They tote their long boards under one toned, tanned arm. They brave the icy New England water sans wet suit, thank you very much. They paddle out with the best of them. They rip. And, yes, sometimes they wipe out.
They’re badasses in bikinis — women surfers — and in the next few months, scores of ambitious women will swell their wet ranks, once Blue Crush, a movie that immortalizes, lionizes, and high-fives bodacious surfer chicks, comes out in August.
Mindy Dow, a 28-year-old surfer who lives in Western Massachusetts, is " psyched " for the company. " It’s the awesomest thing, " she says. " Without trying to sound earth-biscuity, it really is beautiful to be able to paddle out into the ocean, which is a powerful force. You feel this presence. You’re going alongside with the speed of the wave. It’s just you and the wave, and you’re booking it toward the beach. It’s sort of like being able to fly. " She pauses. " It’s excellent. "
Surfers have always had a unique brand of style — starting with their infectious lingo (see above) and continuing with their below-the-knee board shorts. West Coast surfing company Ocean Pacific got the style train started in the late ’70s with its signature corduroy flat-front pocket short-shorts. That company is gearing up for a comeback this year. Especially cool are its shorts for men and terrycloth striped shirts, available at Urban Outfitters and at www.opclassic.com. Old Navy, bastion of board shorts, is curiously empty-handed when it comes to surfer gear for girls this year. But its boys’ board shorts ($10–$20) in solid colors and Hawaiian prints will satisfy, dude. Full attire, including shirts, shorts, and suits from classic surfer brands like Billabong and Roxie, can be found at your local Pacific Sunwear outpost.
Some companies predicted the babes ’n’ boards trend and are cashing in on the image of tanned, hard-bodied, devil-may-care women having a tête-à-tête with Mother Ocean. Diesel sells a men’s orange T-shirt with silhouettes of naked chicks in big waves ($29). Chanel’s summer line includes a tote bag with a picture of a teensy person surfing a large wave ($575), but a curt Chanel employee informs us that the bags sold out a few weeks ago, and more are not expected. All the more fun in the challenge: scout them out on eBay or eLUXURY — and be sure no other faux surfers will be prancing down Newbury with your scorchin’ bag.
For those of us a little, er, scared of jumping on a board in the middle of a rip tide, there’s no reason not to get in on the rad surfer style anyway. Fool your neighbors by practicing your prone moves poolside. Enhance your tan by slapping on some of Body Shop’s bronzer with SPF 8 ($12.50), conscientiously packaged in recyclable tubes, and available in multi-culti shades. Then slip on a pair of comfy Reef flip-flops ($20–$33), available at City Sports, to complete the ensemble.
Oh, and one more thing should clinch the image. Repeat after me:
" Killer! "
" Excellent! "
Nina Willdorf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to get it:
• Body Shop, various locations, www.bodyshop.com.
• City Sports, various locations, www.citysports.com.
• Diesel, 116 Newbury Street, Boston, (617) 437-7344.
• Old Navy, various locations, www.oldnavy.com.
• Pacific Sunwear, 1380 Mass Ave, Cambridge, (617) 492-5897.
• Urban Outfitters, 11 JFK Street, Cambridge, (617) 864-0070; 361 Newbury Street, Boston, (617) 236-0088.