The “Banning” of Surfing
The arrival of American missionaries in the 19th century interrupted the sport as they disapproved of showing skin and the gambling that turn place during surf competitions. Missionaries like Hiram Bingham introduced their games to replace the locals’ customs, but contrary to their belief, surfing never wholly disappeared. Modern sportswriters usually focus on men who contributed to the revival of surfing, but Princess Ka’iulani also had a significant part in bringing back the sport. She helped revive the sport and even brought it to England when she surfed the English Channel.
Surfer Girls in Pop Culture
Surfing continued to spread around the globe and straight into the 20th century. During and after World War II, surfing became a common hobby for middle-class youth in California. Thanks to the Beach Boys, catchy songs spread the image of the California surfer around the world. Surfer girls even made their way onto television thanks to the teenage girl named Gidget who rode the waves with her boyfriend, Moondoggie. Gidget’s character was based on real-life surfer Kathy Kohner. Growing up in Malibu in the 1950s, Kohner started surfing as a teenager. Her father, Frederick, ended up writing a series of popular “Gidget” books based on his daughter’s experiences. Filmmakers adapted the series into films and a television series starring Sally Field that expanded the image of the surfer girl across the United States.