Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Women on Waves Surf Contest is a unique event that allows women and girls to be in the lineup with other female surfers. It is a safe environment where they can compete and feel supported by all people, regardless of gender.
In 2018 I got the opportunity to take over the Women On Waves Surf Contest from Sally Smith-Waymouth, owner of Paradise Surf Shop, the first all-women surf shop in Santa Cruz.
Words can hardly express the gratitude I feel when this event happens. The entire community of Santa Cruz and beyond comes out to help make WOW possible. This one-of-a-kind event is loved by all.
Growing up in Santa Cruz, surfing has always been a male-dominated sport. I remember in the mid-1990s, when I was learning to surf, there were about 3 women older than me who surfed. On most days, I would be the only girl out there. Sometimes the guys were supportive and other times, they definitely were not. Back then, we did not have a female surfing community.
I remember watching several surf contests where there wasn’t even a female category. Historically the media would rather see girls in bikinis on the beach rather than ripping up the waves.
Female surfing has been fighting for equality in the lineup for a long time. We have come a long way, but there is still more to go. Women On Waves has helped pave the way for many girls in Santa Cruz. We now have a multigenerational event where moms, daughters, and granddaughters all get to surf!!
I am proud to see the stoke, confidence, and determination that surfing brings these young girls.
Women on Waves is a way for the female surfing community to come together, make friends and get the chance to shine.
Stop by this weekend and witness the magic of WOW ;)