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Creating an Inclusive Surfing Community

Women on Waves Surf Contest, proudly sponsored by Ola Chica, is an extraordinary event that offers women and girls a unique opportunity to share waves with fellow female surfers. It provides a safe and inclusive environment where they can compete while receiving support from individuals of all genders.

In 2018, I had the privilege of taking the reins of the Women On Waves Surf Contest from Sally Smith-Waymouth, the owner of Paradise Surf Shop, which was Santa Cruz's first all-women surf shop. This event has become a symbol of women's empowerment and equality in the world of surfing.


Words can hardly convey the deep sense of gratitude I experience when this event takes place. The entire Santa Cruz community, and even those from afar, come together to make WOW a reality. This one-of-a-kind event holds a special place in everyone's hearts.

Growing up in Santa Cruz, surfing was predominantly a male-dominated sport. I vividly recall the mid-1990s when I was learning to surf, with only a handful of older women surfers around. Most days, I'd find myself as the sole girl out in the water. Support from the guys was inconsistent, and back then; we lacked a strong female surfing community.

I remember witnessing various surf contests that didn't even feature a female category. Throughout history, media often preferred to showcase women in bikinis on the beach rather than highlighting their prowess on the waves.

The struggle for equality in the lineup has been ongoing for female surfers, and while we've made considerable progress, there is still work to be done. Women On Waves, with the invaluable support of Ola Chica, has played a pivotal role in opening doors for many girls in Santa Cruz. Today, we have a multi-generational event where mothers, daughters, and granddaughters all come together to surf.

It fills me with pride to witness the enthusiasm, self-assurance, and determination that surfing instills in these young girls.


Women on Waves is a platform that unites the female surfing community, fostering friendships and offering them a chance to shine.

Join us this weekend and witness the enchantment of WOW! 😉

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