Yes, that’s right. Women are taking over the waves. While young men are turning their backs on the beach in growing numbers, a recent Roy Morgan study found that, in Australia at least, it’s women who run the world.
The number’s don’t lie. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of women surfers in Australia rose almost 20%. The number of teenage girls aged 14-17 who surf grew from 31,000 to 50,000 over that time, while the number of 18-24 year-old women rose from 46,000 to 59,000. Amongst women aged 50+ there has been a massive 45% increase in participation.
In contrast, in 2010 there were 66,000 Australian men aged 18-24 who surfed. That figure has since plummeted to 30,000: almost half the amount of women the same age who surf. Declining participation among teenage boys aged between 14 and 17 means that they too are now outnumbered by their female peers.
So our numbers are growing in the water and, out of the water, we already out-spend the men. Seems to me like surfing is entering a whole new period of its evolution. One run by women.
Surfing participation in Australia: 2010 vs 2014
Cover shot of Brooke Rooney and Hayley Shaw McGuinness by The Froth Lab