Born and raised in Arizona, surfing was never something that was on Elizabeth Sneed’s radar, until 2017 when Sneed relocated to Oahu and quickly fell in love with the sport. But, as Sneed spent more time in the water, she came to realize there was a lack of diversity in the surf industry’s portrayal of female surfers. While the majority of surfers range from the beginner to intermediate level and vary in age and body type, most surf brands depict female surfers as tan, blond, white, young, skinny, and at the pro level, she says.
“It’s a fact that surf brands cater towards young females that are in the XXS-Medium category – that’s their target demographic and who they are primarily making swimsuits for,” says Sneed. “It’s part of a long, patriarchal narrative that women are accessories to surfing for men and that they need to be wearing cute, skimpy bikinis.”