‘Taking Sexy Back’ on Surfline Now…


gypsy6 sea kin

Surfine.com is a staple mainstream American surf culture media outlet.

Perhaps for this reason, I haven’t spent a lot of time in that URL space, mostly because, in the past, they haven’t given much consideration to women’s surfing outside of the competitive realm. To be fair, they did have a segregated women’s section for awhile, but it didn’t last.

I was pleasantly surprised to know that there are women who work at Surfline.com — one of the editors recently reached out to me to write about the sexualization of women’s surfing for their ‘Gypsy Files’ series on women’s surfing.

I was shocked that they asked, and even more pleasantly surprised that they published what I wrote! ha.

I hope it’s a sign of things to come for Surfline. I actually feel proud of them of taking a chance and publishing a pretty different perspective from 99% of the rest of their content (if you scroll down the page from the ‘Taking Sexy Back’ article, you’ll see that the most viewed images look like this:

surfline sea kin
You can let them know that you care about what’s going on with surfing women (above and beyond pink g-strings) by heading over to the article and commenting  or sharing it with some friends…..
Thanks to Ming Nomchong for the beautiful accompanying imagery.


gypsy3 sea kin

gypsy5 sea kin


  1. Dear Lauren,
    My name is Gary Burns. I’m a 67 year old surfer, sailor and charter boat captain. I’m also and more importantly a husband and a father of a 22 year old daughter who surfs. I read with interest your surfline op-ed “Taking sexy back” or as it should have been titled “Woman’s surfing and women are hypersexulized by misogynic men surfers “because that’s basically the issue you addressed particularly in your opening antidote detailing possibly your first experience being objectified sexually. Also your statement “fourteen years later …I find one of the major problems in surfing culture is not the lack of woman surfers but the lack of men .That is feeling,thinking,chromosomally XY human beings who think of woman as other feeling ,thinking human beings.” continues the theme of misogynic men surfers.
    While I basically agree with your feelings and observations and understand I believe your blanket condemnation of “men surfers” is biased, unfair and therefore weakens your position making any common ground difficult.
    Not all men surfers identify women surfers firstly by their sexiness. I know I don’t and I don’t think I’m an exception. While I may find a particular woman who surfs attractive, I identify her firstly and always as a woman who surfs and is also attractive. I see that as natural and normal in any heterosexual man.
    Whole thesis’s have been written about the subject and the debate continues, can a man not view a woman first as a potential sexual encounter,conquest,partner or however one cares to describe it, rather than another human being to relate to in many other ways? It’s the When Harry met Sally quandary.
    I don’t have the answer. It lies somewhere out in the cosmos’s and I can only recognize the way it is and act accordingly.
    Your steadfastness in controlling your own journey through life using the medium of surfing is inspiring and refreshing.
    So “Take ” sexy ” back” and replace it with all around attractiveness meaning –intelligent thinking, healthy lifestyle, positive attitude, friendliness and respect for others and the environment.

    Here are some thoughts:
    The term “sexy” when describing anyone even if that person does invoke sexiness seems crass and inviting- the very reaction not wanted.
    I’m only guessing, but most guys don’t find surfing “sexy, in fact I find surfing to be an exhilarating physical experience between myself and the ocean and nothing sexual is ever experienced. I understand there are parallels however they don’t crossover in a real physical sense, at least for me. Is it different for a woman? .If true that would create a whole different dynamic in the lineup.
    I agree there is no doubt the surf industry leads the pack when it comes to objectifying women-SEX SELLS
    Only when women pro surfers themselves rebel against the SEX SELLS will there be any change-Carissa’s letter to Surfer pretty much spelled out the difference between her and another named women on tour. Of course that would be the end of her so-called surf career.
    Try not to surf practically naked even though it’s your right to wear what and when you want – it’s difficult to concentrate on anything other than the thong paddling out in front of you. It perpetuates a certain kind of mind set.
    When a woman or girl encounters unacceptable behavior and attitudes in their surfing sphere or anywhere else in their life, do nothing other than let the person know how uninteresting they are to you-I know it’s using your sexual power to change someone’s way of acting, but believe me it can work or at least get that person pondering what went wrong there?
    This is an ongoing and evolving conversation and will take time for any real changes.
    Gary Burns


  2. Reblogged this on seafoam green and commented:
    Surfline recently posted an article by Lauren Hill, ocean activist and professional surfer, about the sexualization of women’s surfing. A few frothy videos of some serious shredding, combined with beautiful shots by the talented photographer, Ming Nomchong, come together to provide some inspiration for all of us ocean-loving ladies.

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