Surfing is not an easy sport to master. Alongside the euphoric good days there are plenty of frustrating days when you feel like chucking your board into the back of the garage and taking up knitting. After a morning spent picking off little aqua wavelets, the wind onshore and the tide wrong for surfing, you need friends to motivate you to get back on your surfboard and paddle back out.
Surfing is always more fun when you share it with someone. Watching your friends catching great waves and cheering each other makes surfing a unique sport and these moments together in the ocean are priceless. Having friends to surf with can also help you to progress quicker and surf more.
This is especially true for surf girls: women around the world are breaking down barriers and getting even more women waxing up their board and giving surfing a go. There is something empowering about surfing with other women. Female surfers experience a tribal camaraderie through surfing together. Dr. Johan Steidinger explains in her book (Sisterhood in Sport), that the sisterhood created through sport is very special and it keeps women driven, engaged and connected because the female brain gives significance to emotional connection, empathy and intuitions and positive peer group collaboration. The way girls communicate and the language they use is what connects them and when it is mixed up with the shared log and experience of the ocean, it elevates the surfing sisterhood tribe to new levels of stoke. There is much more than just catching waves, as it is more about getting together, enjoying the surf and feeling confident with other women’s support.
Before the 1990’s, every surf girl knew the feeling of paddling out at a break surrounded by men, then all of a sudden, something shifted and more and more women started the sport and today it happens to see guys feeling a bit intimidated when a group of girls paddle out and start banter in the line-up.
It looks like it is a good time also to be a female athlete in the sport of surfing as it has been evolving over the years, e.g. WSL has increased the prize purse for women and added a few good locations onto women WCT schedule, which have enabled the women to showcase their abilities and excel in surfing.
There are more female surfers in the world than ever before. In the last 20 years all female surfing activities, from girls-only surfing weekends to yoga and surf holidays, have seen a great increase in popularity. It allows women to build networks, mental and emotional strength, physical fitness, happiness and confidence.