“It’s Inspiring to My Eyes”: All-Female Surfing Event Organized by WSL on a Mission to Motivate Young Girls to Become Great Surfers

Published 08/18/2023, 10:09 AM EDT

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In recent years, surfing tournaments have seen an immense shift. The World Surf League (WSL) has been instrumental in advancing a culture that prioritizes gender equality. It gives women the freedom to break down barriers and question the status quo. A new age in surfing is emerging as female surfers now have a greater chance to stand out. In 2020, female surfing pros competed at Tahiti’s famous “chopes” wave for the first time in over 15 years. It wasn’t long ago when the heated controversy erupted over the 2006 withdrawal of the surf event from the women’s tour due to safety concerns.

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Since returning to Teahupo’o for the first time after 2006, the pro surfers have ridden on one of the most challenging waves without hesitation. In addition to what the world needed to see—young women’s potential—the surf site witnessed many personal and professional triumphs. At the same site this year, the breathtaking barrel waves are hosting an impressive all-girls at-site contest.

Surfing session that will go down in history

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The WSL Rising Tides took over the Teahupo’o water in an inspiring all-girls surf session before the opening day of the SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro. The SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro is the tenth contest of the 2023 WSL Championship Tour. The events are taking place in Teahupo’o, Tahiti, from August 11 to August 20, 2023. However, a group of young women—some as young as 11—were riding the perfect waves with unbridled enthusiasm, which caught everyone’s attention in the video posted by the World Surf League on YouTube.

 

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A bunch of females in yellow jerseys can be seen in the video having fun while riding the massive waves. The scene with a crystalline beach and girls seen as far as the eye can see is quite a spectacular sight. Among the tribe was 2019’s “Women’s Best Barrel” SURFER Awardee, Vahine Fierro, who says “It’s inspiring to my eyes too.” The WSL’s Rising Tides initiative offers training exclusively for women that helps young surfers build their confidence. The surfing prodigy and pro surfers come together for these sessions at each point along the tour.

The intention is simple: to empower one another in the water. It means investing time in training for a near-vertical drop into an explosive wave that is barreling over the reef. The chief of sport, Jessi Miley-Dyer, told the surfer that on a wave like this, where we know that the more time we spend here, the better we’re going to get, it’s critical for us to have women-only practice sessions. And despite all the ongoing controversies, some exceptionally skilled female surfers have served as ambassadors for gender equality on the WSL tour.

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Making headlines on and off majestic waves

Many female surfers lobbied in favor of the End of the Road’s return, including Tatiana Weston-Webb, Caroline Marks, and five-time World Champion Carissa Moore. The End of the Road (a term used to refer to the crucial wave at Teahupo’o) after they were denied competence in Tahini’s surfing location Back in 2020, when the heat returned, Moore told WSL that she was “really looking forward to the challenge and excited to see how the girls step up and perform out there.”

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The trio joined forces for the Women’s 2023 competition at the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour once again. Now these women stand by their word, returning to Teahupo’o to influence the future of women’s surfing. The idea of revolutionization has long struck female athletes, and it only appears to be growing more enticing over the years.

Watch this story Watch: 27-Year-Old Surfing Star Goes on an Epic Barrel-Ride at 2024 Olympics Venue

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

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Divya Purohit is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing her coverage in American sporting events. She recently found US Sports writing to be a niche that she enjoys and began following sports. Divya enjoys researching and creating various pieces of articles.
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