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WOW: Women On Waves, by Jim Kempton, is the comprehensive history of the female wave-riding experience – performance, achievement, beach fashion, and feminine mystique in the world of surfing. From the beginnings of surfing to present day. Whether you are an elite athlete or a casual rider, there is something for everyone in this book.

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Learn more about the book, author Jim Kempton, and find out how you can be directly involved helping tell the incredible, ongoing story of women's impact on surfing.

GET A copy
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Kim Mearig

As the exploding popularity of the surfing lifestyle reaches global proportions, and the demand for acknowledging special women’s achievements continues to grow, a book has emerged to help fill this obvious need. WOW: Women On Waves offers a comprehensive history of women’s surfing celebrating the gritty struggles and amazing achievements of female surfers all around the world.. Highlighting women’s accomplishments in the realm of sports and the universal attraction of surf and beach style this book will satisfy the current and-rapidly growing demand for barrier-breaking stories in surfing and the woman’s movement.

WOW: Women On Waves will be the definitive book on the female sports experience, including a fascinating chronology of beach attire from Hawaiian queens to today’s Olympic athletes.

Combining the visual attractiveness of surfing with unique and captivating experiences of colorful women, dramatic vignettes, and a unique view of women’s swimsuits over the last 200 years, WOW: Women On Waves will deliver a compelling mix of struggle, determination and triumph in a fresh and timely context. This celebration of surfing women’s adventurous beach-lifestyle will attract readers hungry for a fun read as well as a unique gift.

Written by former Surfer magazine editor & publisher Jim Kempton, it draws on first-hand experience and a lifetime of expertise in the field. Supported by a team of women editors, art directors and photographers making the book authentic, it will feature images of spectacular waves, intimate portraits and vintage beachwear to enhance the charm and excitement of the text. Collecting the historical documents and images from the Hawaiian Queens of the 1800s to the barrier-shattering big wave exploits of the new millennium, this work covers the remarkable feats and colorful female characters that have driven the sport of surfing since its beginnings. As a definitive history it will also be an essential reference book for future history.

In this decade of women’s pride and increasing interest in accomplishing greatness, this book comes as the 2021 Olympics nears. WOW will be a book you will want on your shelf whether you are a surfer or just a supporter of women who dream big and rise to greatness.

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Keala Kennelly

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WOW Project

Contribute to our Indiegogo campaign, and become an actual part of telling this important story. Your support will go directly to helping pay for pre-publication expenses (photography, editing, design, etc). More details are available on our Indiegogo campaign page.

level 4: $1,000


You will receive 4 VIP Tickets to the Women On Waves Book Launch Party, which includes food and drink.


You will receive a special numbered (#1 to #50) First Edition Women on Waves book, signed by at least TEN of the women featured in the book.


Your guests will each receive a copy of Women on Waves, signed by author Jim Kempton. 

level 3: $500


At the VIP Supporter Level, you will receive two VIP Tickets to the Women On Waves Book Launch Party & signing event.


You will have access to the VIP Section of the event, which includes food and drink.


Both attendees will receive a signed copy of Women On Waves: A Cultural History by author Jim Kempton.

level 2: $100
level 1: $50


At this level you will receive two tickets to the WOW Women On Waves Book Launch Party & signing event.

You will also receive a signed copy of Women on Waves: A Cultural History by author Jim Kempton.


A signed copy of Women On Waves: A Cultural History by author Jim Kempton.


Jim Kempton is a well-known pioneer in the surf & action sports industry, an author, editor, historian, media marketing authority, and public speaker. Over his career, he was Editor and Publisher of Surfer Magazine, and Group Publisher for TransWorld Publishing.


Awarded the California Arts Award of Excellence in Editorial Writing, Kempton has written three previous books on surf culture including his recent 2019 First We Surf Then We Eat a Surf/Travel cookbook published by Prospect Park Books, as well as Surfing the Manual, a book on the history of advanced surfing techniques and The San Onofre Surfing Club, on the history of surfing at San Onofre, the birthplace of California’s surf culture.


Kempton has written hundreds of articles on surfing and the surf industry for magazines all around the world. He traveled the globe directing Quiksilver’s surf exploration vessel surfing on six continents and over forty countries. More recently Kempton worked as Media Director of Billabong, one of surfing’s top lifestyle brands. In the Non-profit sector Kempton is the current President of the California Surf Museum and was the Manager of the Surfrider Foundation Advisory Board as well as the board of directors for the Sport of Kings Foundation.

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