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Pioneering Women: Margo Oberg, Surf Legend

Margo Oberg from ENCYCLOPEDIA of SURFING videos on Vimeo.

Before women’s surfing became the popular sport it is today, Margo Oberg was in the water paving the way for generations of female surfers behind her. A pioneer for women’s surfing, Oberg dominated the sport for over three decades. Growing up in La Jolla, California, Margo Godfrey began surfing at 10 years old and won her first world championship title at 15.

In her first surf contest she won the open women’s division and a coed children’s event, proving she had something special. She kept surfing, and by high school she had made a name for herself, winning the 1968 World Contest and the Western Surfing Association’s women’s title. Her early accomplishments were taking place when women’s surfing was nowhere near as popular as it is today.

She moved to Kaua‘i’s south side in the early 1970s after marrying Steve Oberg in 1972. For three years Oberg spent time on Kaua‘i, taking a break from surfing professionally. In 1975 she got back into the game, winning contests left and right. Throughout her career she won a total of seven world championships.

At home in Kaua‘i, Oberg began giving surf lessons in the mid-’70s and after a few years started the Margo Oberg Surfing School. She had a strong business going that supported her life on Kaua‘i. No longer competing, Oberg still lives on the south side of Kaua‘i, helping out with surf contests and working with her surf school. Today, women’s surfing has many more competitors, surfing at a higher talent level than they did 40 years ago. Oberg was truly a pioneer and an influence on many women on the surfing tour today.

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