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A resource for women in Outdoor Education and Recreation

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Gear Resources
Gear manufacturers have realised that lots of women like the outdoors and they're different shapes from men. Here's what's out there, and where you can buy it.

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Travel Resources
A selection of travel resources especially for women who love to travel. Includes a list of online communities if you do it yourself, or companies if you need a little help.

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Surfing Resources
Listed here are some links to resources from all over the world that cater to women who love surfing.

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Hiking Resources
Extended walks are great for the mind and spirit and lots of women love to take part in them. Check out these resources and get inspired to go on a walking adventure.

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Snow Sports

Snow Sports Resources
Skiing, snowboarding, backcountry, polar expeditions - all done in the snow and all done by lots of amazing women.  Check out these resources to find out more...

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Kayaking Resources
White water, surfing, sea kayaking, sprint racing, marathon racing, multisport, fishing...is there anything you can't do from a kayak? Explore these resources!

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Cycling Resources
A list of resources for all sorts of cycling - mountain biking, road biking, touring, racing, recreation and commuting - all specific to women.

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Climbing Resources
Women can (and have) achieved incredible things in climbing. Listed in this section are a collection of climbing and moutaineering resources that are useful and inspiring for all climbers.

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A list of organisations that cater exclusively to women, or run trips exclusively for women. A great way to find a women-specific adventure in your area.

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Outdoor Industry

Outdoor Industry Resources
Looking for resources to help you plan programs, companies and organisations that cater for women or organisations you can join? Look no further...

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Surf Ache

SurfacheSurf ache - according to Gerry Bobsien, this is “a state of being where all one can think of is getting back onto the waves”.  Surf Ache is also the name of Gerry’s new book, all about - you guessed it - surfing!  The book is also about how young people cope with change and how the process of getting out there, being active and becoming immersed in a passion can help with this.  There are also some interesting facts about the ups and downs of professional surfing, and about how hard the early women pro-surfers had to fight to keep themselves in the competitive circuit.

Surf Ache is about Ella, a 15 year old who is dragged away from her life and friends in Melbourne to the coastal town of Newcastle.  “Melbourne-Ella” is a ballet dancer with a bass-playing boyfriend, but “Newcastle-Ella” quickly discovers surfing when she arrives in the surf-obsessed town.  She soon becomes surf-obsessed herself, utterly succumbing to the surf ache, and then has to make decisions about which direction her life will lead.  

Gerry is a keen surfer herself, and has obviously put a lot of her own passion into Surf Ache.  The sport of surfing has changed in the past few years and there are a growing number of girls surfing and  Gerry, who used to write a surf blog, realised that this would be a great topic for a book.  Gerry lives in Newcastle and she admits that her two daughters influenced the characters in Surf Ache.  She also says that Ella’s Mum, a former pro-surfer with a mysterious history, is loosely based on the great Australian surfer Pam Burridge, who worked extremely hard to establish her place in the then male-dominated world of professional surfing.

Surf Ache is an easy, enjoyable read.  There are some delightful characters, in particular Ella’s little sister Creaky who is cheeky, funny, vibrant and truly lives life to the full.  The infectious nature of surfing is well portrayed, as is the hard work that is involved in excelling in an activity like dancing or surfing.  There is enough mystery to keep you reading through to the end (you want to find out what happened to Ella’s Mum on the pro-surfing circuit), and even a bit of romance to spice things up.

The only thing I found a little disconcerting about the book was how blessed Ella is as a person.  Not only is she beautiful, talented, popular and from a loving and happy family, she also turns out to be an incredibly good surfer.  She gets headhunted for a prestigious dance academy even though she spends all her time surfing, and then she does really well in a surfing competition and gets invited to a special surf camp overseas.  She meets her new best friend on the first day she attends her new school, and her only “enemy” is rarely around.  She leaves behind a loving boyfriend in Melbourne and almost immediately befriends a gorgeous surfer in Newcastle.  Perhaps I’m old and bitter, but I couldn’t quite relate to Ella, she was a little bit too perfect.

Nevertheless, I do recommend the book to girls who are interested in surfing or dancing or any activity that involves hard work, commitment and some healthy competition.  I liked the fact that Ella didn’t face any setbacks because she was a girl in a boys’ sport, and that she could approach her surfing in exactly the same way she approached her ballet dancing.  Surf Ache shows what girls can be capable of when they put their minds to it and discover their potential.  So if you’re a teenager or you know a teenager who is looking for an easy, entertaining read, go to your local bookshop and pick up a copy of Surf Ache.  If you think your potential is surfing, there are even some surf tips in the back!  

You can check out the Surf Ache website and find the Surf Ache page on Facebook.

You can read the Surf Ache Surfing Tips by clicking this link: Surf Ache Surfing Tips.pdf

If you'd like a preview of the book, download a copy of the Chapter Sampler by clicking this link: SURFACHE CHAPTER SAMPLER.pdf

If you would like to win a copy of Surf Ache and you're based in Australia or New Zealand, send me a 25 word statement about how outdoor activities influenced you as a teenager, via the forum, email, Twitter (@GirlsOutdoors) or Facebook.  I have three copies to give away and the best responses will be posted as a blog entry.  Entries close on the 15th of December.  Good luck!!

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