There is this one group on Facebook, that gathers so many inspirational, supporting and just truely beautiful women from all around the world, that share the same passion – surfing!
Group “Women Who Surf” was created by Vanessa Yeager in 2014. Vanessa’s idea was to get women who surf together to help one another and have a group for women only. From the beginning it was open to global community but most of the women were from Southern California.
Lately the group has been blooming and now gathers women from all around the world with majority being located in USA, Australia and Europe, and reaching almost 5000 members.
We asked Vanessa how she feels about the growth of the group. “I remember when the group 1st started to grow, I think when we got somewhere around 1000 members, I asked the members if we should cut it off at 1000 or allow it to grow. I gave everyone a vote and everyone voted and said let’s see where this takes us and now we are almost at 5000 Women Who Surf!”
She said she’s happy to have a space to talk and share things amongst other women, without the male influence. “I feel like all I did was create a space that I wish existed and now it’s thriving and I’m stoked for all of us Women Who Surf.”
And we also couldn’t be more stoked, cause this group is like no other!
Global & Local Communities
But what about the local communities for female surfers? There are lots of them and each overflows with beautiful stories of ladies that found their water soulmates and became a part of an amazing community!
Group Surf Witches in Gold Coast started as a small group created by couple friends – Hannah Jessup, Miranda Laidlaw and Monica Wach. When they started to learn to surf they met lots of ladies surfing by themselves. Soon they created a facebook group to stay in touch and find a surf buddy instead of going out alone.
The group has grown to over 600 members within 8 months. Surf Witches now have group surfs once a week with 20-30 women attending as well as fun days, surf clinics and trips away.
They encourage ladies to attend their meet ups or to post to the group when they are heading out for a surf and would like some company.
Group Surf Witches has evolved into an amazing community for like minded women on the Gold Coast, where all levels and all ages are welcome.
Salty Sea Gals
On the other side of the world, in small Portuguese town Ericeira, is another thriving community – Salty Sea Gals. I learned more about them from Barbara, founder of Kaiola, the coolest surf hat brand.
Barbara, originally from Germany, was exploring moving to Ericeira after living 3 years in Costa Rica. “I decided to take a 3 day trip to see if I could imagine this to be my new home. It was November and it was cold. I had not surfed in cold water before, so I was not necessary super enthusiastic.
My first surf session was not good. I walked up to my car freezing and demotivated when a girl who was just getting her board out of the car next to me asked me how the surf was. We got into chatting and I told her that I was considering moving here. And she told me about Salty Sea Gals, a group of girls who meet up once in a while to go surfing together. A nice group of surfer girls from all over the world who live in Ericeira.”
“Without knowing them, I felt like I belonged. I felt like I had a group of like minded women who would know what I’m going through, moving to Portugal without knowing a single person. It felt like a safety net. And it gave me that extra push to make my decision.”
That information changed everything for Barbara. “Without knowing them, I felt like I belonged. I felt like I had a group of like minded women who would know what I’m going through, moving to Portugal without knowing a single person. It felt like a safety net. And it gave me that extra push to make my decision.”
Barbara moved to Ericeira the following year and she met Sinate Lein, a Norwegian girl, one of the Salty Sea Gals founders. Sinate invited her to their fitness sessions, gave tips on how to find an apartment. Finally Barbara went to the first surf session with Salty Sea Gals.
“It was exactly what I had expected and it made my integration so much easier. I have not had time to join the girls a lot due to workload, but just knowing that they are there, seeing how this community goes beyond surfing, is the best feeling in the world. We have a WhatsApp group that is used for much more than organising surf sessions. It’s a caring, sharing and supporting community.”
And that pretty much sums up the beauty of female surf communities. Being part of it is not only about going surfing together, it’s about connecting with like minded women that support each other in the ocean and beyond.
Women Surf Communities around the world
If you know of one that hasn’t been listed here let us know and we will add it!
Babes on Waves – Oregon
Brown Girl Surf – San Francisco Bay Area
Bay Ladies Surf Club – San Francisco Bay Area
Black Girls Surf – located in San Jose + camps in LA, Senegal, Sierra Leone
Groundswell Community Project – San Diego
Wahine Kai – Orange County, California; Northern San Diego County
Wahine Surf Club – Virginia Beach, Va
Chicks on Sticks – Galveston, Tx
La Surfing Sirena’s – South Padre Island, TX
Sisters of the Sea – Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Lake Surfsistas – Great Lakes
Surf Witches – Gold Coast, QLD
Bondi Girls Surf Riders – Sydney, NSW
Surf Sisters Victoria – coast of Victoria
Surfing Mums – groups all around Australia: NSW, QLD, Victoria, WA
Women Surf Club Newquay – Newquay Cornwall
Brighton Board Girls – Brighton UK
Surf Senioritas – Wales UK
Women Riders – New England coast
Salty Sea Gals – Ericeira Portugal