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What wave pools are doing for International Women’s Day

To those watching the CT event in Portugal right now, you may have noticed the names of trailblazing women athletes laminated onto the back of the competitors’ jerseys. It’s part of the World Surf League’s way to honor International Women’s Day on March 8. So we wanted to ask, “what are wave pools doing to recognize this day?”

In a conversation last week we mentioned IWD to a surf park owner and asked if they were doing anything special. They confessed it was the first time they’d heard about IWD. Fortunately, this pool is the exception. We found two tanks delivering special sessions for women.

The Wave announced that it will now be offering a range of women-only lessons and sessions on
International Women’s Day on 8th March.  

Bristol’s favorite surf spot said they were doing special sessions as part of their goal to remove as many barriers as possible to people learning to surf, adding that the women-only sessions are one of a number of initiatives aimed at helping to attract a wider range of people to experience the joy of surfing.

international women's day surf event
Women-focused events are coming to The Wave in Bristol. Image by The Wave

“Surfing in the UK and globally is still a predominantly white, male sport and we are looking at what we can do to change this,” said Alex Lloyd, Marketing Director at The Wave. “We have had lots of feedback from female visitors saying that they can feel intimidated and nervous surfing when it is a mainly male line-up, and that they would love some women-only sessions.”
 
Alex points to the growth in the number of women’s surf clubs starting up across the country and says that it shows there is a real desire for the support and camaraderie that women get from surfing together.

“We have created these sessions to offer a supportive female space for those that feel they want or need it as they progress on their surfing journey.” 
 
The Wave plans to continue their offerings into the season, long after International Women’s Day passes. In April Devon-based surf club Wave Wahines plans a female takeover which will host a number of women-focused surf clubs.

Felicity Palmateer at Urbnsurf. Image courtesy of Urbnsurf

“Getting more women and girls into surfing is vital for the sport and surf culture, as well as hugely beneficial for the women and girls who try it,” said Yvette Curtis, Founder of Wave Wahines. “Creating spaces for women and girls to experience this together has proven essential in helping form a bond, not just with the sport but also with each other and themselves.” 
 
On the other side of the globe, Urbnsurf will be celebrating with a week of incentives and female-only surf sessions called “Surf and Sip.”

During the week they will offer free wetsuit and board hire to all-female attendees, as well as 20% off lessons (with IWD2022 code used at booking.)

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve never surfed the rolling blues before,” said Hayley Wallace at Urbnsurf. “Girls at any age or ability are invited to attend Urbnsurf’s Surf and Sip session to celebrate the week and wrap up a cracking summer.”

The Melbourne wave tank will run their popular Cruiser wave setting and the Surf and Sip session will be staffed by dedicated female lifeguards and surf instructors. Tru Starling will be a guest speaker at Friday’s event, talking about the movement she hopes will build on the momentum of a growing global female surf community.


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