7 February 2019
By Daniel Duane
Read two excerpts from the article:
It was already afternoon when Valenti decided she had to get in the water. She felt a burden to prove that female big-wave surfers can keep up with men — more so because she helped found, in 2016, the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, an activist group that started with the modest ambition of getting women invited to big-wave contests, from which they had always been excluded, and grew unexpectedly into a reckoning for the global sport of competitive surfing.
…Like most female surfers of her generation, Valenti grew up unaware that women even rode big waves. She learned to surf at age 7 in Dana Point, Calif., in Orange County. In third grade, she wrote an essay about her dream of becoming a professional and surfing the powerful Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu. Valenti excelled in youth contests and, like many girl surfers, idolized Kennelly — a top pro at the time, equaling the best men at displays of fearless aggression and technical mastery in dangerous surf. When Valenti was in her early teens, she signed modest endorsement deals with surfwear companies. She subscribed to every surf magazine but found them boring because they featured action shots of only boys and men, with girls strictly on the beach in bikinis. Valenti’s frustration deepened when she became convinced that her sponsors paid more to girls who looked like models, even if Valenti outsurfed them. When she protested, she lost her endorsement contracts.
Read the full article in the New York Times.