The ASP Women's World Tour at Lowers: A Watershed Moment in Women's Pro Surfing. Carissa Moore photo © Red Bull Media House

The ASP Women’s World Tour at Lowers. A Watershed Moment in Women’s Pro Surfing.

A few days into the 2013 Hurley Pro at Lowers, an official announcement was made from the booth declaring that the ASP Women’s World Tour would be joining the men at the same event in 2014. Immediately, our hearts leapt with joy as one of our dreams over the years has been to see the women get the opportunity to surf a spot like Trestles in a World Tour competition. Within seconds of the announcement, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets were buzzing with the news as posts were made from both fans and World Tour members alike.

In the warm-up sessions that took place in the days before this year’s Hurley Pro, we had the opportunity to swim around with the world’s best surfers from the Men’s ASP World Tour. While we didn’t hear every conversation going down, the topic we heard discussed most was how incredibly fun the waves at Lowers are. The lineup was crazy-competitive and ultra-crowded with everyone from Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow to ex-WCT’ers like Chris Ward who consistently picked off the best waves of the day. Floating in the channel with a camera, it felt like we were sitting at a surf movie witnessing the best that progressive surfing has to offer. Come 2014, the women will get in on it too.

If the swell cooperates at the event next September, we believe that the performances put on by the current members of the ASP Top 17 will be a watershed moment in women’s professional surfing. There won’t be hopping, groveling, or rolling the dice on which onshore peak to surf like some spots on the Tour schedule. Instead, there will be Lowers, a perfect pointbreak that’s as close to high-performance heaven as we have in Southern California. The wave has something for every type of surfer on Tour and offers a canvas that is as equally friendly to the air game as it is to committed rail work.

Lowers is our favorite wave on the coast and we’re so excited that the women will get the chance to surf it in 2014. We’re not the only ones amping though. We asked a bunch surfers on the current ASP Women’s World Tour to share their thoughts on the event and we also received feedback from some of the US mainland and Hawaii’s best amateurs, many of whom hope to be joining the Tour themselves in the future. We’ll step aside now and kick it off with our current World Champion, Carissa Moore.

Solid frontside air by the 2013 ASP Women's World Champion, Carissa Moore. Photo courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool. © Red Bull Media House
“An event at Lowers for the women is such exciting news. It is such a high performance wave that I think will really suit the women and allow for next level surfing. It is so encouraging to see Hurley and the ASP make the effort to get us such an amazing venue for the 2014 season.” – Carissa Moore   instagram.com/rissmoore10

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Sally Fitzgibbons fin throw at Lowers. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“The news of the Lowers event being locked in for our 2014 tour was really exciting to hear. With the talent level on the Women’s World Tour at an all-time high, it is a perfect time to introduce a high performance wave like Trestles. It will be an awesome atmosphere to compete in alongside the Men’s Tour event and I’m predicting that all the heats will be extremely close. I’m looking forward to putting together a great performance there. I can’t wait for September to roll around again next year and give it everything I’ve got to lift the inaugural Hurley Pro Trestles trophy.” – Sally Fitzgibbons   instagram.com/sally_fitz

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California's top-ranked female pro surfer, Courtney Conlogue, gets one last hit off a foamy section at Lower Trestles. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“I’m looking forward to surfing a location such as Lowers on the World Tour because it’s a wave that allows high performance progressive surfing. It’s a move in the right direction for the Women’s World Tour.” – Courtney Conlogue   instagram.com/courtneyconlogue

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Hawaiian pro surfer, Malia Manuel, testing out new boards on a clean afternoon at Lowers. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“Going into 2014 there are going to be a lot of positive changes for the Women’s tour. That gave me motivation to want to re-qualify so I can be a part of such an awesome time for the sport of women’s surfing. So far, I’m most excited about the added event at Trestles. Lowers is the skatepark of surfing and I’m looking forward to finally getting to compete again at that prestigious venue.” – Malia Manuel   instagram.com/maliamanuel

