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- Prior to the decision, in 2018, the 36 male surfers on WSL’s World Championship Tour were competing for $607,800 in prize money, while the 18 women on tour competed for just $303,900. The league’s reasoning for these amounts was that the average earnings between male and female surfers were the same—which they were—but the allocation of prize money wasn’t broken down evenly. So when Stephanie Gilmore won the 2018 Rip Curl Pro, she earned $65,000 for her victory, while Italo Ferreira got $100,000 for his.
Income earned for a majority of the league’s top female athletes comes exclusively from competitions and sponsorship deals. However, the move for equal pay might be most crucial for young, aspiring female surfers on the World Qualifying Series, where surfers compete in various events to earn points that could lead to a spot on the prestigious (and well-paid) World Championship Tour. Many surfers on the series don’t have big-time sponsorship deals yet and rely heavily on prize money and their own savings to fund their efforts. With larger purses to compete for now, female surfers will likely be encouraged to pursue surfing as a professional sport, knowing that the financial cost of their attempts to reach the championship tour will be less daunting.
- Saxon Baird, “Why Female Surfers Are Finally Getting Paid Like Their Male Peers”, The Atlantic, Apr 14, 2019
- For those not familiar with the latest craze to invade the sun-drenched Pacific coast of Southern California, here is a definition of "surfing" - a water sport in which the participant stands on a floating slab of wood, resembling an ironing board in both size and shape, and attempts to remain perpendicular while being hurtled toward the shore at a rather frightening rate of speed on the crest of a huge wave (especially recommended for teen-agers and all others without the slightest regard for either life or limb).
- You're done. Once you're a surfer, you're done. You're in. It's like the mob or something. You're not getting out.
- All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
- "Jeff Spicoli", in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982).
- In one place we came upon a large company of naked natives, of both sexes and all ages, amusing themselves with the national pastime of surf-bathing. Each heathen would paddle three or four hundred yards out to sea, (taking a short board with him), then face the shore and wait for a particularly prodigious billow to come along; at the right moment he would fling his board upon its foamy crest and himself upon the board, and here he would come whizzing by like a bombshell! It did not seem that a lightning express train could shoot along at a more hair-lifting speed. I tried surf-bathing once, subsequently, but made a failure of it. I got the board placed right, and at the right moment, too; but missed the connection myself. — The board struck the shore in three quarters of a second, without any cargo, and I struck the bottom about the same time, with a couple of barrels of water in me. None but natives ever master the art of surf-bathing thoroughly.
- It was so big [the wave], it didn't even know we were there.