Surfer Girls in the New World Order
Duke University Press Books
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In Surfer Girls in the New World Order, Krista Comer explores surfing as a local and global subculture, looking at how the culture of surfing has affected and been affected by girls, from baby boomers to members of Generation Y. Her analysis encompasses the dynamics of international surf tourism in Sayulita, Mexico, where foreign women, mostly middle-class Americans, learn to ride the waves at a premier surf camp and local women work as manicurists, maids, waitresses, and store clerks in the burgeoning tourist economy. In recent years, surfistas, Mexican women and girl surfers, have been drawn to the Pacific coastal town’s clean reef-breaking waves. Comer discusses a write-in candidate for mayor of San Diego, whose political activism grew out of surfing and a desire to protect the threatened ecosystems of surf spots; the owners of the girl-focused Paradise Surf Shop in Santa Cruz and Surf Diva in San Diego; and the observant Muslim woman who started a business in her Huntington Beach home, selling swimsuits that fully cover the body and head. Comer also examines the Roxy Girl series of novels sponsored by the surfwear company Quiksilver, the biography of the champion surfer Lisa Andersen, the Gidget novels and films, the movie Blue Crush, and the book Surf Diva: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Good Waves. She develops the concept of “girl localism” to argue that the experience of fighting for waves and respect in male-majority surf breaks, along with advocating for the health and sustainable development of coastal towns and waterways, has politicized surfer girls around the world.
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