Tucked away in the sleepy surf town of San Clemente, rests the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC), renowned for its continued display of surfing history and memorabilia for all generations.
“Dedicated to preserving, presenting, and promoting surfing’s heritage”, the SHACC is a captivating place to relish and respect surfing’s greats. The nonprofit is meant to be a platform for the appreciation of surfing, and to educate the public on one of America’s most nostalgic beach past times. The SHACC also houses a collection of boards from iconic surfers including Gerry Lopez, Andy Irons, Greg Long and more.
The SHACC rotates different displays, or exhibits, for a few months at a time to get a more in depth look at past, present, and famous surfers, shapers, and their surfboards. Their latest installation, entitled ‘Trailblazer’s in Women’s Surfing’ is currently on display until June 16th, 2015. The exhibit highlights famous and influential women in surfing, their boards, and those who forever left a mark not only for themselves, but on the once male-dominated sport of surfing.
Some of those featured in the ‘Trailblazer’s of Women’s Surfing’ exhibit are Rell Sunn, Joyce Hoffman, Jericho Poppler, Gail Couper, Keala Kennelly, Lisa Andersen, Layne Beachley and today’s Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore; all incredibly influential and talented in their own regard for their contributions to the sport we all love.
The ‘Trailblazers in Women’s Surfing’ exhibit shines light on the irreplaceable powerhouse pioneers that we all are in debt to for their heroism in pursuing their love for surfing. Taking the time to reflect and respect all those who have come before us that have shaped what women’s surfing is today is a truly humbling and nostalgic experience for all.
It’s fascinating to think that mainstream America didn’t fully accept or realize how popular women’s surfing was until movies like the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Gidget’ (1959) were released and propelled women’s surfing into the limelight. Additionally, if it weren’t for the women involved in the establishment of surfing organizations in 1975, like the WISA (Women’s International Surfing Organization) in California, and the Hawaii Women’s Surfing Hui, which included none-other than Hawaii’s beloved Rell Sunn, then women’s surfing as a sport would cease to exist in the same capacity as it is today.
If you don’t have time to see visionary surfers in their latest exhibit this month, then you can support the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente by attending their upcoming auction in September. The proceeds from the auction will help both the SHACC, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). The featured item in the auction will be Marge Calhoun’s board, which she rode her way to victory on at the Makaha contest on her very first trip to Hawaii. She and her daughters were apart of the legendary ‘California Golden Girls’ in the late 50s and mid 60s. This is just one of the many items to be in the auction that is sure to bring back memories and cherished accomplishments of many in the sport we all love.