Surfergrrrl asks a good question...

Why weren't women invited to Mavericks?
The Mavericks Surf Contest recently announced the 2009 invitees, and all 26 are men. WTF?! Sarah Gerhardt, the focus of One Winter Story, has been surfing the big waves of Mavericks for more than 10 years. She was invited to the contest in 2001, but only as an alternate. Jenny Useldinger and Jamilah Star are also Mavs regulars.

The Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards aren't so sexist. Maya Gabiera, who charges with the guys on massive waves at spots like Dungeons, is up for XXL Monster Paddle. Women's surfing icon Layne Beachley is in the running for XXL Ride of the Year for taking on a big one at Ours.

I asked Keir Beadling, Mavericks CEO, why no women are on the invite list. His answer? "Hmm..." C'mon, we want to know why the contest is ignoring half the population. Are you afraid a woman might win?

I hope you don't mind me re-posting that here, Surfergrrrl? I just thought it was an interesting question.


  1. No, I don't mind a bit. Wish we could get an answer tho...

  2. Anonymous5:17 PM

    Because when it comes to such contests the defacto position doesn't even consider women. They don't even THINK to include women, it never even enters the equation. Hence, the answer from the contest director was an ambiguous and vague "hmm". Anyway, women who surf big waves are an anomaly and "don't catch the biggest waves" anyway so it's assumed they wouldn't win anyway so why bother inviting them.

    I don't believe in these positions but it's how I understand the process.



  3. According to some guys I met on the weekend, women who surf any kind of wave full-stop are an anomaly.

  4. Anonymous10:15 AM


    I'd like to send you a teen surfing novel for girls for review - written by Aussie female author (and part-time surfer!). If interested please contact me on

  5. I don't think it's a case of purposely not inviting women but a case of if you have 100 top surfers at a spot how many are going to be women. Of those women how many can compete on a level with the top men in that group?

    Should it be that they look at who's the best of the women and invite them? In that case it's the mindset of "she surfs pretty good... for a girl".

    So is the suggestion that a few spots be reserved for females? In which case it's not necessarily the best surfers overall. If female surfers want to be treated and judged on equal ground, then they should also be required to perform based on those same criteria as well.

    I have no concept of how many women charge big Mavericks but I would guess that number is pretty low. Out of that number, how many of them are good enough on performance alone to make the cut of 26 invitees?

    Where there even any women on the list to be considered? That's the bigger question.


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