Surf Her Way to create a more diverse and inclusive surf culture in Victoria
Published on 25/11/2021

Surfing Victoria is proud to launch the Surf Her Way Women & Girls program to help create a more diverse and inclusive surf culture and community in Victoria and to achieve greater equality in and out of the water.

Members of the Surfing Victoria Women and Girls Advisory group, along with Surfing Victoria board members, representatives from Victorian  boardrider  clubs along with one of Victoria’s greatest surfers Gail Couper gathered together over the weekend at URBNSURF to celebrate the launch of the program that will be guided by the strategy that was launched in 2020.

Surf Her Way encourages women to discover the freedom and joy of surfing as a way to be abundantly connected to nature and each other, be confident and happy.

“Surfing Victoria is committed to providing more opportunities for women and girls through surfing, and to empower them with skills and confidence that can transfer to other domains” said Surfing Victoria Chair Ashleigh Wall.

“Surf Her Way is a celebration of the many faces of women and girls surfing in Victoria. We will be working to promote gender equality in all aspects of surfing and to support women and girls to overcome the challenges that prevent them from engaging with the ocean and surfing.”

Under the Surf Her Way brand, Surfing Victoria will run a series of female focused surf coaching, use story-telling to promote gender equality, educate the surfing community at a Boardrider Club level and continue to run the highly successful Coasting SUP program across the state.

“Surfing has an amazing ability to connect people from all walks of life. Through Surf Her Way, we hope to elevate the representation of women and girls in and out of the water to create and lead the sport to be inclusive for everyone.” said Surfing Victoria CEO Adam Robertson.

Surfing Victoria has been a leader in the promotion of women and girl’s surfing for the past two decades including the creation of women’s specific surf program: Roxy Surf Jam (National) and Surfing for Girls (Statewide) from 2000 until 2017 teaching surf and safety skills to young women.  The Women’s Surf Festival on Phillip Islands was the first event of its kind, with amateur divisions to the elite level coming together for a true festival of surf.  More recently Surfing Victoria has developed COASTING, a Stand Up Paddleboarding program aimed at women and teens.

Surfing Victoria also achieved gender equity on the board in 2019 (current board composition 50% Women, 50% Men) along with electing its first ever female Chair in 2018, Ashleigh Wall.

The strategy was developed in 2020 by an advisory group including Surfing Victoria Chair Ashleigh Wall, Surfing Victoria Board Member Kate Sullivan, Rip Curl CEO Brooke Farris, VicSport Participation Strategy Manager Tom Dixon, Surfing Victoria CEO Adam Robertson, VicHealth Senior Project Officer Shelley White, Wadawurrung Traditional Elder Corrina Eccles and others.

Key focus areas for the strategy are:

EQUALITY – To genuinely commit to achieving gender equality across surfing, and to build a platform to foster an inclusive and respectful environment.

GROWTH AND RETENTION – To grow the number of women and girls in surfing and retain as many women and girls in surfing as possible.

LEADERSHIP – To be empowering, accessible and inclusive of all Women and Girls, encouraging social networks and connections.

Programs being offered under the Surf Her Way banner can be found at www.surfingvic.com/surfherway

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