Women’s Surfing History Author in Morro Bay Dec. 4

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

December 2, 2021

Famed surfing journalist, Jim Kempton will be in Morro Bay Dec. 4 to sign his new book: ‘Women on Waves,’ a history of women surfers from ancient Hawaii to the 2021 Tokyo
Summer Olympics.

A famed surf writer will sign his new women’s surfing history book at a special surfing-centric event in December in Morro Bay.
Jim Kempton, the former editor-in-chief of “Surfer Magazine” and author of two other surfing books, will discuss and sign his newest book entitled “Women on Waves: A Cultural History of Surfing: From Ancient Goddesses and Hawaiian Queens to Malibu Movie Stars and Millennial Champions” (Pegasus Books, July 2021).

The event is set for 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at the CenCal Roofing office building, 2030 Main St., in Morro Bay (corner of Hill Street). Following will be a panel discussion on women’s surfing with top lady wave riders.
Kempton’s previous books are: “First We Surf, Then We Eat” and “Surfing: The Manual.” Kempton, who lives in San Clemente, Calif., is the president of the California Surf Museum and previously served as a project director for Quiksilver” a leading surfing gear and clothing manufacturer.

Women on Waves is the definitive history on women’s roles in surfing lore, spanning centuries, from Hawaii to Malibu, New York to Australia, and from South Africa to the South Pacific, and beyond.

According to the book jacket, it’s “A captivating look at two centuries of surfing — “the Sport of Queens” — from Native Hawaiian royalty to the breakout style and jaw-dropping feats on the waves today.

“From smart, strong, fearless women shattering records on 80-foot waves to professional athletes fighting for equal pay and a fair and just playing field, these amazing, wave-riding warriors provide an inspirational and aspirational cast of powerful role models for women (and men) across all backgrounds and generations.”

The book comes on the heels of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games last summer when surfing was included as an exhibition sport for the first time ever and as surfing gear and clothing that emulate the carefree surfing lifestyle are growing in popularity worldwide.
“The sport’s explosion and Olympic appearance marks a massive shift from when colonizers tried to extinguish all traces of Native Hawaiian surfing and its sacred culture,” reads the book jacket.

“What is it about surfing that intrigues people of all ages, from all corners of the world? The beaches and idyllic locations? The unique style and mystique that surfers project? These women, riding giant waves and fiercely competing on the world circuit, have made their mark not just on their sport, but on our wider culture, whether it is fashion or Hollywood.”
Bethany Hamilton, author of “Soul Surfer” said, “I love being part of women’s surfing right now! There are so many girls rocking it and pushing hard. It’s so awesome to see and inspires me to push hard, too. I can’t wait to see what women’s surfing will be like when I’m an oldie!”

Shannon Aikman, co-founder of the Women’s International Surfing Association, said, “This is going to be the Gold Standard for women’s surfing history around the world. The visual story telling interwoven with historical facts is stunning.”
And Samantha Dunn, author of “Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life,” and special projects editor at Southern California News Group, said, “The sheer number of stories, from competitive triumphs to personal struggles makes this fascinating history of women’s surfing more than just comprehensive. It is, in effect, the entire sweep of surfing culture — told for the first time through the lens of women’s experiences.”

Signed copies of Kempton’s 464-page book with 24 pages of color photographs are $29.95. There will also be a display of beautiful surfboards to check out at the event.

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