When thinking about surfing, a lot of men come to mind and when you’re paddling out, the line up can often be flooded with men. Even so, representation of women surfers is growing everyday and there are more women paddling out to show off their surfing skills. Here at the San Diego Surf School, we have some amazing women surf instructors that shred in the water and love teaching others about their skills. Meet two of our awesome women surfers who are examples of stellar women in the water.
June likes that surfing can be a solo sport but also one that creates community. Being out in the ocean and enjoying the waves that she catches by has always been a time for her to “recharge and reset.” June says that being a woman in a male dominated sport is both intimidating and exciting. It can be intimidating because it’s thought that girls can’t rip as hard as guys or that girls don’t know what they’re doing. But on the other hand, it’s exciting because you can be the best surfer out there and show up all the guys. June says, “There’s nothing like getting a ‘yew!’ from specifically the guys in the line up because they were surprised when you started ripping on the wave.” She also sees being a women surfer as a motivation to keep raising the bar for one’s own personal performance without considering anyones else’s opinion. June is motivated to continue surfing because of the feeling she gets when she’s on the face of the wave. It’s a rush that comes from using nothing but her body and a board to get herself into a wave. She says that, “Some people never get in the ocean past the breaking waves and it’s a different view from the out there. It’s the best seat for sunrises, sunsets and rainbows.” She always continues to surf because of the adrenaline rush after catching a great wave. June wants to encourage younger girl surfers to get out in the water and let go of any insecurities they may have. She says, “It’s easy to feel like you don’t belong in the beginning, but the better you get, the more comfortable you’ll feel about talking to people in the line up. People are friendlier than you think so get out there and let go of all your worries, the ocean is for everyone!”
Christina thinks that surfing is fun because it’s always a challenge and no matter how good you get there is always more to learn and improve upon because it is an ever changing sport. Everything changes, the waves change, the tides, the swells, so you have to adapt and learn all the time and Christina loves learning new things. She also says, “surfing is a very cathartic experience and even when there’s no waves, just to be in the water with the sound and the sight of the sun in the clouds is a real blessing.” She’s thinks that being a woman in a male dominated sport is interesting because at first it feels like you have to prove yourself and that you don’t deserve to be out in the water just like everyone else. But one you’re out there among everyone on the lineup and the only girl there and you catch a wave it can be pretty invigorating. Christina says that “younger girl surfers should remember to keep pushing themselves and not pay any mind to those around you who try to put you down or intimidate you. All of that doesn’t matter in water, everyone is equal in the sea. The water doesn’t care who you are.”
Surfing is something that anyone should be able to enjoy and progress at. While it may be a little intimidating, surfing is about being brave and as the women pointed out, the water is for everyone and is a great place to learn skills and confidence. Getting in the water and catching a wave is an amazing feeling and we hope that some of the women at San Diego Surf School help you feel empowered the next time you paddle out.