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The Girls of Summer


And let's face it, you stop worrying about how your bathing suit fits or if that yellow zinc oxide flatters your complexion when you're paddling like hell to elude a monster wave (OK, 4-feet-tall was monster to me) that's eager to drown your inconsequential self.

For me, surf camp also gave me a new identity: I now can call myself a "chick with stick" (slang for surfboard) and have since paddled out in waters that were rife with testosterone. But I stay out of the experts' way, I don't drop in or steal anyone's wave, and I only ride the little ones. The thing is, now I can tell that some of them aren't any better than me. They're just guys.

For more information about Las Olas surf camp, visit the web site ( Besides surfing, more women-only sports instruction is cropping up everywhere -- from the slopes to the shore. If you don't see a program for your favorite activity, ask around. Here's a sampling.

  • Dirt-biking: Dirt Camp -- women-only camps in Moab, Utah;
  • Rowing: Row As One -- women-only, elite-level instruction;
  • Golfing: LPGA Golf Clinics for Women;
  • Girl's soccer: Soccer Plus -- session for girls aged 10 and up and aged 15 and up in Connecticut;
  • Fly-fishing: Mel Krieger International School of Fly Fishing -- women-only casting seminars;
  • Girls basketball: Hoop Mountain -- for girls aged 12 to 17; Also Nike Sports Camps;
  • Snowboarding: Many resorts offer women-only instruction. Ask your local resort or check out

Jennifer Howze is a freelance writer in New York City.

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