The history of women’s surfing exploded on the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, CA, Saturday night for one the greatest gatherings of generation-spanning female talent of all time—from Kathy “Gidget” Zuckerman, to the legendary Eve Fletcher (who still surfs at age 83), to Linda Merrill (the first woman to grace the cover of SURFER Magazine in 1964), to former World Champions Debbie Beacham, Freida Zamba, and Lisa Anderson, to the current crop of standouts, including Kassia Meador, Keala Kennelly, Courtney Conlogue, and Maya Gabeira, among others.
The Gala served as a celebration of the museum’s current Women on Waves exhibition which chronicles the 300-year history of women’s surfing—including the bathing suits worn and boards surfed by the first generation, the pair of Roxy boardshorts that launched the women’s surf industry, Bethany Hamilton’s shark-bitten board, as well as dozens of other boards and items from female surfing’s colorful past.
The night included great food and drinks, music, a silent auction, as well as a live auction for everything from a week in Scorpion Bay (which Kassia Meador and Jen Smith inadvertently engaged in a bidding war against each other from opposite sides of the room, escalating the final price to a still-decent $950), to hand-shaped and hand-painted surfboards, to a week at the Las Olas Surf Camp in Mexico, and more. “The whole vibe and energy was awesome,” said Julie Cox of the California Surf Museum. “We’re honored so many of the women featured in the exhibit could make it. It was incredible to see the spans of generations represented and to have them all meeting each other and reading each others’ stories in the exhibit.”
The exhibit will be open until February 2011. Go to Surfmuseum.org, or stop by 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA.