Who is Gidget:
Gidget is Kathy Kohner. Not your traditional surf hero, but rather a young brunette from Brentwood, California. She became the iconic surfer girl who would change the early face of surfing. In the mid-fifties, Kathy (daughter of screen writer Fredrick Kohner) began spending time surfing with the Malibu surf crew in "the pit" which was full of memorable characters like Tubesteak and Moondoggie as well as true performers like Miki Dora, Mike Doyle, Buzzy Trent, and Micky Munoz. Gidget learned to surf and whittled away her days hanging out with the guys all the while keeping a diary of her experiences.
Why is she called Gidget:
The name Gidget was originally coined from a combination of "girl" and "midget." At just 5'1", Kohner's diminutive stature was an obvious inspiration for the name. Some claims give Tubesteak credit for the name.
Why is Gidget famous:
Gidget's (Kathy Kohner) stories of wild characters, silly names, childish pranks, and the pure devotion to the surfing lifestyle struck her screenwriter father as prime fodder for a fictional novel. Just weeks after finishing the book Gidget, Hollywood was busy making the movie starring Sandra Dee, two sequels and later a TV show starring Sally Field. The success was a mixed blessing. While surfing instantly became marketable and enabled many surfers to make a living that was unimaginable before Gidget exploded, it also lured droves from inland to give surfing a go, creating congestion in the lineup. Many surfers felt the experience was becoming diluted for the mainstream. Kathy Kohner has since moved on from surfing, but her effect is still etched upon the Californian surf-scape. However you slice it. Gidget surfed the pristine Malibu point waves during its hey-day wirh Miki Dora, Buzzy Trent, Mike Doyle, and Mickey Munoz. As a surfer, that's an experience we'd all have a hard time keeping to ourselves.