An exhibit saluting the girls of the gulf.

June 6, 2008 – October 31, 2008

Female surfers haven’t always gotten the respect they deserve – neither on Texas shores nor on beaches around the world. Too often, women have been depicted simply as props in surf culture, as bikini chicks sitting on the beach, looking pretty and not much more.

The Texas Surf Museum in Corpus Christi aims to set the record straight, at least where female surfers from the Lone Star State are concerned, with a major new exhibit titled Texas Women. Texas Waves, opening on Friday, June 6, 2008.

Texas women including Tippy Kelly, Grace Knowles and Karen MacKay have won more national titles in the annual United States Surfing Championships than have their male counterparts since the contest began in 1959. Competition hasn’t been the only way women have made their marks on the Texas surfing scene. Kathryn Williamson-Mayfield of Houston established some of the state’s first surf shops in the early 1960s. Mary Goldsmith of Port Aransas spearheaded the successful drive during the late 1990s to legalize surfing next to Horace Caldwell Pier, a prime spot for waves. Rachel Gore of South Padre Island made headlines in 2004 when she and her husband, Gene, paddled a surfboard the entire 404-mile length of the Texas coast in 19 days to raise money for the Surfrider Foundation Texas Chapter’s Respect the Ocean program, which teaches school children about protecting and preserving the ocean environment.

Texas Women. Texas Waves. will include surfboards, memorabilia, videos and dozens of photos and written profiles related to Texas women surfers of today and yesterday, young and old, from throughout the state.

The opening of Texas Women. Texas Waves. will be part of the fifth annual Water Street Market Music & Art Festival June 6-8. The festival will kick off June 6 with Max Stalling performing at the Executive Surf Club, and will continue all day Saturday and Sunday with live music, art booths and more. Six more stars will be added to the South Texas Music Walk of Fame in a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. June 7 with honorees including Max Stalling, Joe Gallardo, Bill Haley and the Reverend Horton Heat, among others, many of whom will make appearances.

Address: 309 N. Water Street, next-door to the Executive Surf Club eatery, in downtown Corpus Christi. Admission, like the waves, is always free.

Hours are 10am to 7pm Monday through Thursday, 10am to 10pm Friday and Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Sunday. Phone: 361-888-SURF (7873) or 361-882-2364.