An unspoken connection exists between female surfers in the water, even when we don’t know each other. There’s often a smile or nod of acknowledgement, and on bigger days, a sigh of relief to see another girl paddle out amidst an intimidating male-dominated lineup, where everyone sits cross-armed and silent, challenging one another over who can sit deepest.
I live with six other surfer girls, and we all found each other through the sea. Small interactions and compliments in the water blossomed into friendships, and into a sisterhood. Over the next four years while we attended UC Santa Barbara, we bonded over our shared love for the ocean, chasing waves together from Mexico to Morocco to Portugal, and all the way home to Isla Vista, our small-wave slice of heaven.
We live in a house in the infamous college party town of Isla Vista, nestled between a couple of right-hand point breaks. The garage is exploding with surfboards, and the showers are constantly clogged from sand. The backyard is littered with more boards, and between two trees a wetsuit line hangs accompanied by a distinctive stench. Then there’s the energy of seven, permanently-frothing, wave-hungry, 21-year olds.