Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Professional Surfing a male dominated sport?

This is a guest-post from Mpora.com (hopefully the first of many!) Mpora covers Skate, Surf, Snow, Mountain Biking, Motocross or BMX, sourcing videos, photos and blogs to bring the best together. This post was written for ISW by the Surf Editor, Rebecca Clark, introducing three inspiring women surfers.

Professional Surfing a male dominated sport? They wish. With strong-willed, inspirational and accomplished women like Alana Blanchard, Bethany Hamilton and Erica Hosseini at its forefront, it's only a matter of time before women's pro surfing gets the equal coverage it deserves.

Bethany Hamilton is first up, a girl who even after suffering a shark attack in October 2003 surfing off the north shore of Kauai, which left her left arm severed, got back in the water and was competing again by January 2004. That just screams commitment ... or insanity, but I'll side with commitment.

Bethany Hamilton in Somewhere: Gadis-Gadis Latut

Her achievements include Best Comeback Athlete award in 2004 courtesy of ESPN ESPY and 1st place at the Explorer Women's Division, her first national title at the 2005 NSSA Championships.Outside competing, she's involved in huge amounts of charity work and is spokeswoman for Beating the Odds Foundation and World Vision International. Her autobiography "Soul Surfer" was made into a feature film in 2008 and she wrote a book for teens, "Devotions for the Soul Surfer"

Alana Blanchard can tackle intimidating of waves with the bravery and fierceness of a shark and master it with the grace of a dolphin. Well that's certainly impressive, and very believable.

Alana Blanchard

Well and truly leaving her stamp on pro women's surfing, she dominated competitions from the age of 15. She won first place in the 2005 Women's Pipeline Championships, the HASA State Championships and the Rip Curl Grom Search Nationals, results which lead to her being given the 2005 Triple Crown Rookie of the Year award.
Blanchard is regularly featured in sporting mags due to her intense dedication. Even non-sports mags like Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair want a piece of her, making her a key recognisable face for the sport. Well that and the surfing videos of her modelling the skimpiest of surf attire.

Finally, I bring Erica Hosseini to the table, the daughter of a former ski instructor who learnt to ski at 2-years old, and was water skiing and mountain biking by age 4. At 13, she began competing in the NSSA, but failed to rank.
The following year however, she embarked on a winning streak entering her first pro event and placing second. This broke a world record due to her being the youngest surfer to make it to the final of an ASP event. She then went on to win the Southwest Open Conference, Explorer Conference, Regionals, NSSA National Open Women's Title, and The Governor's Cup, taking her to 5 NSSA titles for that year. Not bad eh? Erica has since auditioned for the part of Willow in X-Men.

If you'd like to see anyone else from the Mpora site covered here, just leave a comment and let me know! 


Rebecca C said...

So great to see this up! :)

Anonymous said...

fab article Rebecca xx

niamh said...

@ Rebecca - thanks so much for writing this! I didn't have your name just position - changing that now! It's great to get more info on great athletes :)

@ Anon - it's great to new athletes up on the site.

Rebecca C said...

It was my pleasure, I've really enjoyed reading your blog recently!
I'm editorial assistant, as opposed to the surf editor, but thank you for adding my name! :)

Anonymous said...

It's good to see some coverage on women in sport! We'll show them how it's done :)

niamh said...

Step by step, it's good to have somewhere positive to "hang out." What sports do you do?

Anonymous said...

Excellent post I must say.. Simple but yet interesting and engaging.. Keep up the awesome work!

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