It was refreshing to see so many women surfing at in Malibu this year. We've known women are under-represented in the sport, as well as in photography not just from our own experience, but from talking to some of our ambassadors like Alison Teal, Sarah Lee, Jessica Haydahl, and others. So seeing a good percentage of women surfers out was only made sweeter when we ran into the original Gidget celebrating her birthday out in the waves.
Kathie Lawrence was a pioneer of women's surfing. She and close friend Kathy Kohrner spent most of their youth at the beach in the mid 1960s. Kathy Kohrner's father wrote a book about them that inspired the movie Gidget. Kohrner did not actually surf, as Lawrence did. And she hasn't lost her form. Every year the Malibu resident celebrates her birthday by catching a few waves at Surfrider Beach. Kathie Lawrence has been working in the film industry as a costume builder for 50+ years. Outex waterproof camera cases co-founder JR deSouza met with Kathie and her husband Fireball while shooting photos at the beach after his own surf session that morning. "Fireball's outgoing personally is contagious, and he told me a bit about her story and birthday ritual" JR said. Made it for a great morning even better.