"So disappointing. #wslmaledominance is grossssssss.”
An historic moment for women’s surfing today as the best in the world, including those storied multiple world champs Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright and Carissa Moore, paddled out at Teahupoo for the first time in sixteen years.
What should’ve been a day to celebrate was slammed by the WSL’s own fans as the women were forced to surf in waves so poor their male counterparts were given another day off as they wait for an upcoming epic swell.
The fans railed,
“How come WSL claims to promote gender equality while putting only women to surf these terrible conditions? That’s disrespectful to women’s surfing.”
“ALWAYS PUTTING THE GIRLS IN THE SMALLEST CONDITIONS. So disappointing . They deserve the best conditions. #wslmaledominance is grossssssss.”
“What a joke, why even show this? These girls shred in proper conditions. Not this.”
“Gotta feels sorry for the women having to surf this shit.”
“What an anti-climax after all the hype… yawn… turned it off and vacuumed the house instead.”
“This is embarrassing.”
“The WSL: hurry up and turn the women’s before the swell comes in.”
“Waited sixteen years to send them out prior to the swell. A total setback joke.”
“There were four proper waves in four hours of competition, your call today was a big LOL.”
Even former title contender Julian Wilson couldn’t help ripping in, “Shortened field still can’t escape the poor conditions.”
The event was scrapped for women in 2006 because the wave, which is shallow as hell and has nowhere to run if you don’t wanna get near the tube, was deemed too dangerous for the gals, a call that infuriated the then best female surfer in the world Layne Beachley.
“There’s been a rumour going around that the girls all got together and decided they didn’t want to go there because we were too scared… That’s completely untrue,” Beachley told the Australian newspaper, The Sun-Herald at the time. “We’re extremely disappointed and incredibly frustrated.”
Four years earlier, she’d conducted her victory interview there as she stood in a pool of her own blood, feet, arm, back and legs covered in lacerations.
The tour leader at the mid-point in 2002, Melanie Redman-Carr, said, “It’s a pretty sexist decision. If the men can go there, why can’t we? They’re scared about one of us getting badly hurt and having all the bad publicity coming from that. Just going to Teahupoo has improved the standard of women’s surfing. They seem to think it’s too heavy and dangerous for us. We want to show that’s wrong, and we’ve been doing it. To lose Teahupoo – it’s just pointless.”
Critics will point to the fact that highly ranked tour surfers Megan Abubo and Lyn Mackenzie didn’t catch a wave in their Teahupoo heats although that criticism could also be levelled at the men given that the current world number one, Filipe Toledo, scored the lowest total in professional surfing history when he achieved a zero-heat point total at Teahupoo seven years ago.
Even Gabriel Medina had to be coaxed into surfing the Box a few years back when the Margaret River Pro was moved there with the words, “You’re the world champ! You have to surf!”