Women have always had a marginal space in mainstream surf magazines, which are primarily reserved for men. Getting press wasn’t easy for the women, leaving a major void that needed to be filled. So, Marilyn Edwards and Elizabeth Glazner created Wahine surf magazine, stepping up to the plate offering the first all female surf magazine. The first issue of Wahine was printed in the summer of 1995 with various articles including a travel feature of 4-time World Champion, Frieda Zamba, nutrition information, and beach culture (related to women of course). Wahine published 27 issues from 1995 through 2001. The magazine set out to carve a niche that was until then, completely ignored. Not much was known about their target audience at that time: they were acting on a “hunch.” After the launch of Wahine, the magazine became the main source for the market research which did not exist at that time. Their reader surveys and subscription forms collected valuable information that was sought after by major publications such as; The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, CBS News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Shape, and The Wall Street Journal.
Despite the “boy’s club” mentality that rejected the presence of an all women’s surf magazine, there were certain members in the surf- industry community who saw the market Wahine was opening and agreed the magazine created a positive movement. The ladies persevered with their allies leading them to solid connections which eventually evolved into companies creating advertising campaigns, building women’s lines, and sponsoring women they saw on the covers and on the inside of Wahine’s pages. Eventually Wahine closed shop due to lack of support and advertising dollars.
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