Surfing with Girls is Just Better

Words by Kelsey Lawford. Photos by Leah Kathryn

Over the past 10 years of surfing and living in different surf destinations, I have found a common sentiment among the ladies and some of the guys.

“Surfing with girls is more fun.”

I am always super stoked to go out with a good girl friend or to see another girl out in the line up…except that one crazy french lady I encountered when surfing in Byron Bay, Australia, who would catch a wave and then yell at everyone on her paddle back out.

In general though, add a lady to the lineup and the vibes get better.

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I started surfing in Tofino, BC and the local women up there are really surfing.  One day when the surf was epic, there was a moment where everyone stopped, looked around and we realized that it was all women out in the lineup.  We hooted and hollered and proceeded to have one of the most fun surf sessions I have ever had.  Actually, almost all my fav surf sessions that I can remember are when I was sharing waves with another fine female.  The Cold Water Girls of Canada really know how to hold it down.  On more days than not, we Canadian ladies are dominating the lineup in some way shape or form, even if its just spreading the good vibes.  Here’s to all of you: I LOVE YOU! …and you inspire me to keep charging.

When I started surfing Oregon 5 years ago, I noticed that there were not that many girls out in the water.  Still to this day, I will paddle out and find it’s just me and the guys.

Now I am not a “charger” and I like to have fun and not feel pressured when I am out there. I know a lot of girls that surf can handle heavy vibes, but I for one am not a one of them.  I have had more than my share of sessions all over the world where the guys are straight up mean and because I am a chick, they automatically assume I suck and they can paddle around me and drop in on me. But if I do the same to them just to get a wave, I get nasty vibes.  Generally, once I get a few waves in these situations, I tend to just get out and cut my session short rather than put up with the nastiness of the macho male ego that so often comes with surfing better spots.

There is one thing I love in those situations though.  When they drop in on me and I am deeper than them, I get to tell them to get off my wave and they look at me like they just got their ego smacked down.  From then on, I get a little more respect, but I would rather not have to deal with that in the first place.

Just to be fair, I have A LOT of guy friends who I absolutely LOVE surfing with and give lots of respect to the ladies in the lineup.  My man even says he likes it when there is a soul sister out there because the guys usually chill out and relax a little. Shout out to you guys. You ROCK!

As surfer girls, we don’t ask for special treatment out in the water.  We just like to have fun.

If you are learning to surf as a girl, you might get called out because you are being dangerous or not respecting surf etiquette (applies to guys as well). You might even be called out by girl and that is a part of learning to surf.  Most likely, the girl who calls you out will offer a mini surf lesson to help you out because we care about our female friends.  Don’t get discouraged by those moments.  Do your due diligence: learn about surf etiquette, practice as much as you can, take a lesson or two so you know what you are doing.  Learn and grow from your mistakes!

Why is surfing with girls is just better?

We lighten heavy vibes.

We give waves because we want others to have as much fun as we are.

The smiles are endless.

There is always some sort of absolute silliness.

Tons of laughs!

We are each others cheerleaders and you will probably hear our celebration cries all the way down the beach.

You might see us dancing on our boards.

You might see us scoring each other for the craziest dismount or some other random craziness.

The guys that are out there with us usually get in the mix and have fun too.

We will always keep an eye out for each other when the surf is pumping.

We will share our gear if you need it.

Girl friends made while surfing can last a lifetime.

We give positive reinforcement if someone is feeling scared or anxious.

The ladies always have each others backs and make sure that the vibes are high.

As surfing becomes more popular and the lineups get more and more crowded, the vibes in the water seem to be getting more intense in a lot of places. The silver lining, though, is that more girls are starting to surf, adding positive vibes to these lineups around the world. Surfing is rooted in the aloha spirit, which has always been about giving, love and fun times. If you see a lady in the lineup, go say hi, because their beautiful smile might just make your day. Here’s to all the ladies who are spreading the true aloha spirit. Live. Love. Aloha

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