(Sputnik) – A group of female surfers has made history after competing in the World Surf League (WSL) big-wave event at a Maui surf break known as “Jaws” on November 11.
Women have pushed for years to take part in big-wave competitions, but organizers often say the conditions are too dangerous for them. Jaws, located in Hawaii, is capable of producing waves over 30 meters.
The place has become the new mecca for big-wave surfers, but only recently did the WSL begin holding a competition there.
“Women have for years and years been participating in the big-wave community, but probably only in recent years have you had a jump in participation to the point where you have that depth in the field to hold an event,” spokesman Dave Prodan said.
Competitor Bianca Valenti said the event marks a big step forward for women in the sport.
“I watched Hillary’s concession speech and what she was saying — how important it was for women to really stand up now more than ever to break the glass ceiling — and that really resonated a lot,” Valenti said.
There are 12 women and 24 men competing in separate events at Jaws.
Paige Alms, who won the competition, told the WSL, “I still feel like it’s kind of a dream, but ah, I can’t believe it. What a blessing to be out there with just a couple girls. That was special, for sure.”
Several people were injured during the contest. WSL Big Wave tour commissioner Peter Mel said, “We’re incredibly proud to be introducing a women’s event this season. These ladies are some of the most dedicated, passionate and talented big-wave surfers on the planet.”
Prepared by Sputnik.