CAMARADERIE: Filmmaker Michelle Shearer at Lennox Head with surfers Carol Stevenson and Marg Bryant.
CAMARADERIE: Filmmaker Michelle Shearer at Lennox Head with surfers Carol Stevenson and Marg Bryant. Patrick Gorbunovs

Friends of the ocean

THEY are the forgotten surfers - older women who have taken to the ocean simply because it brings them joy and happiness.

Lennox Head friends Marg Bryant, 64, Carol Stevenson, 50, and Sallie Petrie, 58, all started surfing later in life, but now they love it.

"It is beautifully addictive," Ms Bryant said.

"I get withdrawals if I have a day without going for a surf."

Lennox Head filmmaker Michelle Shearer has made a short film about the three friends, titled Women Who Run with the Tides.

She said it was about older women who surfed and the "different qualities they bring to the line-up".

"The surfing scene is very male-dominated," she said.

"But women are more good-humoured, and there's a lot more give and take."

Ms Shearer met Ms Bryant and Ms Petrie while surfing shortly after the birth of her first child.

She said their encouragement and "generous spirits" stayed with her.

"The surf industry is all about men or young women," she said.

"Female surfing professionals are put out there as sex objects rather than focusing on their elite surfing prowess.

"But in this film, the three women share their unique insights into the state of women's surfing and what the experience of surfing means to them as they age."

Ms Stevenson said as a woman who loved catching a wave, her main goal was to "hunt out joy".

"We like to surf happily and in quiet places," she said.

"We love surfing here at Lennox and also at Broken Head, or The Pass if we're desperate."

Ms Bryant said Women Who Run with the Tides was an amazing film with a good message.

"I tear up every time I watch it," she said.

"I feel grateful and humbled to be able to share something that I love and have it documented."

Women Who Run with the Tides will premiere on October 4 at Blackboard Deli and Cafe.

It has already caught the attention of some high-profile surfers.

Former women's longboard champion Cori Shumacher urged people to get in touch with Ms Shearer to watch the film.

"We will all be able to watch this film together, whether in Lennox Head, California, Hawaii, Europe, South America ... I hope to absorb the wisdom these ladies have to offer and share," she blogged.

FILM PREMIERE

When: Friday, October 4, from sundown.

Where: Blackboard Deli and Cafe, Pacific Pde, Lennox Head. Free entry, all welcome.

More info: Email mimisurf03@hotmail.com or visit the Facebook page for Women Who Run with the Tides.



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