As a raw and emotional addition to today’s movement of empowering feminist films, director Christopher Nelius’ documentary ‘Girls Can’t Surf’ will be released in March of 2021 to spread the word on gender inequalities in the beloved world of surfing.
Despite being an industry which is still heavily skewed towards men today, ‘Girls Can’t Surf’ is an accurate recount of the troubles female surfing pioneers – including Pam Burridge, Jodie Cooper, Jolene and Jorja Smith, Wendy Botha and many others – went through during the 1980s. In an effort to raise awareness for female surfers in a men-filled industry, surfing veterans have banded together in ‘Girls Can’t Surf’ to speak about their experiences during a time in which women were not considered ‘real’ surfers.
Fighting hard day in and day out for every paycheck and grand prize, ‘Girls Can’t Surf’ tells the story of a young group of female Australian surfers, who despite the odds, battled against social suppression and gained worldwide recognition as some of the most gifted and hardworking surfers in history. Despite having next to no sponsors and decent water gear, veteran female surfers learned to make-do with what they had, and continued to impress the broader surfing community with their abilities – so much so that they were forced to be acknowledged. Today, female surfers have become the face of many water gear brands.
The documentary recounts times in which ambitious female surfers were downgraded to bikini models on the waves, as well as features raw accounts of rampant sexism in the scene. Mistreated as a side show and excluded from the 80s World Tour, ‘Girls Can’t Surf’ shows real accounts of gender injustices in the surfing world during the 1980s, as well as the journey in which these brave women took to equalise the playing field for future generations.
Although the film will not be available for public viewing until early 2021, the documentary is set to ‘wow’ the world by uncovering the truth behind today’s much-loved surfing industry. Despite being not nearly as bad today, the film is set to challenge its viewers’ thoughts on gender roles in the modern surfing scene, as well as bring attention to the original female surfers who build the foundation for today’s women in the surfing industry.
Award-winning director Christopher Nelius and experienced writing director Julie-Anne De Ruvo are set to ‘wow’ their audience with a raw and emotional journey, telling the tales of a movement of female surfers, who for over 30 years, could only depend on themselves and their love for the surfing sport during past times of female condemnation and apparent sexism.
On gender parity, it’s worth noting the film captures a few, high-profile male surfers expressing their rather old school thoughts when saying things on film. When this film reaches a wide audience, they may live to regret these quotes. While the comments were previously made in a different time and context, you can almost hear the palpable screams of shock as famous male surfing luminaries are caught on film saying things like,
“I think the top (male) surfer from any beach could defeat any woman I know…”.
While many men may be guilty of making imprudent comments about women’s surfing over the years, unfortunately for these guys, they have been caught on camera.
‘Girls Can’t Surf’ is predicted to be a major eye-opening and immersive documentary and its first showing will be at Sydney’s Film Festival (Summer Season) between January 6th and 26th 2021. For those who are already interested in getting a taste of the much anticipated feminist documentary, here is the trailer!