Lisa is the Golden Girl of women’s surfing. One of the first girls to grace the cover of a men’s surfing magazine¬—something I was always jealous of and never achieved. Lisa broke down many gender barriers that women faced in and out of the water. Stylish, sexy, graceful and incredibly photogenic, she had it all.
Chased and adored by men all over the world, Lisa learned how to make the most of every opportunity. She was my greatest rival and my most humbling mentor; she taught me how to lose on too many occasions.
Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, women’s surfing seemed to lack a sense of identity due to the fact that women felt the need to act and dress like men to earn their respect. The closest thing Lisa did was surf like a man but with feminine grace and fluidity. Her smooth, refined surfing style presented a whole new image, demanded reverence from her peers, and gave the surfing world a revived appreciation of the power of a woman in the waves.
The best way to measure a person’s life is by the mark left on the world. Lisa has left an indelible impression on the lives of many and forever changed the face of women’s surfing.
She will always be one of the greatest. —Layne Beachley