Linda Benson: The Original Mermaid
Linda Benson is the pioneer of our sport. Out of a time when it was frowned upon to be a woman in sport at all let alone in a swim suit and fighting men for waves.
Linda, from California came out of the shadows and into surfing like a refreshing and inspirational style guru. Not only did she rule the waves on a balsa board in the tiny cold waves of California, she took on the treacherous big waves of Waimea Bay in Hawai’i at the rife old age of 15 and that same year went onto win the 1959 Makaha International and became the world champion leading the way for women everywhere.
How lucky we are that someone filmed her pioneering style back then, and how amazing is it that we today, 50 years on, aspire to have that original light-footed grace and skill on the longboard. A sport that has been so slightly altered since the last century.
Linda Benson is the original mermaid and Californian surfer girl and we thank her for bringing such an effervescent dimension to surfing. You can still catch Linda surfing the Cali coast today.
Make sure you watch the above video and appreciate that moving a longboard is a lot harder than Linda creatively makes it out to be.