Take a scroll through social media, and if you didn’t know any better then you could perhaps be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that women’s surfing is all sunshine, sand, palm trees and wetsuits that finish at the bottom of the….bottom. The reality is not often so. This week, with International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday here in the UK, we celebrate our female friends who surf right through the unglamorous winter months, inspiring us and other British surfers.
Theirs is a reality of long hair knotted and matted from being tucked under a neoprene hood, of freezing cold and awkward car park changes and, for the mums amongst them, having to engineer or trade the time to surf. These are the hurdles that many face before they even reach the line-up and sadly sometimes have to then compete for their waves in an environment that might still retain traces of good-for-nothing macho bullshit.
Surfers like Sarah, pictured, are shining, smiling examples of the way that we want surfing to be; a mum with a better cut-back than most, who surfs more often than most. As winter bites each year, Sarah is one of the last to submit to boots, then maybe a hood, and is the first to return them to the back of the shed when the first signs of spring arrive. Sarah represents for us the way that surfing is and the way that it should be, and we’re grateful to her and all of the other surfers, both female and male, who catch waves on our wooden surfboards and showcase an alternative, inclusive and exciting surf culture.