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Poppler, Jericho


Lively regularfoot surfer from Long Beach, California; world-ranked #2 in 1979. Poppler was born (1951) and raised in Long Beach, and began surfing at age nine. She was a women's division fixture in the United States Surfing Championships from the mid-'60s to the early '70s, finishing fifth in 1966, sixth in 1967, fifth in 1969, first in 1970, third in 1972, and fourth in 1973. She also placed sixth in the 1970 World Championships, won the Western Surfing Association's elite AAAA division in 1971, and placed third, with partner Hal Sachs, in the tandem division of the 1971 U.S. Championships.

Poppler then became one of the original full-time female pros, winning the 1976 Gunston 500 and the 1977 Smirnoff Pro, among other events. She was second to Hawaii's Lynne Boyer in the 1979 title race, and retired after the 1981 season.

The original media-savvy female surfer, Poppler presenting herself as a confident and well-muscled athlete ("I'm dynamic," she said in a 1980 interview, "I mean, look at me, I look great!"); as a sexy ingenue (lounging in a bubble bath with a bottle of champagne for a Surfer magazine portrait); and as a part-time feminist who said that men look to "conquer" waves while woman prefer to "dance, and just be part of this kingdom." Along with top surfers of the '60s and '70s, Poppler said she was influenced by Marc Chagall, Rudolf Nureyev, Clara Bow, and Cyd Charisse.

In 1975, Poppler cofounded the Women's International Surfing Association, the first all-women's competition organization, and in 1978 she cofounded the Golden Girls promotional group. She turned her attention to environmental causes in the mid-'80s as a founding member of the Surfrider Foundation (later serving on its board of directors), and the Groundswell Society, and by working with Surfers Environmental Alliance, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and Kids for Clean Waves.

Poppler was featured in a small number of surf movies, including Waves of Change (1970) and Five Summer Stories (1972). In 1997, she was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame. Poppler is married and has five children.