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New Zealand pro surfer, Paige Hareb, hits the lip and projects down the line on a solid wave at Lowers this summer. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“I know there used to be a women’s event at Trestles a long time ago. Ever since I knew that, I’ve been wishing that we would get it back and now it’s here! I’m so thankful to still be on tour and to be able to get the chance to surf this fun, world class wave with one other lady in the water, eeek I’m getting excited just thinking about it!” – Paige Hareb   instagram.com/paigehareb

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Australian surfer, Bec Woods, hits the lip in Carlsbad, California. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“Too little too late for me as I won’t be on your next year. But I am stoked to say that Trestles will definitely be one event I will tune into next year for the women. To be able to showcase their ability in actual waves instead of having tactical beach break conditions will be really exciting. Congrats to the ASP for getting that one on the schedule. Wish I could of hung on long enough to be there!” – Bec Woods   instagram.com/becwoods

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Australian pro surfer and new member of the 2014 ASP Women's World Tour, Dimity Stoyle gets her fins free at Lowers. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“I was so excited when I heard the news of Lowers! Next year is going to be my first year on tour and the timing could not have been better! I have surfed that wave a few times before and it is the most perfect wave! The crowd is insane, so just being out in the water with one other girl out is going to be so dreamy!” – Dimity Stoyle   instagram.com/dimity

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2014 ASP Women's World Tour member, Nikki Van Dijk, hooks one backside on a clean afternoon left. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“Lowers is an incredible wave obviously and I am so so excited to compete there next year. It’s going to be exciting for us to show everyone our best surfing in perfect waves. It’s definitely a huge step forward in women’s surfing.” – Nikki van Dijk   instagram.com/nikkivandijk

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French surfer, Johanne Defay, hits the closeout on a sunny, Southern California afternoon. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“The dream tour aptly named. It’s a perfect wave, and the girls will be able to show their finest surfing!” – Johanne Defay   instagram.com/johannedefay

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Hawaiian surfer, Tatiana Weston-Webb, hooks a turn on an afternoon Lowers left. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“I heard rumors of Lowers being an upcoming event for the 2014 Women’s World Tour when I was in France and Spain, and I was already freaking out about the rumor. When the ASP made the announcement I couldn’t stop imagining how amazing it would be for the women to get to perform at such a perfect wave! The next thing I thought was this is definitely the next step to competitive surfing for women because Lowers is one of the most prestigious waves and it’s a really big deal that the Hurley Pro wants to include women in the event! Many women on Tour will get a lot more publicity because of it!” – Tatiana Weston-Webb   instagram.com/tatiwest

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Current USA Surf Team member, Nikki Viesins, hits the lip vertically at Lower Trestles, California. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“I think it will be a great venue. Lowers is a world class wave, and you can pretty much count on it to produce swell. I think it gives the women a fair chance to demonstrate their talent and prove themselves. It’s a great location, and I am really looking forward to watching the event. Hopefully one day I’ll be right up there with them.” – Nikki Viesins   instagram.com/viesins

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Tia Blanco gouges a fun Lowers left during the 2013 Surfing America USA Championships. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“I am overly excited to see that the women’s tour has made its way to lowers. I have experienced heats there the past couple of years and it is one of the best places to have a contest. Lowers is such an amazing wave. The girls this year are so talented and I believe everyone has been waiting for this opportunity for them to surf such a rippable wave. Hopefully one day I will get the chance to join them!” – Tia Blanco   instagram.com/tiablanco

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Hawaiian surfer, Mahina Maeda, drives hard off the bottom of a solid Lowers left. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“When I heard about the new World Tour event for the Women at Lower Trestles, I was shocked. I think it’s amazing that they are holding it at a world-class wave, and it gets to show the truth of about women’s surfing. Over the years we’ve been less prioritized and we should be treated as one with the boys, because every woman out there has the potential to do a man’s job. If there’s an amateur event at Lowers, why isn’t there a pro event? Lowers is a rippable wave, and I’m excited to see my favorite surfers be out there for next year’s season, and hoping I get to surf in that event sometime in the future. I’ve won a couple of National Titles there, and hoping to win a World Tour event at that same spot.” – Mahina Maeda   instagram.com/mahinamaeda

