Helen Covell's article ran in the May 10, 1964, edition of the Sydney Morning Herald. This verison has been slightly edited

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"Girls can't ride surfboards"—or so the boys say.

But we can, and we've got the top girls to prove it.

The boys say we aren't strong enough. We lack balance and gracefulness. We are too scared of scars to tackle the big waves.

Boys don't give us much encouragement.

“Stay on the beach—you look much better there." That's what the boys say.

Top girl surfer Sylvia Hoogeveen, 19, of Caringbah said this week: “Surfboard riding is healthy and invigorating. If you like the sport, why not give it a go. My boyfriend rides a board, and he'd rather I went surfing with him than have me stay on the beach and he prey to the other boys."

Well-known Harbord surfer Tanya Binning said, “American girls have it over us of course, as they’ve been riding much longer. They have reached a high standard. Our girls may not always try the bigger waves. [The sport] isn't so much of a challenge to them.

“Boys will do anything rather than be called chicken by their fellows," she added.

Tanya has been riding a surfboard for four years and has been a runner-up in several women’s surfboard riding championships.

“It’s a grand exercise, and is excellent for the body," Tanya said. “It gives you muscles, but what sport doesn't?"

Tanya said Queensland's champion woman surfer Phyllis O'Donell was more than a match for many Sydney male surfers. Phyllis, who won her title recently at Kirra Beach, on the Gold Coast, is one of the favorites for the world titles at Manly next week.

Sylvia said. "We haven’t got the muscle power the boys have, but if we keep at it, we can set a standard for women surfers"

That's our case, so how about it fellows?

[Photo of Tayna Binning, left, and soon-to-be 1964 world champion Phyllis O'Donell]