Interviews, Surfing

Interview with @womenwithwaves tweeter Edward Glass

Though he does not surf himself, the guy knows his stuff, and is one of the few who chooses to document the world of female surfers over the males. We talk about the ever growing women’s surfing industry.

1.Why do you think the sponsorship for female surfers is so lacking in comparison to the men’s?

I wish I had figures on the state of men v women sponsorship. The number of women surfers worldwide is around 15% to 20% of the total, and is growing, but I have no idea as to the sponsorship details. I find it a sad reflection on surfing when I know that two of the women on the 2012 world tour do not have a sponsor. Those women being Paige Hareb and Bec Woods.

2.How do we get more women involved in the sport?

I believe that more girls and women are becoming surfers but a stumbling block may be the costs involved. Boards and wetsuits may be out of a lot of parents budgets.

3.Do you thing there is still a gender bias present in surfing?

At present there is a gender bias which to my eye becomes apparent when I watch webcasts. The professional women always have to play second fiddle in the event order and I believe they would slip down to third-place billing if dolphins could be trained to surf competitively.

4. Surfer mag has recently launched a magazine geared exclusively towards women surfers; SALTED. Is this the future? Will others follow suit?

Yeah! Great to see an all-women surfers magazine out there now. Hopefully Salted magazine will be the first of many quality women’s surfing magazines.

5.What has the UK got to offer the surfing world?

The surfing scene in GB or UK (something to do with the channel islands, I believe) is trying its best to generate professionals, both men and women, but our waters are not exactly up to the standard that is available to surfers even as close as France.

British surfers, to improve to a quality level would have to leave here.

6.Who are your surfing idols?

Simple! Bethany Hamilton is the surfer I adore. If the shark attack had not happened then I would have no knowledge of surfing whatsoever. If Bethany had not returned to competitive surfing in 2004, then I would have just been pleased to know that she had survived and was leading her life as best she could. I could add many names to a list of ‘surfing idols’ but I won’t.

7. Do you think the big brands such as Roxy, Quicksilver Ripcurl etc could do more for the female side of the industry?

Difficult one. The big brands need the surfers to promote their brands, but is it enough ? All the companies would cite the state of the world financial markets for them pulling money out of surfing.

I will be keeping a watchful eye on the financials for 2013 and deducing whether the big brands are doing enough for the professional women.

8. Why is it important to you personally to document the female surfing competitions?

My love for surfing began with a girl, has grown via a quality batch of highly competitive women surfers and I just love the competition between them. I occasionally watch the men, but I would choose to watch the girls over the guys, every day of the week.

9 What’s on offer for women surfers outside of the ASP world tour?

Behind the main world tour, there is the ‘Star Series’ where the vast majority of the women compete in, trying to gain places on the world tour. Also, there is the Junior girls world tour. Here in GB, there is the UK Pro Tour (that GB & UK thing again)

Follow womenwithwaves on Twitter @womenwithwaves

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