It has been widely noted that surfing is currently viewed and maintained as a predominantly male, white, cis-gendered, heteronormative, able-bodied and North-dominated sport. The sport’s patriocolonial past impacts heavily on its current presentation, and seems to demand assimilation from marginalised surfers, rather than allowing space for the development of alternative versions, line-ups, and experiences. This chapter therefore asks what surfing could be(come) if such spaces were created, both locally and globally. It does so by providing some historical context for surfing’s current norms, and then looking at examples of environmental, gender, and social justice activism by surfers and how these initiatives differ from the existing mainstream notion and representation of surfing and surfers.


Karen Graaff