Fun Fast Facts:

Updated:   10 Mar 2014   (Surfers… not as free as you’d think)

  • The first official surf contest took place at Corona Del Mar, California in 1928.
  • Surfing is believed to have originated in the Pacific island culture of Polynesia and was first discovered by Captain Cook in 1778.
  • Kelly Slater is the highest paid surfer. He brought in three million dollars as the ninth time World Champion surfer in 2009.
  • The University of Plymouth is the first university to offer a degree in surfing.
  • The most people to ever stand on one surf board is 47 at Snappers Rocks, Queensland on 5 March 2005 – the surfboard was scaled up to 12m. Watch it on YouTube: it’s a pretty impressive sight!
  • There have been a number of feature films that have tackled the issue of gay surfing, including Tan Lines (Australia), Shelter (USA) and Newcastle (Australia).

Surfers… not as free as you’d think

Broadcast: 10 Mar 2014

LGBTIQ documentary: OUT in the line-up

  • Winner: Audience Award for Best Documentary 2014 Mardi Gras Film Festival.
  • Winner: Best Surf Film at 2014 Byron Bay International Film Festival.
  • After 20 years of silence, former state champion surfer David Wakefield feels ready to reveal a secret that could turn his life upside down. He’s gay. At the same time, on the other side of the world, Thomas Castets is setting up the world’s first online community for gay surfers. The two meet and this documentary was born. OUT in the line-up follows David and Thomas on their global journey as they meet and surf with people from all corners of the surfing community, along the way hearing stories of fear, isolation and self-doubt, but also inspiring tales of hope, self-empowerment and transformation.

  • Watch the trailer: OUT in the line-up
  • Online gay surfing community: www.gaysurfers.net

W3JOY interviewed: Ian Thomson, Director of the documentary OUT in the line-up

“It was traditionally about thinking outside the square, a little alternative thinking, being connected with nature and that suggests being very open really and tolerant.  And what’s happened over the last 50 years and particularly over the last 20 years with the increasing commercialisation of surfing as a sport is it seems to have really lost connection with those roots.”
 
“It’s become very driven by market forces who are convinced the only way to market surfing is to sell it to the stereotype…the white heterosexual alpha male and the bikini clad surfer girls.”
 
“The best way to put another man down so to speak is to use a homophobic slur. If you pulled off a big wave, you were a faggot or a poofter.”
 
“We had a young Filipino surfer speak to us who said it would be great one day to see not just the white alpha male conquering Fiji all the time. He’d like to see the rise of Filipino surfers and Indonesian surfers, who probably have the ability but these days to be successful in professional surfing it’s often more than just being able to surf well.”
 
“Many of the people that we spoke to felt that they were the only gay surfers in the world and they were very isolated; they felt they had to hide their sexuality in the surf and with their surfing mates. Once the website came up, people were able to connect. Through social media you were able to find someone, maybe from the other side of the world, but you were able to find someone who had a common experience.”

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