First Transgender Woman To Compete In Surfing Wins WA Longboard Event - Stab Mag
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Sasha Jane Lowerson on the nose. Photo: Surfing WA/ Majeks

First Transgender Woman To Compete In Surfing Wins WA Longboard Event

History has been written

news // May 20, 2022
Words by Coral McDuffee
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ed note: We should have said this earlier, but regardless of your opinion on this matter, please keep it civil.

The first transgender woman to compete in surfing* claimed multiple titles at the West Oz Longboard and Logger State Championships. Sasha Jane Lowerson, a 43-year-old, won the men’s division at the same contest three years prior. 

Sasha (then Ryan Egan) also competed on the WSL Men’s longboard tour from 2015-2020, where her best season-end finish was 11th. 

Yesterday, Sasha took out both the Open Women’s (high performance) and Open Women’s Logger (old -school fancy footwork) division. 

After crowning their new Women’s dual State Title holder, Surfing WA (the event host) commented, “Lowerson looked right at home in the long running lefts on offer, picking off the best waves on offer, which allowed her to display a full repertoire of footwork and turns on her way to some excellent scores.”

Women’s Open Division Finalists. Photo: Surfing WA

See the results and scoreboard below: 

Open Women’s Logger:
1. Sasha Jane Lowerson (Mandurah) – 13.97
2. Emily Gibbs (Dunsborough) – 11.37
3. Georgia Young (Perth) – 10.73                                                                 
4. Shae Sheridan (Dunsborough) – 7.57

 Open Women’s
1. Sasha Jane Lowerson (Mandurah) – 14.70
2. Georgia Young (Perth) – 10.63
3. Samantha Vanderford (Greenhead) – 9.27                                                                   
4. Shae Sheridan (Dunsborough) – 8.67

“To be the first transgender woman competing in surfing hasn’t been an easy ride emotionally,”  Lowerson told Surfing WA. “But the amount of support I’ve been shown has been phenomenal and I’m so grateful to be involved, welcomed and embraced within the longboard community in Australia.” 

For the first time, a transgender victor in the surf scene has popped on our radar. However, in other competitive arenas (like the NCAA, MMA, WMBA, NWHL, & Olympics), this is becoming a regular occurrence, especially in more stagnant waters. 

A couple months ago, Lia Thomas, finished a 500-yard freestyle in 4 minutes and 33.24 seconds, making her the first known transgender athlete to win a Division 1 National Championship. Her success drew both praise and criticism. 

Notably, the CWA (Concerned Women for America) filed a formal Civil Rights Complaint against the University of Pennsylvania stating, “[Thomas has] physical capacities that are different from anatomically and biologically female athletes, which extends an unfair advantage and strips female student-athletes of opportunities afforded to them by law.”  

The classic drop-knee cutback. Photo: Surfing WA

Surfing Australia, the contest host’s parent organization recently released an Inclusion in Sport Policy for transgender and gender diverse people. 

(PT 7.3)  Non-binary people are welcome and encouraged to participate in surfing competitions. Surfing Australia and Australian Surfing Organisations are encouraged to provide opportunities for mixed or gender-neutral events where possible. From a competition standpoint, where it is not possible to conduct mixed or gender-neutral events, Non-Binary people can participate based on their Sex assigned at birth or under the gender category of male or female that most affirms their gender.

This is a developing story. 

*That we’re aware of. 

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