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Hawaiian surfer, Dax McGill, punts a nice frontside air on a fun afternoon Lowers left. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“When I heard the news about the Women’s tour having a stop at Lowers I was ecstatic! I couldn’t really even believe it. Lowers is one of the most perfect waves in the world. In my opinion it’s the closest thing to a wave pool! This event is going to show the true potential of all the women on the tour. Hopefully one day I’ll be surfing in it! Thank you Hurley for the amazing opportunity for the women. They’re going to prove themselves ;)” – Dax McGill   instagram.com/dax_mcgill

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USA Surf Team member, Kylie Loveland, hooks a nice backside turn at Lowers this summer. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“I think the Women’s World Tour coming to Lowers is something that has taken too long to happen! Everyone loves watching the guys shred one of the best waves in Southern California, but it’s only fair to let the girls have their fair share of fun too! I’m stoked to see that girl surfers are getting more opportunities just like the boys.” – Kylie Loveland   instagram.com/kylieloveland

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Malia Ward throws down a nice layback snap on an overcast day at Lower Trestles, California. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
“I think that it’s an amazing opportunity for the girls to really show off their competition strategies and skills. And it also represents the growth and uprising of women’s surfing. I believe Lowers is a magical wave that will bring out the most talent in a contest and it is a big step for women’s surfing to be a part of that.” – Malia Ward   instagram.com/malia_ward

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Final Note: Thank you to the ASP, Paul Speaker, Jessi Miley-Dyer, Pat O’Connell, Bob Hurley, the Hurley brand, IMG, California State Parks and whoever else played an integral part in taking the ASP Women’s World Tour to Trestles next year. With this move you have fulfilled dreams and undoubtedly stoked the imaginations of young athletes the world over who will get to witness the best female surfers competing in a truly, world-class venue.

Photos: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.com | Photo of Carissa Moore © Red Bull Media House



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Sarah Beardmore, Bec Woods, Kim Mayer, Chelsea Williams, Paige Hareb and Jenna Balester. Photographed by Chris Grant, Jettygirl.com

Throwback Thursday with Sarah Beardmore, Bec Woods, Kim Mayer, Chelsea Williams, Paige Hareb & Jenna Balester

Sarah Beardmore, Bec Woods, Kim Mayer, Chelsea Williams, Paige Hareb, Jenna Balester in Newport Beach

So blessed to answer the phone each summer and hear accents from around the world. This crew is awesome! I hope the girl groms in the background are taking notes. Pictured from left to right: Sarah Beardmore, Bec Woods, Kim Mayer, Chelsea Williams, Paige Hareb, and Jenna Balester.

* Read comments from the original Jettygirl Facebook post here >>

Additional Resources:
Throwback Thursday with Julie Cox and an Explosion of Light
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Bec Woods - Jettygirl Time Machine surf video clip featuring Bec, Claire Bevilacqua, Kyla Langen, Kim Mayer, Kassia Meador, Rochelle Ballard, Lyndsay Noyes, Violet Kimble, Sarah Beardmore, and Megan Abubo.

Jettygirl Time Machine – July 30, 2007 – Surf Session with Bec Woods, Claire Bevilacqua, Megan Abubo, Kyla Langen, Kassia Meador, and more…

Jettygirl Time Machine – July 30, 2007 – Surf Session with Bec Woods, Kyla Langen, Kim Mayer, Kassia Meador, Rochelle Ballard, Lyndsay Noyes, Violet Kimble, Sarah Beardmore, Megan Abubo, and Claire Bevilacqua

Description:
We’ve decided it’s time to unlock the video vault and showcase some of the sessions that have gone down in front of our lenses over the years. The video size may be small and standard definition (*glorious 480p, haha) but the spirit of the sessions back then were most definitely high-def, vibrant and in full color.

