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Surfer Girl: A Guide to the Surfing Life    by Sanoe Lake & Steven Jarrett order for
Surfer Girl
by Sanoe Lake
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This oversize softcover looks and feels like a thick, vibrant magazine. In her Introduction, lifelong surfer Sanoe Lake (who starred in the movie Blue Crush) encourages young women to 'get your feet wet' and learn 'one of the world's greatest sports'.

In 'Getting Mental', we're told that surfing is character building as well as fun - it takes perseverance, discipline, focus and respect. I liked the surfing history, including the fact that Hawaiian women rode the waves just as much as men. The authors go on to talk about surfwear in 'You've Got the Look', with sensible tips on 'Staying in Your Bikini' and how to get into a wetsuit. And there's wise advice for women not to get hung up on body image, to 'work out, but do it for yourself.'

Other handy lessons include how to train away from the water, skin and hair care, wetiquette, surf lingo, wave science, surfboard structure and selection, accessories, and ratings of beach movies. The environment is discussed, as well as a range of ocean hazards, and how to handle injuries. The last third of the book explains how to surf, starting with 'Leave your pride and ego on the beach'. This goes from the basics to breaking-wave riding, and more challenging techniques.

Though the style is light, engaging and personal (I enjoyed cute cartoon sequences involving exchanges with a shark), serious topics are covered well, and the authors' passion for the sport comes across clearly. Any young woman who dreams of riding the waves can't go wrong consulting Surfer Girl.

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