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Blog

Here you will find reports of women surf events around the world, surf-related community projects, ways we as surfers can help our environment, short interviews, writings, and more!

Filtering by Tag: events

Sea Together x Aoka Surf Weekend in Aotearoa New Zealand

Brianna Ortega

Sea Together Magazine partnered with New Zealand’s Aoka Surf Studio for a weekend of celebrating the art, photography, business, and surfing of women surfers of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Thank you to everyone who came, brought inspiration to the weekend and left inspired by the weekend to bring some magic and love of women’s surfing to wherever you ventured home to. The weekend began on Friday evening with a lovely welcome dinner with women surfers who came from all over the country.

Photos by Lou @louloubphoto

We showcased films curated by Amy Rose Hewton. The films showcased were all created by women and included women surfers:

  • “Las Shapers: Three Women Trailblaze a New Path for Surfboard Building”, the work of Camila Saldarriaga and Kat Mortimer featuring shapers Kat Mortimer, Cher Pendarvis, and Valerie Duprat

  • “Women and Waves” by Heather Hudson

  • “Worm Dreams Big” by SeaLevelTV

  • “Johanna” by Ashley Beer

  • “Everything in Between” by Andrea Coleman Photo

When asked why Amy chose these films, she replied, “Overarching, I wanted to share films that represented the variety of life surrounding surfing, the shapers, surfers, film makers, young and old, legends and beginners, long and short boarding from various places around the world from pioneers to our future. Hopefully, some of these films the audience might not have seen yet. I want us to see us in all these ladies, so we can get the frothing stoke and hope and happiness that surfing is.”

Photo by Sea Together Magazine & Lou @louloubphoto

The weekend continued on with yoga, a creative workshop with the Founder of Sea Together, and lots of surfing in-between, before the photo exhibition with photographers Mischa Davis, Ellen Mary Taylor, and Anrielle Hunt, with music by local artist Morgan Keating Marr. We were amazed and inspired by the presence of the local community throughout the weekend, and were so grateful to Port Road Project for hosting our weekend.

Photos by Lou @louloubphoto

Our final day of the weekend wrapped up with celebrating the makers of Aotearoa New Zealand and you may have seen short clips of the makers on Sea Together’s Instagram Story . Thanks to everyone who came out to support the creative work, and who stuck out to the afternoon to do a beach clean-up with NZ organization Project Wai.

Photos by Project Wai & Lou @louloubphoto

Special thanks to all of the humans who poured out their energy into this community for making the weekend happen. It took dozens of people to make this weekend happen and the weekend was all thanks to you!

Special thanks to our sponsors U&I Label, The Virtue, Salt Gypsy, Port Road Project and Oceans of Happiness who supported the weekend and also donated merchandise to our raffle during the Film night.

Stay tuned for next year and be sure to comment below on what your favorite aspect of the weekend was so that we can hear about it! x

Sea Together ISSUE 002: Australia Tour Launch Part 1

Brianna Ortega

1: Sunburnt Mess

We started out in Bondi at Sunburnt Mess, celebrating the first launch of ISSUE 002 of Sea Together in Australia. The Bondi Girls Surf Riders also had a competition that morning and we were stoked to see the women’s surf community so passionate about empowering women and believing in each other to grow and surf together. Thanks to our friends at Mohinders Shoes, a cooperative and equitable brand supporting heirloom-shoes for donating their lovely shoes to our tour as well. You can use the code SEATOGETHER for 10% off on their website until July 31.

2: U&I Label

The second stop of the Sea Together Australia Tour was at U&I Label, with a myriad of the stoked Torquay community. The inspiring surf community that Emma & Jodie from U&I and Angela King from South Coast Surfboards have brought together gave us hope that we can all come together to support women’s surfing. Thanks to Belinda Baggs for facilitating our panel on Women Surfers in Creative Projects/Business with Emma & Jodie from U&I, Angela King from South Coast Surfboards and Brianna, Founder and Director of Sea Together Magazine. To top it off, we were serenaded by Jodie Hayes’s beautiful artworks and and photos by the talented surf photographer Emma Backlund. We definitely want to come back to Torquay! Check out the photos below to spot you or your friends.

Photos by Leslie Carvitto

Elizabeth Pepin Silva Film Tour x Sea Together Surf Representation Panel

Brianna Ortega

 
Photo by Mia Bolton @mmmbolt

Photo by Mia Bolton @mmmbolt

 

Thanks everyone…

…for coming to our night of inspiring films by Elizabeth Pepin Silva and community thoughts last night. Thanks Elizabeth for donating a portion of the proceeds to funding Issue 002 of Sea Together. Thanks to Leeward Surf for unending support and kindness, and thanks Halfcourt Studio for letting us host the event in your space. Thanks to Brew Dr Kombucha for providing kombucha for the lady sliders of our Pacific Northwest surf community & thanks to Crystal Stokowski for donating her creative talents and energy into making amazing upcycled t-shirts and goodies for Sea Together. This community is special and we are so grateful for each person and surfer who supports Sea Together, Elizabeth, Meade and others in our small global surf community!

