"While we're to the point in our sport's growth that we can easily drop the 'women's' and just call it 'surfing,' are we sure we want to?" reads the introductory page of the newest Surfing magazine flipbook, "The Feminine Mystique," a carefully curated selection of photographer Duncan Macfarlane's electric action shots capturing the Billabong women's surf team on a recent trip to Sumbawa, Indonesia. "Are we sure we want to do them the disservice of lumping them in with us brutes?"
And make no mistake, while the team boasts some of surfing's most undisputed talent (Courtney Conlogue, Alessa Quizon, Felicity Palmateer, Ellie-Jean Coffey, Stephanie Single, Justine Dupont, Laura Enever, Frankie Harrer…) there's something to be said about giving them their own space where they can ooze grace, power, and—let's just say it—beauty.
"The Feminine Mystique" is part of an ongoing series of digital photo albums from Surfing magazine, an effort to find a home for the surplus of grade-A photography that lands on the magazine's cutting-room floor.
"[The flipbooks] are a limitless canvas to really paint a picture … to tell a story how we see it in its entirety," explains Surfing magazine photo editor Peter Taras of the inception of the flipbook project. "It got to the point where we wanted to illustrate a story without it being tied to page count."
This is the first flipbook to feature just female surf talent, an organic decision upon senior photographer Macfarlane's return from shooting the Billabong team for the surf apparel company's spring/summer 2013 Surf Capsule campaign. And, as Billabong team manager Megan Villa explains, conditions in Indonesia were the perfect stage for the women to showcase their skills.
"When we arrived, the waves were super small but the swell was building and we ended up having really good waves the entire time," she remembers. "The most consistent spot was Yo Yo's, where we surfed almost every day and also managed to score a reeling, barreling left called Super Suck. Courtney claims she got the barrel of her life there."
A expert mix of action, portraiture, and lifestyle (our personal favorite? Felicity Palmateer throwing back a well-deserved beer, her hair still drenched), "The Feminine Mystique" is, as the guys at Surfing put it so perfectly, "a reminder as to why we love women in the lineup."
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