GO GIRL: Luci Andrew participating at the Girls Go Surfing day at Clarks Beach, Byron Bay.
GO GIRL: Luci Andrew participating at the Girls Go Surfing day at Clarks Beach, Byron Bay. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Surfer girls hangin’ five

NOW in its 24th year, Girls Go Surfing is an initiative to get more girls on to surfboards.

It was started by Christine Cox in South Australia at a time when the sport was very much a male domain.

With national sponsorship from Rip Curl, there are Girls Go Surfing events held all over Australia, but Christine's daughters Tess Cox and Serena Adams run a surf school in Byron Bay and held two days of "girls only classes" at The Pass over the weekend.

Participants ranged in age from seven to sixty-something, with two instructors working with groups of up to 10 women and girls in a class.

"The whole idea is that any girl, no matter how old, can have a go," Tess said.

She said the male domination may not be such an issue any more, with more girls than blokes doing classes through the surf school, but the Girls Go Surfing promotion was still a good way of encouraging women to give surfing a try.

She said when her mum started she had a woollen jumper for a wet suit and a piece of rope for a leg rope.

The only reason the blokes tolerated her in the water was that her father Rodney Bedford was a board shaper.


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