If it hadn’t have been for two individuals, Kyla Langen and Kassia Meador, Jettygirl would never have become a reality. At the time, Kyla was living in Carlsbad while Kassia Meador had recently moved to Oceanside. These two homes would become the focal points as some of the best female surfers in the world would stop by and visit during the summers. Each morning I’d wake up to pre-social media text messages and phone calls about how the waves were and where the session was going to happen.

It could just be the Oceanside area itself, but I see less and less of these surf sessions where groups of women get together and push the limits at one particular break. All of these surfers were complete individuals but there was enough cohesiveness as a group for people on the beach to feel the energy of women’s (shortboard) surfing being pushed forward one ride at a time, even on a junky summer day like the one in this clip.

Well, enough chatter on my part. I hope you enjoy the first of many Jettygirl Time Machine surf sessions …good rides, wipeouts, smiles, and everything else that makes an average day at the beach something special.

Film:
Chris Grant / Jettygirl.com

Music:
“Fancy Nightclub Girl” – Written and Performed by HafenSabine

Jettygirl Time Machine frame grabs of  Bec Woods, Megan Abubo, and Kyla Langen


Additional Resources:
Bec Woods
Kassia Meador
Claire Bevilacqua on Facebook
Surf Into Yoga with Rochelle Ballard
NOYES Photo (Lindsay Noyes)



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Bec Woods Takes An Honest Look at the 2012 ASP Women’s World Tour

By Bec Woods

People tell you to live in the now. I’m living in the now, I enjoy my life, why would I not… I am a professional surfer. It can be the best job in the World! I am also in the midst of running an event for the second year in a row with my mate and Pro surfer Amee Donohoe. The local community is providing awesome support. The local businesses and media are into it and back our passion to pass onto people our love for not just female surfing but surfing in general. With 120 girls last year entered and some cool happenings this year you should come along to the RA Girls Surf Show.



Left: Bec Woods pulling into a grinding left at Teahupo’o…many tour years ago. Photo: ©ASP/Karen.


Surfing has been my life since I was 12 and I am fiercely passionate about how healthy it can be for everyone. When I paddle out at my local break I know most of the line-up and I love watching everyone having fun, it’s a community. Everywhere in the world you are sharing your passion with people you are a community. I love seeing people stoked and getting barreled with smiles on their faces just as much as I love getting barreled! I live in the now, yes …but sometimes I look at the now and the future of 2012 for surfing and there are some things that do disappoint me about the surf industry right now.

The dream of surfing the world in epic waves and pushing myself to a level that I was satified with engulfed me, surfing with the best and trying my hardest. Falling down faces in Teahupo’o and dropping ledges at Cloudbreak at 8-10 foot as a 20 year old challenged me, my heart in my mouth making a drop and doing things I wasn’t sure I could do. I lived for that …I miss that. I don’t even bother surfing in big waves or training for these conditions anymore because it’s not necessary.


Bec Woods, Cloudbreak, Fiji. Photo © ASP/KAREN Bec Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.
Left: Bec Woods at Cloudbreak. ©ASP/Karen. Right: HB Pier. ©Grant. Which comp would you rather watch?


For those who don’t know, here are a few things about female World Tour surfing from last year and the upcoming year…

• We have 6 events on our calendar for 2012 with our year ending in August in the amazing waves (yes, I am being sarcastic) of Huntington Beach, USA.

• We have NO Hawaiian events.

• We have no reef breaks or heavy barrels (Teahupo’o, Fiji and Honolua Bay are gone) so it really is a beach break tour on right handers.

• How can someone be a well rounded World Champ when we surf the same conditions (2-3 foot onshore beachies)? Should the world champ be called the 2-3 foot beach break world champ?

• Our prize money on the WQS hasn’t changed since the 1980′s.

