Via the marvellous Shakas and Singlefins I came across Liz Cockrum who has combined her passion for photography and surfing to capture the images of different generations of female surfers. Through a series of landscape, portrait and detail images Liz records the past, present and future of women as individuals in surfing.
Here's her own take on the Sirens collection.
The sport of surfing extends beyond wave riding and casual afternoons at the beach. Surfing is a lifestyle and a culture, rich with traditions that span continents and generations. Women have played a role in the progression of surfing since its birth in Hawaii centuries ago, but recent decades have seen a great shift in their place within the sport. As surfing rose to popularity on the mainland United States in the 1950’s, women were largely viewed as beach bunnies, rather than athletes. Through their athleticism, creativity and positive contributions to surf culture, female surfers have changed that perception and are now accepted as respected and influential members of the surf community.
The surfers I have photographed are full of passion and determination, but participate in the surf world without the dominating ego that has been prevalent in this culture for decades. Some of these women are professional surfers known around the globe, while others have only recently “caught the bug” and are still very much beginners. Regardless of their skill level, each of these women demonstrates a mindset focused on ideals that are uncommon in an all-male line-up.
My intention with this body of work is to celebrate the courageous and innovative females who are pioneering this shift towards a more positive, open surf culture. These images speak to broader ideas related to women in modern society, the power of determination and sub-cultures within a larger community. Through portraits, landscapes and details I want to explore a little-seen side of surfing, and focus the viewer’s attention on the individuals who are an integral part of a unique culture.