The women of the H-Bay Surf Team decided they were pretty sick and tired of how surf videos represent women. So they made their own. And from the fully-wetsuited bum-shots to their tongue-in-cheek poses, it’s totally brilliant. We asked them a few questions about themselves, and why they felt the urge to stick it to the super-sexy surf video industry.
Who are you all, where are you all from, and when did you first start surfing?
H-Bay Women’s Surf Team consists of Ine Haugen, Miranda Ocklind, Gunhild Næss and Siri Rehn. Ine and Gunhild are from Stavanger, Norway and Miranda and Siri are from Gothenburg, Sweden. All of us tried out surfing for the first time some ten years ago. However, we have only surfed regularly for a shorter period of time, as we have also taken the time to become a Marine Engineer, Doctor, Teacher and Nurse, respectively.
Tell me a little about H-bay, and your trip to Norway.
H-Bay is formally known as Hoddevik, a small surfing village on the west coast of Norway, known for its dramatic nature and beautiful bays. It is a one-street village with about 15 permanent residents and three surf camps, with the closest city and grocery store about 20 minutes away. We all took some time off from our regular jobs to come here and work at Lapoint Surf Camp for a couple of months. And we are all loving life here at one of the most beautiful places on earth!
Why did you decide to make this spoof video?
It was a really flat day and we stumbled across yet another “Women’s Surf Team” [below] video that really provoked us. We felt enough is enough, and started joking about making our own version. Suddenly and spontaneously, we were out filming it. We had lots and lots of ideas as we had been discussing the women’s surf scene quite a lot during the summer, and how sponsors, consciously or unconsciously, are making female athletes into objects, rather than portraying them as the great surfers they are.
Additionally, we are seeing both locally and nationally how men are prioritized during competitions both when it comes to surfing conditions and prizes.
What are some of your biggest turn-offs when it comes to surfing videos?
To start off with a conclusion; the film-makers make it look like even female pro surfers can’t surf. For example, scenes where female surfers are running down the beach with dry hair, short boards without wax or a leash, and our favourite; Stephanie Gilmore taking a shower BEFORE going for a surf [below].
Moreover, there is of course the objectifying camera angles with close ups of body parts and half naked girls doing nothing but looking stereotypical beautiful. And at best you will only get a glimpse of the actual surfing.
What would you like to see more of in female surf videos?
Surfing! Cool women rippin’ it out there, crazy wipe outs and more reality; like the preparations they make, checking the waves… yeah, your normal surf stuff.
Do you guys think that we’ll see how women surfers are portrayed changing in the near future? Or are we stuck with the scantily-clad bum-shots for now?
Yes we do. Nowadays there are more women surfers on all levels doing their own edits, portraying themselves as they want to be portrayed. Which is really refreshing in a market where you are expected to show at least one half-naked female body in your surf edits. As for the bigger companies and brands making videos, they should and will probably soon realize that what they are doing is old, outdated and unwanted. Come on, surprise us, make something new.
Furthermore, we are all really keen on keep doing our own edits and encourage all surfers of any kind and style to do so too.