Women surfers! As long as surfing has existed women have surfed.
Unfortunately, it has only been recently that women surfers have really put their mark on the sport. The last 20 years have shown a tremendous amount of growth in the number of women and girls that are getting off the beach and into the water. Surfer girls are taking to the water and surfing just as well as the guys.
There were always a few women surfers in the water as surfing went through its growth cycle in the 20th century, but even as recently as the early 80’s only one out of every 20 surfers in the water were female and there were even fewer girls in pro surfing. The late 80’s and 90’s spawned a trend that is only getting stronger, and young girls and professional women are all embracing the sport.
Over the last 10 years the growth has been phenomenal. Not only are up to 20 percent of the surfers in the water female in some places, but the women surfers that are on the ASP Women's World Tour are garnering increased respect and lucrative endorsement deals.
Click here to learn more about The Worlds Best Female Surfers
It’s not surprising that the birthplace of surfing gives the world a disproportionate number of surfers. Hawaii has beaches and surf within a short drive of just about anywhere and the weather and surf conditions are ideal. Coco Ho, Alana Blanchard and the one armed sensation Bethany Hamilton all not only hail from Hawaii, but also have performed consistently well in competition.
California is home to the Beach Boys and the Hollywood version of the surf lifestyle. The current crop of female surfing sensations do not disappoint in the abilities department. And their looks keep up the reputation of the dreamy California girl. Anastasia Ashley not only surfs better than most guys, but also was nominated for the Sexiest Vegetarian alive. Fellow So Cal native Erica Hosseini is not only a competitive surfer but also an aspiring model.
The Atlantic coast offers up its share of women surfers that can rip too. Brazilian Bruna Schmitz stepped up from arm candy to competitor last year. Floridians Christa Alves and Karina Petroni are showing off their skills honed the balmy waters off the Sunshine State.
Australia is not only one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world, but also produces some of the best surfers. Laura Enever and Sally Fitzgibbons are two 18 year olds that can outsurf just about anyone. And current ASP rankings leader Stephanie Gilmore skyrocketed from obscurity to the big leagues when she won the 2005 Gold Coast as a wild card, making her the youngest ever, at only 17, to win a WCT event.
The tipping point for the inundation of surfing by women has been reached. There are still strides to be made as far as prize money and always being able to garner respect as simply a surfer rather than girl surfer. The profiles of surfers have changed. Now, it can be a young girl or her mom in addition to the dad or boyfriend. More and more, mothers are teaching their kids to surf the way fathers do.
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