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How surfing Rose to popularity
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Teresa James

 
By Teresa James
Published on February 12, 2009
 
Surfing as a sport enjoys a lot of popularity particularly in the US.
Although surfing was a male-dominated sport, adventurous women surfers can be seen all the way back to the times of the Polynesian Queens. Two notable ‘surfer girls’ were Eve Fletcher and Anona Napolean.

Surfing as a sport enjoys a lot of popularity particularly in the US.

Although surfing was a male-dominated sport, adventurous women surfers can be seen all the way back to the times of the Polynesian Queens. Two notable ‘surfer girls’ were Eve Fletcher and Anona Napolean. Eve Fletcher was a California-born animator for Walt Disney and Anona Napolean was the daughter of a respected Hawaiian surfing family. The two pioneered the sport for modern women, winning surfing competitions up and down the California coast at the end of the 50s and into the 60s.

Hollywood was quick to be on the scene and with the 1959 film “Gidget”, surfing really caught up the imagination of the masses. “Gidget” inspired a slew of “Beach Blanket Bingo” movies that brought surfing to a new generation of teens and inspiring a new genre of ‘surf music’ that accompanied films and bought fame to the The Beach Boys.

Surfing spread throughout all media and Surfing Magazine, the brainchild of famous surf photographer, LeRoy Grannis, was born in the early 1960s. This was followed by other publications bringing more information on the sport, equipment and stars of the surfing scene. These publications brought advertising, professional surfing, surf culture and publicity to the now very commercialised sport.