Keala Kennelly and Claire Bevilacqua Score Big Desert Barrels. Surf video courtesy of

I wouldn’t normally share a Facebook exchange on here but this one was pretty lame on my part…

Chris: “Come back soon…your mind would be blown by how good Lowers has been lately.”
Claire: “Naaaaa, blown outta pits in the desert is way more appealing than Trestles…haaaaa.”

After watching Claire and Keala in this clip, it made me wonder about the current women’s world tour schedule. In 2011, not one wave on the tour will come close to matching the challenge of these heaving desert barrels. Why on earth is this year’s world title being decided in Huntington Beach? Anyone have an answer for that one?

And back to our regularly scheduled programming…Keala and Claire pushing limits in the desert…

[youtube width=”608″ height=”371″ video_id=”bcFcbyOObo0″]

HGM Honeyz Search To Surf Big Desert Barrels
International legend women surfers Keala Kennelly and Claire Bevilacqua fly to the desert in search of perfect waves and score big time.

Surf Video courtesy of Homegrown Maniacs

Groundbreaking “Women On Waves” Exhibit Closing in Two Weeks, Special Discount Offer for California Surf Museum Visitors

Patagonia - Try Swimwear that Stays PutPresented by

“One of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever been involved in, the “Women On Waves” exhibit at the California Surf Museum is ending in less than one month. Come check it out if you haven’t already. Men/women, surfers/non surfers alike, you’ll enjoy it.” -Julie Cox, Operations Manager, California Surf Museum, January 2011.

When I read Julie’s Facebook post above, it hit me like a ton of bricks that the Women On Waves exhibit would be closing down shortly. The California Surf Museum has put together one of the most extensive and significant collection of women’s surf history ever housed under one roof. If you have not seen it yet, I encourage you to do so now because there is a very real possibility that nothing like Women On Waves will ever happen again in our lifetimes. You need to act quickly too because the exhibit will only be showing for a few more weeks.

The California Surf Museum has offered up a generous discount to JettyGirl readers until the closing of Women On Waves. Simply mention “JETTYGIRL” at the admissions desk and you’ll receive a 2-for-the-price-of-1 discount admission. For questions, directions and museum hours, please visit –Chris Grant

JettyGirl: At last year’s ribbon-cutting for the Women On Waves exhibit, many of the most famous female surfers in history showed up for the grand opening. Does anything particularly special stick out in your mind from that night?
Julie Cox: We had a ribbon cutting in March and a Gala in June. Each event was really really special… With the ribbon cutting we were working up to the wire, pulling 16 hour days to get everything installed, and hanging photos a few minutes before cutting the ribbon. Once the exhibit opened, everyone really liked it, so that was a relief. So many amazing women in the exhibit showed up to help cut the ribbon… Gidget, Linda Merrill, Linda Benson, Joyce Hoffman, Prue Jeffries, Kristy Murphy, Jennifer Smith, Jeannette Prince, Cori Schumacher, Debbie Beacham, Cher Pendarvis, Ashley Lloyd, Carla Rowland, Eve Fletcher, Donna Matson, just to name a few! It was fun watching the different generations talking, meeting each other, and taking photos together. Women featured in the exhibit brought family members along, it was a proud moment for many. My mom was there too, helping set-up, taking photos, etc. My co-worker, Sam played vintage vinyl on the turntables, the energy was amazing. Speaking with Joyce Hoffman that day was a highlight for me. Hearing about the first time she surfed Pipeline and hearing about her competitive side back then. Meeting her parents and seeing her smile when she saw her section of the exhibit was a great feeling. You could tell she was proud and had a good time seeing everyone.

The 3rd Annual Fundraising Gala was awesome, again, because so many of the legends of today and yesterday were at the museum. I am here everyday, but to have all of the people I look up to and admire come to me, was killer! Lisa Andersen, Frieda Zamba, Maya Gabiera, Courtney Conlogue, Keala Kennelly, Kassia Meador along with many of the ladies who were at the ribbon cutting came for a night to re-celebrate the exhibit.

Linda Merrill, Eve Fletcher, Donna Matson, Debbie Beacham and Courtney Conlogue. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum.
Group photo of legendary female surfers. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum.  Maya Gabeira, Courtney Conlogue, Gidget and Keala Kennelly. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum.

