Surf Club screens documentary about female surfers


Josephine Rozzelle

Director of “It Ain’t Pretty” Dayla Soul (second from left) poses with the cast of the film, Surf Club head Jemima Scott and Edna Tesfaye after a Q & A session with the cast. The panel followed a screening of the film and a musical performance by sophomore Sophie Egan.

The Surf Club hosted the first Onda Linda Surf Fest this evening in Syufy Theatre, featuring a student performance and a screening of a documentary focused on female surfers in the Bay Area, followed by a Q & A session with some of the cast members and a surf-themed raffle.

The 2016 documentary “It Ain’t Pretty” highlights the sexism and stereotypes female surfers experience.

“There are a lot of stereotypes with women wearing bikinis while surfing. [Female surfers] are trying to make a point that it is not just about looks,” Surf Club head Jemima Scott said. “It is also about being really talented at something — they are just as good as the guys.”

The film showed a detailed history of female surfing in the Bay Area, specifically highlighting the Outer Bar Babes, a group of female surfers who primarily surf at Ocean Beach on large waves, some up to 30 feet tall, according to the film.

Dayla Soul, director of “It Ain’t Pretty,” took part in a panel after the film along with surfer Rebecca Wunderlich, body-surfer Judith Sheridan and Sabrina Brennan, San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner.

“Community. Getting to meet more women who surf and having a voice,” Soul said when asked what inspired her to create the film. “I have been a surfer my whole life and I wanted to become more of [the surf industry]  and [be an inspiration for] other girls to surf and create community.”

Teachers, members of Surf Club, and Convent & Stuart Hall students — even a few who graduated last week — came to the event.

“I was inspired by the film,” freshman Mira White said. “I liked how it explored the journey of a certain person throughout their life.”

The Surf Club hopes to make the event annual.

“We wanted to do some sort of event to speak for our club, and we thought that because Convent is all about feminism, this would be a good way to get a voice for women in surfing,” Scott said. “There is a stereotype, and we can change it.”