Nancy Mistral's one-page article on women's surfing in New Jersey was published in the Summer 1965 issue of Eastern Surf magazine.

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The women's surfing contest at Point Pleasant Bench on April 17 developed into an unexpected surprise for all—giving encouragement to the timid novice and greatly increased respect for these former gremlins to the wiser and more accomplished men who were there. These five girls—all relatively inexperienced—were stars of the show because of their fighting spirit and their enthusiasm.

There was also great camaraderie among the five women contestants. All are friends and all had surfed together at one time or another in the past. An example of their friendship was demonstrated after the contest when Vicki Allen went from one girl to another asking “Did I ding your board? I'm sure I hit somebody when my board got away from me." All this concern was remarkable after 20 minutes of fighting the cold surf and battling each other for the championship.

Because the surf was so cold, all of the girls wore wetsuits which were surprisingly becoming. Each girl owns her own wetsuit and board. Second-place winner Joanno MacGowon, a seventh grade English teacher from Wall, New Jersey, purchased her wetsuit and board after a summer of surfing and lifeguarding. Jersey Central Power and Light Co secretary Janet Mischler bought hers after just two surfing lessons last fall.

Encyclopedia of Surfing

Another interesting fact about the girls is that they all learned to surf under different circumstances and with different groups of people. Janice Dormorski, the winner of the contest, first became interested in surfing as a result of her membership in a SCUBA diving club. A freshman English major at Rutgers University, Janice has been surfing for one year, usually with members of the SCUBA club or the Jersey Surfing Association. Staten Island resident Margie Nelson was the third-place winner and the veteran surfer of the group having learned to surf two years ago. Vicki Allen, called “Mother Goose" by herself and the rest of the girls (because she Is married and the mother of a seven-month-old boy), learned to surf from her husband who also participated in the Point Pleasant Contest.

As you can see, the sport of surfing belongs to women as much as It does to men. It is an activity in which we girls can share with the men the thrill of competition and sheer enjoyment of this most exciting and stimulating sport.

[Top photo, left to right: Joanne MacGowan, Margret Nelson, Vicki Allen, Janet Mischlet, Janice Domorski. Surfing photo: Janice Dormorski]