The popularity of surfing starting growing in the1960’s when movies like “Gidget” and “Beach Blanket Bingo” exposed the rest of the world to a sport only known to ‘locals’ who were lucky enough to live near the beach.
Surfing is popular largely because it requires no formal training, a minimum of equipment and can be enjoyed by almost anyone at any age. All you need is a surfboard, some swimming ability and a nearby beach.
What started out as ‘The Sport of Kings” and was practiced mostly by men has exploded to include women and young girls in increasing numbers. While in the 1960’s through the 1980’s it was unusual to see women in the water you can go to the beach now and see sometimes up to half of the people in the water are female.
While many men enjoy seeing women out in the lineup there are still some who refuse to share the waves with their female counterparts.
There are even surf clothing and surfboard manufacturers who cater specifically to women. Just look at Roxy Clothing and Trixie Surfboards.
Today there are many surfing accessories in use that were not available to surfers of the 1960’s such as wetsuits, leashes and rash guards.
Before the advent of wetsuits to keep them warm, many a surfer braved the frigid ocean water, especially in winter, in his bare skin. Now surfers can surf year-round, as well as in places with freezing cold water, and keep warm.
Made of neoprene rubber, a wetsuit fits tightly against the surfer’s skin. It traps a layer of water, which the body warms, then holds it against the skin, keeping the warm water inside of the suit.
More recently neoprene hoods, gloves and booties are used to cover and warm all the extremities as well.
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