The history of surfing is made of great achievements by female surfers. Since the early 1920s, surfer girls have been steadily evolving their style and skills in the surf line.
The most influential female surfers of all time have had several roles in the evolution of the sport. It's not only a matter of grace and classicism, but also a question of ability and commitment.
Mary Ann Hawkins was one of the first female surfers to show how to get waves ridden in California. She lived a troubled life, despite several career achievements in swimming and competitive surfing. Hawkins could hold her breath for more than two minutes.
Marge Calhoun is considered the first women's surfing champion, after taking the Makaha International surf contest. She pioneered female surfing in Hawaii and was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame, in 2003.
Isabel Letham is the "first lady" of Australian surfing. Letham volunteered for a tandem surf session with Duke Kahanamoku, when the Hawaiian champion visited Freshwater, in Australia, back in 1914. She never quit surfing.
Margo Oberg is the first true legend of female surfing and the first multiple-time winner of world surfing championships. Oberg lived in Hawaii in a tree house. She is considered the first pro woman surfer.
Wendy Botha is the one and only South African female surfer to claim a world surfing title. She claimed a total of four trophies and posed nude for Australian Playboy.
Layne Beachley has been considered the ultimate surfer girl and probably the best female surfer of all time. The talented Australian has taken seven world surfing titles, a record that has never been beaten.
Sarah Gerhardt was the first woman to challenge the big wave surfing arena of Mavericks. The blond teacher opened the book of riding giants in feminine mode. Keala Kennelly and Maya Gabeira are also big wave surfing pioneers.
Take a look at the best female surf movies of all time.
The most influential female surfers of all time are:
Mary Ann Hawkins