Hi All! It’s been ages since I last posted. It’s been a whirlwind summer of book tours, coming back to California (yay!), and teaching kids about nature in the Marin Headlands.
I’ve landed back on my feet in California, and while I am figuring out my next steps, I’ve been keeping up the momentum of Surfer Grrrls Brazil in a bunch of fun ways. I’ve teamed up with my friend Farhana, and we are now working together on BrownGirlSurf, the organization she started, named in honor of Polynesia’s first surfers, to support women’s surf community and female surf pioneers all over the world. We’ve started offering beginner surf lessons for women and girls, and the first ones have gone really well, with folks coming back for more! Check it out here if you’d like to learn! I’m also representing Surfer Grrrls Brazil at a panel discussion about girl surfers around the world at the Patagonia store in SF on October 8 (The International Day of the Girl!). More on that to come! I am hoping that the future may hold further video collaborations with girl surfing projects on the California coast.
In the meantime, I’ve been slowly sorting through and editing all my video files, mixing beats with all my samples, and recording all the lyrics I’ve been writing. And now, I am THRILLED to present Surfer Grrrls Brazil’s latest video, “If You Love to Ride.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RQS_Mrxj7g
This video was filmed in Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro, with original music produced by myself and the Rocinha Surfe Escola and Projeto Maré Mansa, who provided the live percussion track and wrote the verses in Portuguese. While the focus of my journey through Surfer Grrrls Brazil has been my own surf adventures and those of other female surfers I met along the way, each place I have travelled has held its own surprises. In Rio, I was taken under the wing of Bocão the ever jovial founder of the local surf school, which has been providing “rehabilitated” surf boards, surf lessons, and a variety of arts and wellness programming to kids in Rocinha for over 15 years. This transformed my experience in the city as I became part of this loving surf school community, full of fun times and colorful characters of all ages. For almost a month, I went surfing with the kids in the afternoon, helped with English classes, and made music with them in the evenings. The kids loved my raps, and we had great times freestyling together. I asked them, and their talented music teacher Delão Allen of Projeto Maré Mansa, to collaborate with me on a song I was writing which was a particular favorite of the kids (they loved singing, “put your hands up!). In Rio, it rained almost every day, and the waves were either terrifyingly huge or frustratingly non-existent. But I learned from the kids and Bocão all the different ways you can have fun by the beach. The video reflects the real Rocinha I discovered – where more people body boarded than surfed, where there were still a lot of social barriers to girls surfing, but a few brave girls got out there and showed their mettle, where the time we spent on land, skateboarding, samba dancing, drumming, and kicking it around the neighborhood was just as meaningful as our time on the waves. Enjoy!