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

Jess Grimwood of Shelly Beach Wins Brian Hilton RA Surf Show and Gives Prize Money to Flood Appeal

RA Girls Surf Show Winner Jessica Grimwood poses with groms and event organizers Amee Donohoe & Bec Woods ©Sarah Beardmore PRESS RELEASE COPACABANA BEACH, January 28, 2011 - Happy to just help out behind the scenes, Jess Grimwood came through to steal the spotlight with a win in the final of the Brian Hilton RA Girls Surf Show. The event was held at Copacabana Beach on the Central Coast of Australia over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of January 2011. Organiser's Rebecca Woods and Amee Donohoe had to convince the 22 year old Grimwood to compete in the event in which she managed to take out the highly competitive field of international surfers in the Open Pro division. "I wasn't thinking about competing- I was just happy to help out with odd jobs" she said. "So I was pretty shocked. It was very cool!" In a close and hotly contested final, Grimwood defeated Dimity Stoyle of the Sunshine Coast, followed by Laurina McGrath and Kim Wooldridge who finished third and fourth respectively. Grimwood was generous enough to donate her $1500 winner's cheque to the Queensland flood appeal. "It was a very touching moment and amazing thing for her to do." Donohoe said. Jess Van Der Meer from the Northern Beaches, Sydney was an in form surfer all event and took out what could be the biggest win in her career placing first in the U/21 division and taking home the $1000 cheque to help her on her way in the professional surfing world. Alyssa Lock, 10, from Tweed Heads was another strong competitor who displayed a surfing maturity well beyond her years. Lock took out not only the U/12 division but also the Open B division defeating surfers up to three times her age! Coco Beeby of Scotts Head won the U/16 division in a close battle with Steph Single from Lennox Head. There was a fantastic showcase of surfing throughout the whole event and this up and coming division was certainly no exception. As well as making the Open Pro final, Kim Wooldridge of Woolongong managed to win the Masters division. Along with winners of the U/12 (Lock) and U/16 division (Beeby), Wooldridge took home a custom made surfboard from DBurge. Other winners include Nicole Fleming of the South Coast in the Bodyboard division and Chelsea Williams from Tweed Heads, in the Longboard with both girls taking home cheques of $500. Last year Donohoe (Macmasters) and Woods' (Copacabana) were not only working long and hard with the preparation and execution of the Brian Hilton RA Girls Surf Show but were also juggling their own surfing careers as they were competitors of the Women's World Tour. Displaying altruism in its purest form, the event was aimed to support the many up and coming female surfers as well as give back to the local communities of the Central Coast that have shown great support throughout their own surfing careers. The Brian Hilton RA Surf Show was a huge success; it was not just a surfing event but like a mini festival with market stalls on both the Saturday and Sunday, food and drinks available at night with an alfresco outdoor cinema, live music and entertainment as well as VIP area for sponsors overlooking the latter. Copacabana Surf Club was filled with around 200 people for the presentation and raffle draw! The support was amazing with the local community behind Bec and Amee all the way and it doesn't happen very often but the water was cleared for the entire weekend in which competitors got to surf Copacabana Point three foot and glassy by themselves. Woods comments on the reasons to the success of the event 'It is due to the fact the Amee and I grew up in one of the most supportive communities and amazing places in Australia which created an amazing vibe and fun atmosphere". Both Woods and Donohoe are looking to make it a bigger and better event next year. A big thank you to the local community, Copacabana Surf club and the major sponsors of the event, Brian Hilton, Bendigo Bank, Mc Donald's Kincumber, Flint and Midori. http://www.ragirls.com Open-Pro -- B Grade -- Masters -- Under 21 years 1st : Jess Grimwood -- Alyssa Lock -- Kim Wooldridge -- Jess Van Der Meer 2nd : Dimity Stoyle -- Karen Myers -- Sandra English -- Skye Burgess 3rd : Lauren McGrath -- Jesse Buchan -- Sharon Briety -- Dimity Stoyle 4th : Kim Wooldridge -- Karen Witt -- Michelle James -- Sage Erickson Under 16 years -- Under 12 years -- Longboard -- Bodyboard 1st : Coco Beeby -- Alyssa Lock -- Chelsea Williams -- Nicole Fleming 2nd : Steph Single -- Macy Callaghan -- Rachel Pinsak -- Kaitlin Murphy 3rd : Eve Edwards -- Tyla O'Toole -- Debbie Allen -- Emma Cobb 4th : Brittany Hutchings -- Isabelle Wheatley -- April Charles -- Lilly Pollard