Stab Magazine | WSL Goes All Out On International Women's Day

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WSL Goes All Out On International Women’s Day

Let’s help them in honoring our global female shredders.

news // Mar 8, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today is International Women’s Day and the WSL is going all out.

After offering pay-parity for the 2019 season and beyond, the WSL is taking further steps to promote female athletic progression. 

First they established the #Everywave Instagram campaign with many of surfing’s top female athletes, including Steph Gilmore, Carissa Moore, etc., which you will see throughout this post.

Next they held a Round Square Table discussion with Courtney Conlogue, Carissa Moore, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Caroline Marks, and Lakey Peterson, as moderated by the Women’s CT Commissioner Jesse Miley Dyer.

This chat was both entertaining and enlightening; we recommend you watch the whole thing here.

If you’re too busy to spend 10 minutes learning about real women’s issues, (you’re probably an asshole, but) feel free to read a few of the highlights below:

Screen Shot 2019 03 07 at 6.21.19 PM

Carissa Moore on body image:

“I think [women’s professional surf] has come a long way. I think we, as women, are being appreciated for our athleticism more than ever, but it wasn’t always that way. I remember starting out – as a teenager, your body’s going through so many different changes, and then there’s social media, and people are always commenting because you’re in a bathing suit. People are seeing everything. So as a woman, I think that was something men don’t have to deal with. I remember when there were like, ‘Hot Lists’ and stuff, and it’s hard when you don’t make them. You’re like, ‘I want to be hot!’ [laughs]. But I think with maturity, you realize the definition of beauty is about what’s within. I’d be interested to ask the guys if they’ve ever had to worry about how they looked in boardshorts.”

Tati Weston-Webb on continually having to “prove herself” to the local Kauai boys:

“They’d be like, ‘What, if we tell you to go on the biggest set, are you gonna go?’ I’d be like, ‘Uhhh, I… guess so.’”

Screen Shot 2019 03 07 at 6.23.58 PM

Courtney Conlogue on her near-premature retirement, as forced by a bleak financial reality:

“When I was in my second year on Tour, I hadn’t won a contest yet, and I told myself, ‘If I don’t win an event this year, I’m going back to college.’ Because I wasn’t making a living. I was in the red. You had to win events back then to even stay afloat.” (Luckily she won an event that year!)

Jesse Miley Dyer on the old pay gap:

“I remember after winning Maui, I made $10,000. The guys were making 10-times that.”

Screen Shot 2019 03 07 at 6.22.12 PM

Several of the women also spoke of seeing a majority of little girls in their local lineups, rather than boys, in 2019. They liked this very much. 

Also, at every 2019 CT event, the WSL will have an engagement program with young girls, hoping to inspire the World Champs of tomorrow.

Maybe these terrible realities help explain why the women on Tour have always seemed closer to one another than the men. It was less painful if they all went through these struggles together, rather than being at each other’s throats.

But there is hope for a better (and more female-rivalried!) future.

Screen Shot 2019 03 07 at 6.22.55 PM

“We’re starting to hold our own,” Carissa concluded. “It’s cool to see that guys are cheering us into waves, supporting us, and seeing our true potential… and that we’re not just gonna sit on the side.”

The WSL’s decision to go gap-free in 2019 was remarkably important to not just surfing, but also the wider world of sports. Please join us in honoring our female shredders with a moment of silence for this poor Lowers wall, which was brutally dismembered by the 16-year-old Caroline Marks-Ochillupo.

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