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Patti Paniccia (JD '81) Featured in Women Professional Surfers Documentary -- BBC News

Pepperdine Caruso Law alumna and adjunct professor Patti Paniccia (JD '81) is featured in the BBC News World Service documentary, "Women Pro Surfers: Battling the Waves." The episode, which is part of a series titled "The Documentary," examines how women surfers in the 1970s created the first pro-surf world tour.

From BBC News World Service:

Today, women’s surfing has equal prize money as men, and women are an accepted part of the pro-circuit. Fifty years ago, things were very different - no wetsuits designed for women, barely a sponsorship deal in sight, and undisguised chauvinism from the male surfing establishment.

Patti Paniccia was a surfer back in the 1970s, determined to create a path to professional surfing for women, as well as men. Together with surf promoter, Fred Hemmings and surfer Randy Rarick, she founded IPS (International Professional Surfing), to create the very first men’s and women’s world tour in 1976.

The women’s surf team – Sally Prange, Jericho Poppler, Rell Sunn, Becky Benson, Claudia Kravitz and Patti herself – were met with a barrage of ridicule and blatant sexism, but also had the time of their lives - from surfing the shark infested waters in South Africa, to drawing crowds of 20,000 Brazilians to the beaches in Rio de Janeiro. Together they opened the door for women's competitive professional surfing.

Patti tracks down the promoters she lobbied to get the tour accepted by the surf fraternity, reconnects with some of the top women surfers of the 1970s, including double World Champion Lynne Boyer and Jeannie Chesser, and looks at the legacy the early surf stars left for today’s surf stars – including eight times world champion Stephanie Gilmour, and Queen of Pipeline, Moana Jones Wong. She also hears from Surf Equity campaigner Sabrina Brennan, on equal pay, and gets historical insight from the author of the Encyclopaedia Of Surfing, Matt Warshaw.

The episode may be found at BBC News World Service