JG: There’s an Ashley Lloyd-shaped board in the exhibit that’s been signed by the best of the best in women’s surf history. When the exhibit closes, what will happen to that board?
JC: The California Surf Museum board of directors agreed to commission Ashley to shape a special Women On Waves exhibit surfboard to auction at our fundraising Gala, but once we began acquiring signatures, we decided it was too special to let go of. CSM will keep it for our permanent collection to display again in the future and continue getting autographs.

JG: Since you’ve walked the halls of the exhibit virtually everyday for the past year, you surely must have a favorite item or two. What would the item(s) be and why?
JC: First, the Mary Jane beaver tail wetsuit from the 1960s. The style is so cute, I wish someone would make something like that today. Second, there is a 1950’s balsa board made custom for a woman named Donna Matson. I got to pick it up from her house in LA when we interviewed her and the board felt so at home under my arm. Finally, we have one of Rell Sunn’s boards on display. She chose the cloth that is inlayed in the glass and had it made into a single fin after it was a 2+1. That board is very special and is one of my favorite things in the exhibit. There are many photos that I really like in the exhibit too.

Bethany Hamilton exhibit. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum.JG: When you overhear visitors talking as they walk about the exhibit, is there one particular item that visitors seem to gravitate towards?
JC: When visitors first enter the exhibit, they gravitate toward the first swim suit examples on display. The first suit from the early 1900’s is cumbersome, heavy, and looks very hard to surf or swim in. They love the cute suits from the 1930’s and 1940’s. But as soon as visitors see the shark bitten chunk out of Bethany Hamilton’s board, they are drawn to that and can’t believe they are looking at the actual board.

JG: Which era represented in the exhibit was the most difficult to gather items for and why do you think that is?
JC: We are lucky to have an enormous network of surfers and collectors who helped make the hunt for items go smoothly. But we really wanted to show the evolution of the women’s swim suit fashion and our 1900’s, 1930’s and 1940’s were weak. I just think we never came across the earlier suits and never expressed the need for them until this exhibit. Roxy helped us by allowing us to buy 5 vintage suits we found online. Once the exhibit is over, the suits will go into the Roxy archives.

JG: If you could time travel to any era represented in the exhibit, which one would it be and why?
JC: I’d like to have surfed in the late 1950’s- 1960’s. It would have been fun to be a part of the surfing boom when spots were being discovered, opportunities for surfers were just beginning, and boards were getting lighter and better. Surfing was still a rebel’s sport and lifestyle and the culture was really being shaped.
Linda Benson exhibit for Women On Waves. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Rell Sunn exhibit. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum.Lisa Anderson exhibit. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Wahines. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum.

JG: It’s quite possible that there will never be a collection of women’s surf history in one place like this again. Do you have any plans for the exhibit to live on in some form?
JC: We researched and thought hard about having the WOW exhibit travel, but decided against it because of the precious items we have on loan, the cost it would take to insure the items, and the time and cost in manpower to oversee the operation. We’re going to make a book out of it instead. So much of the hard work is already done, it would be irresponsible of us to let it all disappear.

JG: What’s up next for the California Surf Museum?
JC: The board of directors have at least 4 exhibits in the works which will be installed late February through May in different phases. We’re working on a 25 years of the California Surf Museum exhibit which will showcase some of the items that have been donated over the past 25 years. We’re going to do an exhibit about the transition years 1966-72 when longboards went short. We’ll integrate politics, culture, music, etc from that time period. To compliment surfing’s transition years, we’ll do an exhibit about skateboarding’s transition years which were the early 1970’s to circa 1975. We’ll include some clothing and shoes as well-it is always fun to include a bit of fashion and style. We’re also installing a permanent exhibit which will showcase 100 years of surfing and include examples of the prominent boards, fashions, and figures of each era. I will help out where I can in all of this but the lead is really being taken by Larry Balma, Guy Motil, Dale Smith, Jim Kempton, Tara Torburn, Jane Schmauss, and Ric Riavic.

