Pittwater Life April 2018 Issue


Safety First: Reducing risk on Mona Vale Rd. We Will Remember: ANZAC Day. Tina Harrod: Island Life. 40 Years' Courtship: Careel Bay Tennis Club

Surfing Life

Surfing Life

How surfing leads the

way on equality & parity

It comes as no surprise the professional league’s biggest trend is – women

nies tend to make short-cut surf

gear for women, and malefocused

surf media outlets have

long delighted in running images

of girls and young women

doing frontside bottom turns in

short-cut surf gear.

Now, thanks to the WSL ruling,

women competitors need

no longer concern themselves

that a pic or clip of them doing

such a turn might end up being

chortled over rather than admired

for the technical skill.

It reflects a major trend since

the WSL took pro surfing’s reins

back in 2014.

At the time, the organisation

made it clear it intended

to treat the women pros with

at least as much respect as the

HONOURED: Pam Burridge, Pauline Menczer and Stephanie Gilmore.

with Nick Carroll

The World Surf League

organisation is full of

surprises. Think of the

Surf Ranch wave pool! Five

years ago I don’t think many of

us expected that.

Yet recently, they did

something absolutely nobody

expected them to do. That

nobody in a powerful position

in the sport of surfing has ever

done, in fact.

The WSL has banned photographers

and filmers at their CT

events from recording images

that focus on women’s bums.

It’s a fact that when a surfer

leans into a frontside bottom

turn, a lot can be briefly

revealed about their rear ends.

It’s also a fact that surf compa-

men. Immediately they brought to life as a female pro surfer in

about effective prizemoney decades past.

parity in Championship Tour Recently we got to attend the

events: while the women’s CT Surfing Australia Hall of Fame

is still only half the strength of Awards for 2018. The Awards

the men’s in sheer numbers, revolves around the induction

the prize purses have increased of just one surfer per annum to

to the point that only a year the Hall of Fame itself. This year

ago, women’s world champ it was Pauline Menzcer, and everybody

Tyler Wright actually out-earned

there agreed it’d been a

men’s champ John Florence. long time coming.

(She made over US$300,000, Short, fiery and hilarious,

not counting her many endorsements,

Pauline grew up in Bondi in

which run into the the 1970s, when the joint was


rough as guts. She lost her

It’s a fascinating test case. Dad – a taxi driver – when she

Turns out that if you pay was five years of age, and the

women athletes more, they get family never had any money.

better. In 2018, the women’s She contracted young-onset

CT roster is much stronger rheumatoid arthritis that made

and more competitive than the every day difficult and some

men’s. Tyler recently explained days unbearable. Despite this,

to Pittwater Life why this is and despite having no endorsement

so. “It’s allowed us to invest in

sponsor, she won the

ourselves,” she said. “We can 1993 world pro tour.

hire nutritionists, physiotherapists,

Flanked now onstage by

coaches, and we can fellow greats Pam Burridge

concentrate on getting better. and Stephanie Gilmore, Pauline

It’s given us all the support recounted some tales from her

we need to practice our craft. time on tour. “I’d noticed that in

It’s how being a professional France, people would go crazy

should work.”

for Levis jeans. They’d pay anything

It’s also a staggering contrast

for those jeans. I was in

44 APRIL 2018

The Local Voice Since 1991

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