Jericho Poppler’s legacy as an action sports champion is enshrined in Huntington Beach’s Surfing Walk of Fame on Main Street. The sport of surfing owes much to this female professional water sports pioneer, who continues to inspire young athletes today.
Jericho started surfing at age 12 and never looked back. She is known as the First Lady of Professional Women’s Surfing as the first World Pro tour winner in 1976.
“I look at it from being out on the water’s perspective: looking back at the city, back down Main Street; its romantic. The waves are what bring me back; it will always be about the ocean, the waves and the community that's formulated around it.”
In addition to her athletic contributions to the sport, Jericho is also known for her advocacy to raise the status of women surfers. She co-founded the first all-women’s surfing organization (Women’s International Surfing Association), was an integral part of founding the SurfRider Foundation and is a member of the Surfing International Hall of Fame.
“And now I’m involved with the Surfing Heritage Foundation, and I want to develop their women’s archive.”
She says Huntington Beach is known for its soul. “Because if you can tackle the surf, you can tackle anybody in the city on the land!”
See Jericho’s story and be inspired to Dream and Do in Huntington Beach.
Get To Know Jericho Poppler
What's your sport of choice?
How long have you been rocking your sport?
I’ve been surfing in Huntington Beach since I was 12 years old.
How did you get into your sport of choice?
I grew up on the beach in Long Beach, watching these guys riding on the waves. Then in school, I’d read National Geographic magazines and surfing was just coming on as a sport (early 60s); I thought OH MY, I want to do that! Everybody said no, this is a guy’s thing only. I wanted to dance on those waves, travel around the world and meet new people so I started surfing when I was 12 years old and never looked back.
Why do you love rocking your sport in Huntington Beach?
I look at it from being out on the water’s perspective: looking back at the city, back down Main Street; its romantic. The waves are what bring me back; it will always be about the ocean, the waves and the community that's formulated around it. It’s really a unique city because of the surfing lifestyle.
If you had to go back & tell your amateur self about who you’d become, what advice would you give her?
Oh well, none of us back then realized the sport was gonna get so big to where you could make money as a professional. We were told this sport is never gonna go anywhere, especially if you're a girl. So maybe if I had a clue that the sport was gonna blossom like this maybe I would have been smarter and get a business degree to make money.
How are you living the dream?
I volunteer at a lot of organizations that are surf-related and being a woman, I’m all about boosting women in the sport. I’m involved with the Surfing Heritage Foundation, which is like the Getty think tank of surfing, and I want to develop their women’s archive.That's probably my main focus, besides making surfing the official sport of the state of California (which we achieved last year in 2018) and I’m really proud of that.
Favorite Thing About Huntington Beach
The pier, it's all about Huntington Beach Pier. The sand that formulates around the pier give you good and clean waves. The pier became this stage, so to speak and I refer to it as the Carnegie Hall of surfing performance.
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