Bianca Valenti And Keala Kennelly Crowdfunded The First Equal Pay Big Wave Event
The Puerto Escondido Cup matched their efforts by serving equal beatings, regardless of gender.
Yes, Mainland was pumping for the Puerto Escondido Cup. And yes, Billy Kemper handled his business against a talented field of local and international big-wave surfers.
“Came here with one goal. Got it. Felt great,” said Kemper.
But that’s not the story here.
Bianca Valenti won the women’s division. And after battling for equal pay in surfing for so long, she now enjoys the spoils of war.
What made the Puerto Escondido Cup different was that for the first time in a big-wave event, women received the same paycheck as the men. Hosted by the Surf Open League, a surfing organization that sanctions and runs contests throughout Mexico, it wasn’t until Keala Kennelly came up with the idea of crowdfunding the prize purse that pay equality entered the conversation.
On June 30, Valenti created the “Surfers and Superheroes” campaign on GoFundMe.com. Setting a goal of $9,000, by the time the contest ran yesterday they had raised more than $12,000. There were a handful of big donors that came in with $1,000 each, and many smaller donations ($25 – $50) contributing to the cause.
“I love thinking of everyone who’s part of this movement as superhero’s from the future-focused on what’s possible, especially when we are united!” said Valenti following the event.
The funds raised went towards increasing the prize money for both the men and women.
“When things get hard, what reenergizes me is imagining the positive impact we will create for kids,” explained Valenti in her GoFundMe campaign description. “Possibilities I imagined when I was 7 turned into tough realities in my teens. It has never been ok with me that girls working their hearts out and achieving the same wins earn less than boys. My dream for kids now is to be able to focus strictly on performance and not have to worry about equal pay and inclusion.”
With the WSL offering equal prize money on the Championship Tour and this latest advancement from the Puerto Escondido Cup, the future of surfing continues to evolve into a more even financially playing field for all. And without the tireless advocacy of Valenti, Kennelly and their friends and supporters, these dreams may not have become a reality.
“2018 was the first contest in history with women in the event and the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman. What’s next?!” pondered Valenti.
Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry
A digital collage of Backdoor mutants, Portuguese slabs, and of course, bull-riding.
Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters
3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.
‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’
RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!
What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?
Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.
Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT
After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…
An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties
A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.
Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl
And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.
Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden
Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.
Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’
Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4
The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.
‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California
Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.
The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023
Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?
What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?
The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.
Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?
Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.
After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow
"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay
Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel
No Contest does Tel Aviv!