Girls Can’t Surf movie review

It will make you feel the passion these women felt as they fought for world titles and equality.

What’s it about?

An Australian documentary showcasing female professional surfing in the 80s and early 90s, and the women who had to fight for equality just as much as they fought each other for world titles.

What did we think?

Peter Linning says: The sign of a good documentary is how much it makes you feel passionate about something that you may have been completely oblivious to before watching. Girl’s Can’t Surf is a great success in this regard, taking you on a fun and frequently frustrating journey into the lives of the women who broke into the male-dominated world of professional surfing, motivated by a pure love of the sport, and driven by sheer determination.

Present-day interviews with the key women involved frame a wealth of brilliant older footage, drawn from contemporary media, home movies, and even earlier documentaries. While their struggle for equality is the focus of the documentary, it’s just as focused on the surfers as competitors – the seriousness with which the young women discuss their goals and rivalries making the point just as well as the blatant misogyny on display in some of the more cringe-worthy historical clips. 

Girls Can’t Surf is as nostalgic as it is relevant, and manages to address a serious issue without taking itself seriously. 8/10


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