Debbie Beacham, Jericho Poppler, Cher Pendarvis and Jane Schmauss. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Carla Rowland. Photo courtesy of California Surf Museum. Jane Schmauss and third grade class field trip. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Debbie Beacham, Frieda Zamba, Keala Kennelly, Jennifer Smith. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum.Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Linda Merrill. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Margo Oberg exhibit. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Lisa Anderson signs the Women On Waves exhibit surfboard. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Joyce Hoffman exhibit. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Frieda Zamba signing the Women On Waves exhibit board. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Early days. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Donna Matson. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Big wave exhibit. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Keala Kennelly signing the Women On Waves exhibit board. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum. Gidget and Linda Benson. Photo courtesy of the California Surf Museum.


Special Thanks: Props to Julie Cox for her assistance with this story and for her dedication to the promotion of women’s surfing through her work at the California Surf Museum. For those of you who may not be aware of this, Julie has collaborated with talented shaper, Jed Noll, on a line of surfboards specifically designed for female surfers. Check out the Jule Collection of surfboards here!

Keala Kennelly’s Quest to Provide Clean Water for Nicaraguan Village

January 17, 2011–Irvine, California—This March pro surfer Keala Kennelly will travel to Nicaragua to volunteer with the nonprofit organization, SYRV [makegoodhappen]. While in Central America Kennelly will dedicate her time to providing Clean Water for a Village in Nicaragua, interacting with the community through surf lessons and much more.

“I look forward to trips like this because you get to change people’s lives for the better and that is really satisfying.” –KK

SYRV’s Clean Water for a Village campaign invites you to participate in one or all of 4 ways. Here’s how you can make good happen:

RAFFLE: Make Good Happen by purchasing as many $10 raffle tickets for each entry and you’ll be entered to win 1 of 5 Keala Prize Packs.

Each prize pack (valued at over $300) includes:
• A two month supply of Sambazon Acai
• Billabong Beach Kit
• A pair sunglasses and t-shirt from Dragon Eyewear

*all donations for raffle ticket purchases are tax deductible

DONATE: Sponsor a family by donating $30 for them to receive a water purifier. SYRV travelers will hand deliver them and match you up with a family. You’ll receive a photo and family information upon return from the March mission. *all donations are tax deductible.

TRAVEL & VOLUNTEER. Join Keala on the trip and be a volunteer yourself.

CHATTER. If you can’t travel or don’t have funds to donate, you can still make a difference. Share what you do to make good happen in your community and send the link to raise awareness about our mission.

SYRV offers volunteers, donors and travelers an exciting opportunity to reach out to a rural community in the simplest ways while making a huge difference. “The integration of the SYRV trip format really enhances ones personal reflection of themselves in relation to those in need shows them the importance and ease of giving back to others. We’ve brought clean water to hundreds of people including the schools. We also just completed the SYRV Jiquilillo community center recently allowing for the villagers congregating and learning computer, sewing skills that will benefit their economy. In addition we offer surf school, art and music classes to the children. We invite you to be a part of the change you’ve always wanted to be a part of.” states SYRV Director & Founder, Monique Evans.

For more details visit:


Growing up on Kauai, Keala Kennelly learned how to rip early on while surfing with Bruce and Andy Irons. She turned pro at the age of 17 and in time made her way on to the WCT. On the competitive circuit Keala charged in heavy waves like Cloudbreak and Teahupoo, where she also earned recognition for being the first woman ever to tow-in in 2005. In 2007 Keala took a break from competitive surfing to pursue acting. She was in the Hollywood hit movie Blue Crush and was a season regular on the HBO show John From Cincinnati. In the last few years Keala has had much success with her pursuit to become the first successful female free surfer. She starred in an episode of Fuel TV’s Firsthand and was nominated for an XXL Big Wave Award. She also got barreled in Puerto Escondido and earned double page spreads in Transworld Surf and Surfer. Most recently Keala became the first women to surf a wave at Nelscott Reef and won the Big Wave Classic, the first event of it’s kind to include women. She continues to push women’s surfing to new levels.

ABOUT SYRV [makegoodhappen]:

SYRV is a nonprofit organization committed to developing and sustaining programs that provide meaningful contribution and social responsibility supporting human rights, education and social development initiatives. We work closely with community leaders in developing countries to identify core needs, while utilizing the skill sets, values and passions of our volunteers and donors, inviting them to travel to our host countries to develop or contribute to our programs. We do this by ensuring a fully integrated experience for hosts and contributors while promoting responsible volunteerism.


Jim Kempton
Director of Marketing
Billabong USA
P: x3363