During a recent commute south on PCH, I found myself just wave-starved enough to paddle out in the bleak-looking conditions at a little right point named Topanga. Sets were few and far between, so it was all but deserted until I was joined by two other women. We got to chatting, and I joked that this was the first time I’d been out in an all-female lineup – which is true. More often than not, I’m the only girl in a sea of men at the spots I frequent. For me, spotting another lady in the water is rare enough to be exciting every time. I’m sure that denser populations of female surfers exist outside of my circles – there are plenty of girls to be found noseriding at Malibu, for instance, or getting pitted on the World Tour. But, I know there are many others who share my sentiment of wanting more girls to surf with. Women are still fighting an uphill battle to be taken seriously in the surfing world, and it’s good to have allies.
It’s funny, in the modern age where people are as connected as ever, it can still be tough to meet new people and make new friends. So to help make things easier, Surfrider’s West LA/Malibu chapter and Jeux de Vagues sustainable swimwear are partnering to throw an event series this summer involving waves, free brunch, and a big squad of as many lady wave riders as they can rally. The plan is to temporarily dispel the surf patriarchy and create a space for women who shred to meet other women who shred.
On July 2nd, the first one will begin with a surf session at Heavens beach, followed by an organic brunch at a nearby beach house. The person behind this idea, Katherine Terrell, founder of Jeux de Vagues and a former member of WLAM Surfrider, explained, “It’s a time for us to be ourselves completely as ocean lovers and wave riders in a non-competitive setting, where we can talk about thigh chafing or losing our tops and other womanly things without filtering ourselves.”
Jeux de Vagues and Surfrider have aligning missions: fostering stewardship of the ocean, and experiencing the joy that it can bring. Surf + Brunch is an initiative to leverage that joy and build community.
“With so much at stake to protect, people often forget about the enjoyment aspect of [Surfrider’s] mission. It’s our goal as a chapter to facilitate the enjoyment as much as the protection of the thing we all love so much,” said Tina Segura, chairwoman of Surfrider WLAM.
What better way to do that than gathering a community of surfer girls to mingle and enjoy free food? Katherine hopes that it will also be an opportunity for inspiring participants to strengthen their environmental activism.”Nature is wondrous. It’s pretty mystical to be able to ride the magical formations that are waves. When I get a really amazing wave, I mutter under my breath, ‘thank you universe.’ And it’s that gratitude for nature that cultivates a sense of duty to be stewards of the environment. It would be great if Surf + Brunch helped bring more people into that consciousness.”
If “free brunch” weren’t convincing enough, future events will involve bikini giveaways and beach cleanups. Get your girls together, because this will be epic. So epic, in fact, that the guys are getting jealous. “We’ve already had a few men RSVP,” mentioned Katherine. “I will have to sweetly tell them it’s ladies only!”
More information can be found on the event Facebook page.