The mainstream media’s surfing love-in continues apace. Open up a copy of TIME Magazine and you’ll be informed that current men’s world champion Gabriel Medina is one of the 100 most influential people alive. Shit off!? No, really he is, up there with Pope Francis and Kim Jong-un. Flick through sophisticated women’s fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar and current women’s world champion Stephanie Gilmore will reveal to you the ‘Secrets Of The Ultimate Surfer Girl’. Dip into the latest British edition of Vogue, meanwhile, and John John Florence will reveal to you his nipples, which Beach Grit‘s Derek Rielly recently likened to “attack dogs”, and which the World Surf League cruelly prohibits us from seeing.
No two surfers enjoy a monopoly on our hearts quite like John John and Stephie G do right now, and it seems their appeal extends beyond the increasingly blurry borders of the endemic surf community. John John’s brother Nathan, who was only named once at birth, also features in the Vogue shoot alongside his longtime girlfriend Mahina Garcia (above). John John’s attack dogs can be seen below, taking a brief rest as his deep, piercing eyes keep guard. He seems to have resisted the photographer and make-up artist’s attempts to shave off the fledging fluff protruding from his chin.
Steph, who posed for Vogue herself a year or two back (suffering a slight wardrobe malfunction in the process), had this to say about the current state of women’s surfing:
“The nouveau wave of female surfing, like many female movements in the current day, feels very strong, confident and far more balanced than ever before. Ten years ago the women really had to have an aggressive approach to the industry to gain some respect and recognition, I feel like the current shift in the attitude toward women in surfing has allowed us to truly be ourselves and our surfing is not only athletic and powerful but it’s stylish, feminine, beautiful—and everyone benefits because of it. As Marilyn Monroe once said, ‘I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.’
“There is now a much larger presence of females in the surf at almost every beach around the world, which is truly awesome. The men, I feel, are enjoying this balance and showing a warmer and encouraging attitude to female surfers. Surfing has always been an incredibly attractive activity and I think female surfers have the perfect combination of elements that define the term beautiful. If you think about it, is there really any sexier sport for females in the world? We travel to the world’s most exotic locations, our office is the ocean and the best waves, our daily uniform is a bikini and we get paid well to do it!”