Big-wave women_ the breakthrough surf contest at ‘jaws’ – san francisco chronicle

It happened Nov. Vacation deals to hawaii 11, in conjunction with the men’s event on the World Surf League’s big-wave tour, and there were no concessions to femininity. Best hawaii trip deals Men and women surfed the same swell on the same day. Hawaii weekend package It was spectacular. All inclusive packages hawaii It was frightening.


Best hawaii travel packages Some felt it was a bit too challenging for the 12 invited women, many of whom had never surfed Jaws before. Vacation in hawaii But the women’s burgeoning movement needed to make a powerful statement, something that would be universally respected, and it was made with great clarity.

Some perspective: As recently as 1992, Jaws wasn’t surfed by anyone. Vacation places in hawaii That stretch of coastline takes the brunt of tradewinds funneling down the valleys of Maui’s volcanic mountain range and gaining velocity along the way. Hawaii getaways packages As a result, it’s rare to find a day at Jaws that isn’t treacherously windy. Hawaiian vacation packages for two all inclusive Offshore winds generally make for ideal conditions at surf spots, but not to this extent. Hawaii vacation trips Surfers need uncommonly big boards for the paddling power needed to push over the ledge — and if they actually catch the wave, those clunky, non-maneuverable boards become a stifling handicap.

It wasn’t until 2010 that a small group of Brazilian surfers took on Jaws with paddle-in surfboards. Hawaii vacation destinations They crashed and burned, occasionally pulling off a successful drop, and a new era began. Cheap package holidays to hawaii A group of Maui locals became stars of the paddle-in revolution, and it wasn’t entirely a man’s world. Best deals in hawaii Paige Alms and Andrea Moller hung out with those guys and joined right in — Moller becoming the first woman to paddle in at Jaws, Alms the first to have a successful tube ride. Package deals for hawaii “And there’s a bunch of young girls paddling Jaws now, like 16-17 years old,” San Francisco’s Bianca Valenti said. Hawaii vacation packages all inclusive “It’s amazing to see.”

So it was that the World Surf League stepped in with an open-arms invitation. Hawaii vacation for two The waves on contest day were a solid 15-18 feet in swell-size measurement (also known as the Hawaiian scale), meaning faces of 30 feet-plus. Hawaii vacation rental Alms called it nothing short of “monumental” that women would have three contest heats on such a day. Cheap deals to hawaii And it was quite a show, if a bit harrowing at times.

By the end of the first 45-minute heat, Hawaii’s Keala Kennelly and Emily Erickson were both headed to the hospital with knee injuries: Kennelly mowed down from behind after a successful drop, Erickson caught in a windblown nightmare and air-dropping into oblivion.

Valenti was in the second heat and also caught just one wave, nicely getting to her feet but then going airborne and taking a heavy wipeout that snapped her board in two. Hawaii best deal packages “I’ll tell you what’s cool,” WSL webcast commentator Strider Wasilewski said from the channel. Hawaii packages cheap “She came up smiling.” That summed up the women’s attitude all day, but this event was all about being thrashed and humbled in difficult conditions.

It wasn’t until the final that someone stepped up to represent the women in full glory. Cheap vacation deals to hawaii Spectacularly, and with panache, Alms made two waves with precision and launched two more than found her in free-fall, careening wildly down the face and into the depths. Affordable hawaii resorts With the Peahi locals going wild in the channel, it was beautiful, inspired insanity. Multi city hawaii vacation packages France’s Justine Dupont expertly surfed a couple of medium-sized waves, but there was no question as to who won the event.

The after-party was all about high-fives and smiles, but someone had to speak up for the looming consequence. Big island of hawaii Erickson did so after reurning home to Oahu with torn knee ligaments and a fractured leg bone, sidelining her for the rest of the big-wave season. All inclusive vacations hawaii packages “We went straight into the deep end,” she said. Deals on hawaii “It’s a pretty risky thing to have the first of these events at the most dangerous spot in the world. Hawaii multiple island vacation package As for me, I took a chance. Hawaii vacation tours I went for the biggest, baddest wave I could find. Hawaii flight hotel packages That’s kind of the point. Hawaii hotel and flight packages It’s what I choose to do. Trip to hawaii for 3 I’ve spent a decade pursuing this crazy, blind passion. Package vacation deals to hawaii I went out there because I want to support the whole women’s movement.”

The scene marked a glaring contrast to Mavericks, where women fought hard for equality and Valenti was noticeably left off the invitee list by the Cartel Management group. Cheap hawaii hotel and flight packages “When the WSL organized the Peahi contest, Bianca was chosen to be the surfers’ representative,” said Cunningham. Flights and accommodation to hawaii “She’s a natural-born leader. Travel deals to hawaii All of these women are pioneers, but Bianca is a unifier and she sees the bigger picture, and she’s incredibly charismatic. Trip to hawaii for 2 Everything that was needed to make this happen brought the best out of her, and (WSL commissioner) Peter Mel recognized that.”