finn and his eight-year-old little sister were playing in the ocean. I was just making conversation and asked Finn's Dad if she was also taking surf lessons .
He said that he had her on a board in the water earlier that week but she got swallowed by a wave and swallowed water herself and was pretty freaked out after that.
Poor thing. From the way he described it, it sounded like he was pushing her too hard through tight waves and she wasn’t ready.
Then he said that thing, I was hoping that he wouldn’t say.
“Maybe because she’s a girl. She just wants to play instead of making sport.”
That comment sparked my surfeminist fire. As it slowly surged from the pit of my stomach and through my veins, I calmed down. Instead of breathing said surfeminist fire onto him, I decided to do the mature thing and open a dialogue.
“I don’t think the fact that she’s a girl has anything to do with it. I think she swallowed water when she wasn’t ready and got a little scared. She’ll probably shake it off after a few days and want to try again…but on her own time.”
How often we forget the power of our parents over our lives when we’re young…and sometimes even when we’re older.
I could only hope that something I said would plant a seed in his thoughts for how he viewed his daughter compared to his son. May his thoughts and love towards both of them be equal whether or not they love surfing as much as he does.
This brings us to much deeper issues. Issues of feminism, gender, class, race, accessibility, media perception, hidden histories, and more.
But Cori Schumacher, three time long boarding surf champion, and these other wonderful pieces of media might help set us straight on history and surfeminism.
You can also view the link to this awesome podcast on Surfer Girl History here.
These pieces only scratch the surface of the issues but you get the gist.
After the beach I went to the Veggie Wave stand again, showered and then visited the Obidos Lagoon.