Got a Girl Crush On: “Life’s Swell” the original article about female surfers by Susan Orlean that inspired 90s cult surfer movie Blue Crush

Near 90-degree temps here in NYC has got me with vacation on the brain. Cue re-watching Spice Girls-era girl-power flick, Blue Crush.

Although the 2002 film depicts Kate Bosworth and Michelle Rodriguez ripping through big surf and eventually a women’s heat in the Pipeline Competition–a place for women to compete did not exist at the time of the film’s release. This changed in March 2005 when the Banzai Pipeline finally opened competition to women.

Susan Orlean’s Outside Magazine feature on a group of young surfer girls in Maui is an insight what it’s like to live in Hawaii and live surfing 24/7.

It must be hard to imagine an ordinary future and something other than a lunar calendar to consider if you’ve grown up in a small town in Hawaii, surfing all day and night, spending half your time on sand, thinking in terms of point breaks and barrels and roundhouse cutbacks. Or maybe they don’t think about it at all. Maybe these girls are still young enough and in love enough with their lives that they have no special foreboding about their futures, no uneasy presentiment that the kind of life they are leading now might eventually have to end.”

Orlean is no one-trick pony in the prose turned movie world, though. She also wrote “The Orchid Thief,” which ultimately inspired Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation.