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Big Wave Surfing: Women are Now Allowed to Participate in Titans of Mavericks Surf Contest

by Cristina Costea

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Great news for female surfers! The famous big wave surf contest, Titans of Mavericks, allows women participants for the first time in history. 

BookSurfCamps is thrilled to announce that the famous big wave surfing contest, Titans of Mavericks, allows women participants for the first time in history. So, if you’re a seasoned big wave female surfer who has dreamed of tackling the colossal waves of the Titans of Mavericks, you can now do so!

Titans of Mavericks is a big wave surfing contest that held its first event in 1999. It takes place just outside of San Francisco, in the small coastal city of Half Moon Bay, half a mile from Pillar Point Harbor, California. This contest only occurs during the surfing winter season. Some say that it is the most hazardous surfing event in the world, and with waves that reach up to 60 feet, so you can get an idea of how spectacular and spectacularly dangerous the Titans of Mavericks really is.

Titans of Mavericks kicks off on November 1st, 2016 and ends on March 31, 2017. Surfers ride only when the waves reach heights of over 20 feet. Up until now, the contest only allowed male surfers to join the competition, but this year, six women will participate in a one-hour heat for a chance to win $30,000 and a Titans of Mavericks title.

It was the constant pressure from the Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing and other surfing organizations that resulted in the contest’s rules being changed. Apparently, it was more than just pressure, as the Titans of Mavericks could have been denied the permit to hold the competition if they refused to add a women’s heat.

Some believe that a one-hour heat is simply not good enough, as the Committee recommended three. Right now, the panel that decides which surfers get invited to compete in the contest is all-male. The next step in the right direction would mean the inclusion of women in the panel.

Bianca Valenti is an experienced big wave surfer and one of the driving forces of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing. She was thrilled to receive the news that women can now participate in the Titans of Mavericks. Valenti stated: “I was really pleasantly surprised. I wasn't expecting it, so I'm really happy to see progress. We're celebrating that things are starting to happen, with this, with the election. It's bringing attention to important issues like opportunity and equity for women in America and in the world.”

So, what do you have to do in order to be allowed to join the prominent surf contest? Well, according to the contest’s website, you will need to be “an accomplished big wave surfer that has surfed Mavericks before or whom has put recent time in that proves eligibility and a person who is athletically in top, peak physical condition to handle the rigorous conditions and hazards of Mavericks.” Also, Titans of Mavericks is an invite-only surf contest, which means that if you don’t get an invite from the organizers, you won’t be able to even wet your feet when the competition takes place.

The decision of including women in one of the most popular and dangerous big wave surfing competition is one of historic importance. In the world of big wave surfing, women have been largely ignored and pushed aside. Women surfers are expected to choose more feminine surfing disciplines, such as SUP (Standing Up Paddling). But big wave women surfers exist and they need to have visibility, so that they can inspire a new generation of big wave women surfers. The sport is simply too awesome, for women not to have a piece of this wonderful and dangerous pie.


Interested in trying your hand at some big wave surfing? Go on a big wave surfing camp and see how high you can go!

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