With the Gold Coast Women's Pro Surfing competition just around the corner (3rd - 13th April), have the days of companies selling our female surfers out as models in bikinis instead of skilful surfers, come to an end as women around the world say enough is enough?
As a mother, I personally want my daughter to walk past a billboard with Steph Gilmore on it and say to me, “Mumma, I want to be able to rip in the surf like Steph does”, not, “I want to look like her in that bikini”.
I strongly believe young girls will still buy the products our female surfers are wearing in those posters, but not because they want to look like them, because they want to be like them. There is the difference.
And this difference will see the best female surfers rewarded, regardless of what they look like because thus far, womens surfing has been promoted in a way that says, if you don’t have the look, you will never make it. Imagine if men’s surfing was sold in such a way!
So here are 6 reasons why we should be watching women’s surfing (and its not because of the bikinis)
1. Travel - our amazing female surfers get to travel the world showcasing their talent, promoting the surfing lifestyle and visiting amazing countries. If we have to stay at home and tend to our normal lives, why not follow your favourite female surfers and live your dreams of travel through them? Sun, surf, stunning destinations.
2. Hard work and dedication - these female surfers put in elite level hard yards to be as good as they are. Some female surfers are now being classed as good as Kelly Slater in his prime! That accolade does not come with out putting in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual work. What you get on competition day is the end result, only the best win. That’s worth watching.
3. Encourage - A lot of people reading this blog have daughters or nieces that look up to them. If we are not out in the water surfing ourselves, supporting our female surfers is the next best thing and these young sports girls will see how we positively react to these amazing athletes which will sub consciously be letting them know they can dream big and be a surfer if they choose to be.
4. Achievements - Australia has some of the BEST female surfers in the world. Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright just to name a few. We also have the likes of Phyllis O’Donnell, Pauline Menczer and Layne Beachley who paved the way for women’s surfing and reached great heights in the sport. All these amazing women deserve recognition, and women’s surfing deserves the support of spectators.
5. Social aspect - Surfing is a pretty cool social sport. So why not head to an event where you could meet some pretty amazing human beings. Enough said.
6. Waves - our female surfers can ride big waves and they do ride big waves. Its nerve racking to watch, but that is what makes sport so good to be part of, it gets everyones adrenaline pumping.
So come on Australia, head to the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast from the 14th to the 25th of March and get behind our girls in surfing.