Women's Surf Culture in New Zealand with Amber Jones
• (in New Zealand) a large social or ceremonial gathering.
• (in Hawaii) a formal club or association.
When 23 waterwomen from all around New Zealand (and Byron Bay!) get together, the stoke juice runs freely, but so do the ideas and pivotal conversations.
We came together to drive a positive change within women's surf culture, to challenge the status quo for female surf businesses operating in a patriarchal industry and most importantly to awhi* the next generation of female surfers so that they feel supported.
What started as a ‘brain fart’ by former professional NZ wahine, Kelly Murphy (Clarkson), evolved into a gathering and discussion between women who were formerly separated by region, but are now intertwined by their love for surfing and the experiences (and frustrations) they’ve shared in the water.
The setting was arguably the most beautiful location in New Zealand, Ahipara, which is home to our very own left-hand wave garden. With zero swell forecasted on the charts, it was a welcome surprise to show up to 2ft peelers. Naturally, the Hui opened with a surf session until darkness hit and dhal filled our bellies.
Over the course of the weekend, key speakers shared their expertise to open up the table for the topics to be discussed within the group. We had VIP visits from legendary Women's Surf Culture Doctorate, Rebecca Olive and surf wear pioneer businesswoman Danny Clayton of Salt Gypsy. They shared their thoughts and experiences as well as NZ ex-professional surfing legend Pauline Pullman and myself touching on the media aspect of the industry.
Overall, we have opened up the dialogue with regards of taking the first steps toward fostering a healthy positive evolution of women's surf culture in New Zealand and I’m absolutely frothing with the steps we’ve implemented to materialise this discussion. Watch this space!
We couldn’t have done it without the generous support from the local businesses of; TOMS NZ, The Huts, Dive Tutukaka & Ceres Organics.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
*Awhi is our native language translation to “embrace/support/enable”
Article by Amber Jones / @amberandfriendsphotography / https://amberandfriends.net
TOMS NZ are so proud to be able to support Amber Jones and this community bringing change, building and empowering women’s surf culture in New Zealand. Amber has a relaxed, intelligent and impassioned manner about everything she does. We are so excited to see these plans in action!
Needless to say, we are stoked to be on these women's feet around the beach! You can check out our alpargatas and slip ons here