Women who surf have always been pioneers -“ like women bankers and boxers they break into what is, essentially, a big boys’ club house. For the blokes and boys sitting behind the breaking waves, women are outsiders.
The 1981 film adaptation of Puberty Blues, Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey’s novel about surfie boys and surfie chicks at Cronulla’s Green Hills, is famous for its horror -“ the horror of the boy surfers who treat their girls as food and fuck sources, and the horror of the girls who dream of being treated like that.
But Puberty Blues is also famous for its Girl Power message -“ possibly too little too late, but there nonetheless. Simply, girls can surf too. And seriously, those same girls can do anything they want.
With this great Australian film point of reference, and an invitation to an all-girl, all-day Surf Camp from Australian Safe Surfing Academy’s Victoria and Meagan, I found myself half awake and at a bush park near Cronulla at 7:45am on a recent Saturday morning.
Meagan and Victoria are a couple of really nice girls with an amazing set-up in a secluded beach at the privately owned north end of Cronulla. Their 4WD van picks city surfers up from a Cronulla car park and takes them over the dunes to their Surf Camp.
By coincidence, that Saturday was the day Nell Schofield, who played Debbie in the film version of, you guessed it, Puberty Blues, also decided to get an all-girl surfing lesson in. It was the first time the most famous 80s Aussie surfer chick of them all returned to the sandy stretches of Cronulla since making the film.
Anyway, Surf Camp rules. Victoria is a great instructor, and Meagan, whose r?m?ncludes chef and gymnastics instructor, makes a really memorable barbecue lunch half-way through the day.
The girls from Surf Camp run mixed and women-only learn-to-surf camps throughout summer. This year they’re also starting up all-girl snow camps including really low-priced lift tickets, transport to the mountains, accommodation and some meals.
For more details on March and April Surf Camps (or in the winter, Snow Camps) visit www.learn2surf.com.au or ring 1800 007 977.