The popularity of ‘lifestyle’ sports like surfing has risen exponentially since the 1990s
(Booth, 2004; Wheaton, 2010). The female interest in surfing has been a particularly
pronounced feature of this growth; evident not only in terms of participation, but in terms
of consumption and visibility across forms of popular culture worldwide (Comer, 2010).
This so-called ‘boom’ of interest in surfing amongst women in Britain is an important topic
for feminist analysis. In its contemporary form, the sport has particularly strong links to
standards of white heteronormativity, and the heterosexy image of the 'surfer girl' is a
central aspect of surfing's commercial mainstreaming. At the same time, surfing is still a relatively ‘new', and so-called 'alternative' sporting space, particularly amongst women in
Britain. As such, it has the potential to challenge dominant discourses of femininity.
|Date of Award||Sept 2013|