Big wave riding is one of surfing’s greatest art forms. It’s one of the few human activities that combines careful calculation with complete chaos, and those that choose to pursue it are a rare breed. With new technology that allows us to capture the power of big waves on film, many big wave surfers have secured spotlight in the mainstream media (think Laird Hamilton’s American Express ad and Kolohe’s Teahupoo pizza barrel ad). Despite this progress, a huge majority of the big wave surfing community remains underground – doing what they love for no money with little support. Except for only a handful of exceptions, female big wave riders have remained in the shadows.
Up until the last five years, women’s big wave surfing was virtually unheard of. Only through big headline grabbing moments like Keala’s performances at Teahupoo and Maya Gabeira’s near death incident at Nazare has women’s big wave surfing been able to garner any media attention at all.
WickrX Super Sessions is going to change that. Super Sessions brings together some of the world’s most skilled female big wave riders, and it gives them the technology and tools to share their stories. Throughout the duration of Super Sessions, each of the 15 ladies will document their incredible rides from around the world in places like Hawaii, California, Brazil, Ireland, and beyond. However, Super Sessions also showcases all the hard work that these athletes put in behind the scenes. The videos and photos captured by the 15 surfers are shared online at the WickrX Super Sessions website for fans to follow. The end of the event culminates in a final session at Mavericks bringing all the women together at California’s premier big wave break.
Along with Grant Washburn, Wickrx will take followers along with the woman while they train and surf at places including Waimea, Ocean Beach, Jaws, Mullaghmore, and Maverick’s.
WickrX Super Sessions surfer and Jaws charger Paige Alms believes that the project will help create a strong community among female big wave riders. While some of the women have met or surfed together, for the most part, they live and work on opposite ends on the globe. She explains that the general the big wave surfing community, (especially in Maui) is very tight knit, but there has been little connection between the world’s premier female big wave surfers. WickrX Super Sessions will provide the medium for these athletes to build relationships that can help push their careers forward.
Additionally, Paige points out that few of the world’s best female big wave riders are professional surfers. They do not get paid, and their lives are far from glamorous. They have lives, jobs, and families that are completely separate from their big wave pursuits. Super Sessions allows women to share these other parts of their lives, and it in turn allows fans and followers to experience the dedication that these women have for their sport.
“I’m really excited about this, said Sarah Gerhardt on the Wikrx page. “For me, it’s about camaraderie. For 20 years, I’ve surfed big waves with hardly any other women around. I just thought it was such an incredible opportunity to be encouraged and inspired and get to share something that I really love and enjoy with a female presence instead of a male presence, which is completely different.”
WickrX Super Sessions is doing what it takes to help get women’s big wave surfing on the map. To keep up with the event and check out regularly updated content, visit Wickrx.org and follow them on Facebook.