• Many professional surfers aren’t sponsored right now and this is a sign the companies are hurting. It costs around 40K to do the World Tour and 50K to try your luck on both tours …way more for the men who have more events.


Bec Woods, Roxy 2005 Fiji. Photo © ASP/ROBERTSON

The world of competitive World Tour surfing that has been my career for the last ten years has slowly lost its glitz and glam and the business side has slowly been exposed as just that … a business. It just disappoints me that when times get tough you should just look at the Women’s World Tour as a scale of how tough because we are the first to get targeted. This is not a “poor me” story …I just see young girls fighting for their spot on Tour and a dig at their Dream, only to get on the World Tour and realize that the WQS actually has more events and better waves. The disappointment on their faces and the hard work they put in not rewarded.

I am also disappointed that our industry is selling out to bigger brands and the bigger brands are not supporting the core of the industry but just using it to make money and screw the consumer. If all our surf brands get bought out and the non-core buyers don’t put on events then what happens to our sport and dream? The Women’s Tour is failing, the big brands are not putting anything back in and I think it is about time they did. Watch the Women’s Tour as a sign of what will happen to the industry as a whole. Maybe the industry has to learn a hard lesson? I know if I have kids and they are female I want them to surf for sure (one board a year and a pair of boardies) but no way will I push them to compete in an industry that doesn’t support it’s own. Education or Tennis, golf anyone?


Bec Woods paddles out at Cloudbreak, Fiji. Photo © ASP/KAREN

One final thought…

Seeing this left while paddling out the morning of Cloudbreak, the anticipation and excitement cannot be described.

I don’t run to Huntington Beach with the same enthusiasm … sorry locals there, don’t mean to offend.



Photos: ©ASP/Karen, ©ASP/Robertson, ©Chris Grant/Jettygirl.com

Additional Resources:

Bec Woods
Amee Donohoe
Brian Hilton RA Surf Show
ASP World Tour


Photo Friday: Sticking It Under Pressure with Rebecca Woods on Jettygirl.com

Presented by InsuranceSurfers.com

Although the outside section gets the lion’s share of points, anyone who’s either watched or participated in a surf contest at Huntington Pier knows that you have to leave an exclamation point in the shorebreak to get the crowds on their feet. Although Huntington’s sandy peaks seem fairly harmless, the shorebreak is anything but easy to navigate. After hopping through the notorious Huntington Hop zone, the final section looms up quickly, often without a chance to regain speed and much of the time in only a few inches of water. It’s a tough place to stick your final maneuver…and even tougher when 60,000 eyeballs are watching as is the case here with Rebecca Woods.

Rebecca was on fire at this year’s Nike US Open of Surfing and much of it was due to her uncanny ability to stick her landings in the dumpy conditions. While others would get bounced off, Bec would keep composed and ride out of it. I remember this turn well from my vantage point under the pier. After a clean hit off the closeout, the shorebreak explosion forced Rebecca into a difficult position, forcing her to use her lead arm to grab the opposite rail in the whitewater which is virtually impossible to pull off when you’re leaning in the other direction…impossible for most people that is. Using powerful stomach muscles and a never-give-up mindset, Rebecca successfully rode out of it and continued on toward the quarterfinals.

Before cutting out today, you’ll notice something painfully commonplace in women’s professional surfing these days, Rebecca surfs the tour without the help of a major sponsor. The surf industry is a multi-billion dollar affair yet every year at least a few of the Top 17 surf the tour without any support. How is that even possible? It’s time to start asking questions, lots and lots of questions…

Bec Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl.comRebecca Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl.comBec Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Surf photography by Chris Grant, Jettygirl.comBec Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.Bec Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Surf Magazine.Bec Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.Rebecca Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.Rebecca Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Surfing photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.Rebecca Woods, Nike US Open of Surfing. Surfing photography by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine.

Photos: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.com


Additional Resources:

Bec Woods on Facebook
Follow Bec Woods on Twitter
Becwoods.com
Bec Woods TV
RA Girls Surf Show

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