First, I’d like to thank my mom.
Today is a monumental International Women’s Day. It’s 2018, and a long overdue movement has taken hold of the public’s imaginations to honor our women. It’s a fundamental premise that for some reason has managed to evade society’s grasp for far too long. The Golden Rule. Treat people as you’d like to be treated.
A day dedicated to that spirit is a nice gesture, but it’s absolutely insufficient, and borderline insulting to the idea of equality in itself. Every day, we should treat people with respect, kindness, and an open mind. While surfing has had a checkered past in its relationship with women, as Oprah recently made apparent at the Golden Globes: A new day has come.
In that spirit, we’re thrilled to launch The Inertia Women, a segment of the site we kicked off in January, to serve as a home base for all of the stories from and about fearless women who pursue their passions in surf, mountain, and outdoors.
Without much hesitation, I can say that the features we’ve done in the past eight years with Carissa Moore, Leah Dawson, Kassia Meador, Kiana Fores, Ocean Ramsey, Kimi Werner and many female leaders in our space have been my favorites.
In a 2013 interview with Carissa Moore, she laid bare her thoughts around sex appeal in women’s surfing, admitting that as a young athlete building her career, she was struggling publicly to manage her goals as an athlete with the need to market her image as a clothing model.
“I’ve definitely been on the opposite side of the spectrum. I’ve been criticized for my looks like last year and stuff. I gained a little weight. I wasn’t doing as well on tour, and you hear comments, like, ‘Oh, she’s had too many cheeseburgers, and it’s hurtful, you know.’ But unfortunately, we’re in a sport where we’re in a bathing suit the whole time, so people are going to be looking at your body. I think, for me, I just want to be an athlete, and I love surfing, so if I’m fit and my body feels good, that’s great.”
Leah Dawson, aside from obliging us in participating in the world’s first Western Surf Flick at a wave park, inspired us in one of our first CREATORS profiles where she point blank declares the potential for women’s surfing and its boundless soul. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to meet Leah, you know that her presence is like a hug. That she does and intends to do good in this world. Her surfing and commitment to positive change for our environment echoes that.
Last summer we sat down with longboarding icon Belinda Baggs and her son Grayson to get a fuller portrait of the strength and character of life as a single mother in love with the ocean. It’s truly inspiring. And a few months later we connected with Kiana Fores, a young woman on the brink of receiving her college degree from Point Loma Nazarene while juggling her professional surfing career – something very few pro surfers have successfully accomplished. Yep, she graduated. The world’s her oyster. For your convenience, we’ve assembled a nice playlist of many of these features above.
And we have so many more great stories and profiles of strong women driving innovation in business, environmental, and athletic contexts in 2018 that we cannot wait to share with you. In the meantime, please know that we welcome women of surf and outdoors to continue to share your perspectives on The Inertia, and as a gesture, we created a new home for all of them. We need them, and we’re thrilled to continue to tell great stories from inspiring women for years to come.
Happy International Women’s Day. – Zach