'Chicks On Boards' - A Liberating Documentary
Karnataka Today|January 2017

We have many internet and subway surfers but what about the real deal - the real sport of riding the surf? Women rarely participate in this sport due to various reasons, many of them historic. German movie maker, Dörthe Eickelberg, has stepped forward to showcase how women across the world are surfing the waves to break the glass ceiling, and cracking glass walls with their grit and determination! Karnataka Today’s Rajat Rao met her during the filming of her documentary ‘Chicks on Boards’ at Mulki last month and discussed this phenomenon with her…

Rajat Rao

Dörthe Eickelberg, a German film maker has taken her pet theme of women empowerment forward with her documentary “Chicks on Boards”, in which she has worked on showing how girls from different countries break the stereotype of surfing being a “rich blonde hair, white person” sport. She says she aims at showing how the women living on the coast can enjoy the freedom of having all the fun they want, while considering it a sport on its own.

The documentary focuses on the active participation of girls and women in the surfing cult. “For many, surfing is just another sport but I see it as a liberation movement by all who practice it. ‘Chicks on Boards’ portrays the expression of freedom through surfing. I am working on delivering a story about women empowerment through participation in surfing as a liberation movement”, Dörthe says.

It is to be noted that there are only seven female surfers among the 200 odd surfers in India. When the Mulki Surf Club started in 2009, there was not even one female surfer. But in course of time quite a few girls joined the club and made it to the top not only at the national but also Asian level. Three surfer girls from Mulki, Aneesha Nayak, Sinchana Gowda and Tanvi Jagadeesh won prizes on a major scale and they haven’t looked back since.

Surfing and feminism – opposites?

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