Women and girls take over The Wave

North Devon Gazette

North Devon-based Yvette Curtis is dedicated to progressing women’s surfing. Â

Through her organisation, Wave Wahines in partnership with surf school, Surf South West, Curtis provides affordable surfing lessons for girls, teens and adult women, and has used surfing therapy to help girls and women, including domestic abuse victims and refugees. Â
More than anyone, Curtis believes in the power of bringing women together to create a force for good. That’s why she decided to do a women and girls takeover of the Wave in Bristol on April 3rd, 2022.Â

The Wave in Bristol is the first inland surfing destination of its kind in England. It’s a place where people of all abilities can come and learn to surf on consistent, safe, waves all year round. Â

For the female takeover day, Curtis has invited members from other British organisations including the Saunton Surf Sisters, Bristol Girls Surf Club, Newquay Womens Surf Club, Waves Paves Gals, the How People, Groundswell Community Project, as well as any females of any surfing ability. All are welcome to join.Â

“It's the first time I’ve collaborated with some of the female groups before,” explains Curtis. “It’s really easy to collaborate with these other organisations because we’re all working towards the same goal. Â

“It’s not about who’s name is on the bill, it’s about progressing women’s surfing and seeing more women and girls at the Wave, and building that community. It’s great to make these connections, both locally and further afield, because we all share the same ethos and goals at the end of the day.”Â

Surfing is a great way to connect people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Through the female takeover day, Curtis hopes to celebrate the many faces of women and girls surfing in the UK and help to promote gender equality in surfing. There are many challenges that women and girls can face that could prevent them from engaging with the sport, which can be exacerbated by often male-dominated, or intimidating line-ups. Â

“Women and girls bring something different to the line-up, and representation means everything. It’s been commented on in surf media regularly because our presence creates a different dynamic,” adds Curtis. Â

“The Wave has been really great to work with, and I hope that by facilitating an opportunity for girls and women to show up and surf together, then they will join in.”Â

“We’ve done collaborations before, but never one of this size,” adds Matilda Jackson, founder of Bristol Girls Surf Club, which has over 1,000 members online. “I hope we can do more events in the future, both with the Wave and also all the other women's surf clubs, to give women the chance to feel confident and surrounded by support, as representation in surfing is really important. I would love to see better representation of female surfers, and also an environment that is more encouraging of getting women into learning how to surf.”Â

The women and girls takeover day will take place on April 3rd, 2022 at the Wave in Bristol. To join in and book a session, please visit the Wave Wahines’ booking site: wavewahines.co.uk/book-online