The untold story of how a band of renegade surfer girls in the 1980s fought to create their own professional sport, changing surf culture forever.
It’s the 1980s, greed is good, and the world of professional surfing is a circus of loud colours, peroxide hair and radical male egos. From the coasts of Australia to the beaches of California, Hawaii, France and Brazil, surf culture is now the hottest thing on the planet.
Meanwhile, women surfers are being paid a tenth of the men’s prize money and relegated to holding contests during the lunch breaks. Chicks don’t surf – they hold their boyfriends’ towels on the beach. In the middle of this came a disparate group of women from Australia, the US, and South Africa, who dreamt of becoming world champions, and having their very own taste of the stardom and glory. Fiercely individual, competitive, ambitious and opinionated, these women came up against a male-dominated surf industry and culture that wasn’t ready for them.
Pam Burridge, Wendy Botha, and Frieda Zamba, all started surfing in places where they were the only girl in the water. Pauline Menzcer was punched in the stomach by a male surfer who said she didn’t belong there. These women had to fight convention, compete against each other, and band together to realise their dream of a professional tour.
Girls Can’t Surf is the inspiring, untold true story of how that ragtag bunch of inspired, punk girls broke loose to turn women’s surfing into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today.