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Surf + Social Good Summit in Bali, May 17th – Girls Make Waves Action Day

Promoting gender equality through surfing!

In celebration of May as Women’s International Surfing Month and recognition of the unique positive impact surfing and the ocean can give to women and girls, a special part of the Surf + Social Good Summit is our Girls Make Waves Action Day. Dedicating a full day of the three-day Summit to celebrating the achievements and addressing the challenges for surf as a force for women and girls globally, we will mix speaker series, workshops and surf lessons to embolden our call for action and pave the path ahead.

longboard girls crew, surf, summit, core schumacher

This special event focuses on how access to and the experience of surfing can promote self-empowerment for women and girls.

The Girls Make Waves Action Day Will:

Create Communities of practice:

• Engage with female surfers from countries where social development for women is of significant need promote social good causes.

• Bring together organisations and the women and girls they hope to benefit to build an integrated, digital storytelling platform with an online mentoring program

Identify key insights and priorities

• Inform an innovative research agenda for gender, surf and development initiatives, so that ultimately more girls and women will be able to benefit from surfing

Launch Pilot Programs

• Girls from developing countries positioned as “surf for social good” ambassadors upon returning to their home communities

• Key program in Papua New Guinea, Pink Nose Surf, launched targeting female empowerment via surf

Next Step in “Sport for Gender Equality”

Sport has demonstrated its transformative power in addressing social challenges, particularly toward advancing gender equality. Organizations from the United Nations, USAID, DFID, and more have propelled it as a major tool in international gender empowerment. Surfing is the next wave in this movement- harnessing the power of the natural resource of water, surfing unifies individuals and overcomes barriers. The Summit aims to collate examples of best practices and surfing’s successes as a tool for social good and set priorities for its continued progress.

Collective Vision of the Summit Leadership

The five organizations hosting the Summit, Waves of Freedom, A Liquid Future, Beyond Surface the International, Little Seeds Surf Coaching, and Salt Gypsy are all social enterprises founded and managed by women. As the driving force for the Summit, these women are personal and professional advocates of the empowerment of women and girls; they came together from far corners of the world realizing common challenges and a common platform for a solution: surfing.

surf, summit

Mixed Model Agenda

An action-packed day will mix speaker series, interactive workshops and surf lessons using specialized learning model for women and girls.


• Create a safe space to engage and connect participants and prioritize challenges and opportunities

• Key topics include gender identity and the portrayal of female surfers in the media, women’s surfing history, surfing as a vehicle for marine education

Global Voices

• Guest talks from professional and everyday surfers, sharing their experiences across cultures, showcasing personal journeys and gender-specific challenges

• Speakers such as Ishita Malaviya, India’s first woman of surf and Cori Schumacher, world longboard champion and women’s rights activist from the USA, Dr. Easkey Britton, the first woman to surf in Iran

Surf Lessons and Skills Development

• Introducing an experiential and active learning process that encourages participants, integrating leadership and team-building skills and exercises

• Practical surfboard and equipment repair demonstrations

Support of this Movement

In addition to participants in the Summit as a whole, a unique focus for the Action Day is to facilitate the participation of female surfers from countries where social development for women is of significant need. In order to support the participation of local female surfers and participants from developing nations we are seeking funding for travel bursaries/grants. Our goal is to support 8 girls to attend from the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. We have located these girls through our partner organizations’ programs in their countries. We anticipate the average cost per girl for one day of attendance (including travel, accommodation, food, and surf equipment) would be US$2,000.

Surfing holds an incredible potential for girls and women to spark social change from our unique and diverse social and geographical locations.

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