chapter  9
23 Pages

Queering surfing from its heteronormative malaise

Public visual pedagogy of circa 2014

Despite a claim that surfing embodied counterculture in the mid to late twentieth century, arguably a queer turn, a normative doxa has been in place as long as its history documents – the doxa of compulsory heterosexuality. Whether ancient stories of female–male courting via surfing, or ‘modern’ hegemonic surfing narratives of (male)surfers and their babes, until very recently the metanarrative was underpinned by heteronormativity, homosociality and only whispers/dalliance of other possibilities. Using the affordances of queer theory, this chapter pays attention to the whispers, to the paradox of queer surfing history, and to two examples that burst into popular knowledge around 2014 potentially breaking the malaise.