I’m black, I’m female and I surf. When I paddle out at a spot where people don’t know me, I’m met with stares, silent curiosity, whispering and, ultimately, smiles. Those reactions used to unnerve me when I first started surfing. Over the years, I’ve gotten to the place where I don’t always notice the reactions of others when I enter the water.
Then I started riding a mat. (Cue every surfer within a 200 yard radius turning to see who I am and what exactly I think I’m doing out there on that inflatable pool toy.)