Panel Discussion

Our panelists Olivia Schroder & Meade Krosby, who showed her incredible film preview of She Dreams of Cold Seas (by Erin Hogue), were unable to come due to snow. Thanks Elizabeth Pepin Silva and Sami of Babes on Waves for being on the panel with Founder/Volunteer Director of Sea Together, Brianna.

Inspiring Words from the Panelists

(If you didn’t get a copy of the zine tonight, read their words here below!)

Elizabeth Pepin Silva:

I was in the punk and mod scenes of the late 1970s and 1980s, and my time in those scenes later helped shape how I channeled my anger in the early 1990s over the lack of women being represented in surf media. The punk and mod scenes taught me that if you don't like the music on the radio? Form your own band. Doesn't matter if you don't know how to play, you will figure it out as you go along. Don't like what Rolling Stone is writing about? Make a fanzine and write about the bands you love. Don't see the bands you like at your local nightclub? Rent a hall and invite your favorite bands to play. 

It's this DIY mindset - don't complain, do something about it - that I had when I saw more and more women taking to the water in 1994, but the surf magazines and surf industry were still showing women in small bikinis standing on the beach watching the men surf. I was pissed off, but realized that it wasn't going to change, so I was going to have to be the change that I wanted within surfing. This is why I started my WaterWomen photo series, and later began making surf documentaries. I recommend this to all women surfers who are also upset about what is going on within mainstream surfing. Provide an alternative. Be the change that you want to see. If you are unable to so something yourself, at least support people and projects that are providing an alternative narrative about womens' surfing. If enough women do this, eventually the alternative will become the mainstream.

Sami of Babes on Waves:

Inclusion

If I could sum up in one word the reason I started Babes on Waves it would be, inclsuion. Without the emphasis of inclusion we wouldn’t be able to create a community that can cultivate creativity, growth and success. I have seen the absence of inclusion where the destruction of self-esteem are at their highest. If we take a moment to accept someone for the effort they’ve made to rent a wetsuit, brave the waves, especially the cold ones, and be apart of a new community, we’ve potentially given them the courage to keep coming back for more. I want every female-identifying human to feel confident and comfortable communicating with her fellow lady surfers.

Reality

As we all know, mainstream social media is 99% a hoax. You know it and I know it, sandy beach butts and seemingly perfect “beach hair” is not usually the reality when we’re surfing. I for one feel like Ace Ventura coming out of the rhino when I’m getting out of my wetsuit. But that’s just me. It’s easy for us to get caught up in “the scroll” and begin to compare our lives to strangers online, but we need to remind ourselves that surfing can be tough and as may not always look or feel perfect. My goal is to deliver inspiring and real content to the members of our community. I want to encourage everyone to get out and surf, but at the same time I want to remind them that surfing isn’t always perfect.

Support

Any community needs to support to be successful. Support comes in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you’re offering a ride to the coast for a friend without a car or a high five to someone in the lineup after they has a nice ride. When we go out on our surf days at Babes on Waves we are not teaching, we are supporting. I encourage all new members to seek lessons before coming to our event because it is more of a motivational meetup than group lesson. When we are all together we are able to break down any barriers we may have built before joining, and able to open up to each other. The community is activated and ladies are willing to feel vulnerable and ask questions they’ve always been afraid of asking out loud. In these moments we are sharing support. We support that someone is willing to learn more, challenge themselves or just come out and meet new people. I hope that this mentality is carried over to other aspects of our members’ lives and support is offered in all of their communities.

Olivia Schroeder (not present at the panel) of Northwest Wahines surf collective:

Navigating social issues and power injustices is a large theme in our movie. Something I keep coming back to in my everyday life is repeating the following three things, in this order: Witness, Forgive, and Encourage. Witness people for who they are, trying not to judge them in the process. They may be new to the sport, or make you feel uncomfortable because they look or sound different, and that's okay. Witness your discomfort, and sit with it. Forgive them for their mistakes (or for your judgements, since who are we kidding). They are only human, just like you, and are bound to make mistakes, just like you. Then lastly, Encourage the good in them. With a friend, we might say more when it comes to the encouragement piece. If it's someone new and unknown, we can be encouraging by smiling rather than scowling or noticing how much they are enjoying their time in the water or on the beach, and allow them to feel happy about that. We are trying to address these issues by offering free surf camps to underserved groups, like women of color and impoverished youth. By giving them more opportunities, we can level the playing field little by little.

Meade Krosby (not present at panel):

I also came of age in a DIY punk scene ('90s and early 00's Washington, DC), playing in bands and assuming that's just what you did - you did it yourself. It's an interesting time now where on the one hand there's so much technology available to create media yourself, yet that same technology can easily lead to passive media consumption and isolation. Where's the room for creativity and joy for the sole purpose of joy when social media encourages us to see our experiences (and selves) as commodities to be packaged and consumed by others? I think there's a real opportunity to promote social media as an active, community-building platform for expression and protest and justice rather than a passive platform for narcissism and commodification. I think Sea Together has been doing a fab job with this, and the more that can be modeled and encouraged the better. I'm also, frankly, tired of expecting and waiting for mainstream surf media to get women and diversity and inclusion right - how can it possibly when it's controlled primarily by straight white men? Until we fix that we need to create our own media, for its own value and joy but also to encourage that shift we want to see in mainstream surf culture.