Justin Lewis/Getty Images

Thirty women from all over the world are set to participate.

Jess McHugh
October 26, 2017

For the first time in its 30-year history, women will be able to participate in a big-wave surfing competition at Waimea Bay in Hawaii.

The event will take place sometime in October or November, bringing together some of the best surfers from around the world, with participants from the U.S., Brazil, and Australia, to name a few.

“It’s time for us to do it, and to have our own thing and create our own contest,” event co-director Wrenna Delgado told Travel + Leisure.

Men have had their own competition at Waimea Bay for 30 years, and while many women have long surfed the renowned spot, they’ve never had their own competition. Big wave surfing differs from normal surfing in that participants paddle out or are towed out to waves that are higher than 20 feet, and sometimes up to 80 feet high.

Sponsored by Red Bull, the event is named for Queen Ka’ahumanu and is set to take place sometime before November 21 (with big wave surfing, the hosts need to wait for the ideal conditions).

Women have been able to participate at some big wave competitions in the past, but they’ve never had an entire day-long competition devoted to the sport. Delgado, 29, first pitched the idea for the event two years ago.

“I had a passion for big waves but never really wanted to be professional,” she said. “I just really felt like [women] deserved the chance to have a contest for themselves.”

Delgado said she hopes the competition will encourage future generations of girls and women to try big wave surfing.

“For me, it’s not really about the girls that are here right now — it’s about the girls who aren’t surfing big waves yet,” she said.

You May Like