How ‘Outer Bar Babes’ are Transforming Big-Wave Surfing

How ‘Outer Bar Babes’ are Transforming Big-Wave Surfing

Inspiring women is how ‘Outer Bar Babes’ are transforming big-wave surfing. It’s an all-female group of surfers who help pave the way for women in surfing. They charge at San Francisco, California’s Ocean Beach.

Contrary to what others may think, these women also excel in different fields aside from big-wave surfing. At the same time, they serve as inspirations for other women, as well as other aspiring surfers around the world.

Outer Bar Babes: Changing the Game in Big-Wave Surfing

If you’re going to take a look at the number of big-wave surfers around the world, men seem to dominate the sport. In fact, it is estimated that out of about 35 million surfers worldwide, it is estimated that 81 percent are men and only 19 percent are women.

Outer Bar Babes: Changing the Game in Big-Wave Surfing graphic

But, today, people have become more open. Hence, the number of women involved in the sport is increasing even more.

In 2020, it is estimated that women now make up 20 to 30 percent of the population of surfers worldwide; and that number is expected to grow bigger. One of the things that inspired more women to try big-wave surfing is the Outer Bar Babes.

For starters, this is a group that’s composed of female surfers, namely Bianca Valenti, Rebecca Wunderlich, Anna Wankel, Beth Price, Monique Kitamura, Sarah Martins, Suzie Yang, and Sachi Cunningham.

But, contrary to what others may think, these women can surf monstrous waves. Once the waves in San Francisco get 10 to 15 feet or maybe even higher, you’ll definitely see these women treat the waters of the Golden Gate City like their playground.

Aside from surfing, these women also excel in other fields. Wunderlich, for instance, is a middle school teacher; Wankel is a firefighter; Price is an exercise physiologist; and Kitamura is a personal chef.

Meanwhile, Yang is a dentist and Cunningham is an assistant professor of multimedia journalism (at San Francisco State University) and an award-winning producer.

And due to this, since Outer Bar Babes became popular in the world of surfing, its members have been contributing a lot to the big wave surfing industry. Because of them, the many weren’t only amazed by their beauty and intelligence, but they were also inspired more to get into surfing.

Female Representation in Big-Wave Surfing

Female Representation in Big-Wave Surfing

When talking about surfing, it’s common for many people to think of men riding towering waves. Even on the TV screens, it’s usually the guys who are portrayed as surfers with well-toned bodies.

It’s quite rare to see female representations of surfers on the big screens. But, it’s quite understandable, though, since men dominate this sport.

However, thanks to the Outer Bar Babes, female surfers were able to get a representation of their own on the TV screens as the Outer Bar Babes are featured in the documentary It Ain’t Pretty.

Empowering Women

Back in the day, it was quite a rare sight to see women surfing big waves. In fact, it was only in 1975 when the first professional female surfer (Margo Oberg) was crowned. This is because more men are interested in the said sport.

And despite the changes in traditions and values of people over the years, the sport is still dominated by men. But, thanks to big-wave surfing inspirations, which includes the Outer Bar Babes, the percentage of women surfing grew.

This is due to the fact that aspiring female surfers are able to see more representations of them on the scene. This has made them feel more belong. They are one of the great women who helped pave the way for more aspiring surfers to test the waters.

Overcoming Challenges

Some of the challenges that the members face are not a secret. Cunningham, for instance, once shared her struggles of being diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer.

And being identified as one of the members of the Outer Bar Babes, as well as being featured in the documentary It Ain’t Pretty, they were able to inspire others on overcoming the challenges not only in surfing the ocean, but also conquering the waves of life.

Today, it’s important to see representations of women in the world of big-wave surfing. Fortunately, the Outer Bar Babes are here, helping to pave the way for many aspiring female big-wave surfers.

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About Carla

I'm a journalist passionate about extreme sports. I love writing and reading stories about those brave people that are going beyond the limit of their physical capabilities.

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