Heather Hudson and the Stunning Six

Words by Will Forster & images by Will Forster, Tom Vos, Joni Sternbach

Heather Hudson’s film series, the Women and the Waves has been a voice for the ordinary yet extraordinary women in surfing. Every day we share our arena and lineup with one another intimately, and a glance along the beaches of the U.S. will tell you that women are as prevalent as men, and have been for sometime.

The first film, The Women and the Waves followed and documented the impressions women had made on surfing; like Linda Benson; the first female to surf Waimea, or Kim Mearig; the progressive Californian who shot to surfing fame in the ’80s. Ordinary women, with a superhuman stories.

Surf Simply head coach Jessie Carnes and myself, sit three rows back at the Nosara, Costa Rica premier of Heather’s latest film; ‘The Women and the Waves 2’. We are surrounding by banana palms and cheese plants. The audience looks far from typical, perhaps a more honest representation of the surfing community; women, children, fathers, young girls and the village veterans. All sat patiently waiting for a film representing just one area of the surfing populous.

The tintype photo produced by Joni Sternbach of Heather and 'The Stunning Six'.

Along with filmmaker Heather, the image above shows the six women involved in Heathers latest exploit ‘The Women and the Waves 2’, it was captured by acclaimed tintype photographer, Joni Sternbach. Heather and Joni met on the beach in Santa Barbara whilst Joni was taking photos for her Surfland tintype photography project. The ladies, interviewed and filmed around the waters of California, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Hawaii – are known fondly as the ‘Stunning Six’.

Shaper, mother and longboarder, Ashley Lloyd.

The second film focuses on a shared experience, one of balancing life in the surf, with the changing pace of adulthood. We hear the story of surfboard shaper Ashley Lloyd becoming a mother, to the sad and early death of Robin Hesson from cancer. Whether you are looking for a surf film with heart, or just a chance to watch the ladies shred; The Women and the Waves 2 needs adding to your list.

Watch the trailer to ‘The Women and the Waves 2’ here.

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