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….And the surfing industry continues to chip away at women’s (as opposed to girls) involvement and engagement with the sport of surfing.
I got to check out a few heats from the Quiksilver/Roxy Pro. It’s exciting to see all of those young women fulfilling their dreams, but a bit sad to watch as many of the seasoned veterans of professional women’s surfing –Sofia Mulonovich and Silvana Lima (both under 30), for example, lose their endemic surfing brand sponsorships.
The surfing industry is certainly struggling at the moment, most notably Quiksilver, who has recently made huge cuts to their team and completely cut the Quiksilver women’s (QSW) brand—which made leaps and bounds to create some diversity within women’s surfing by supporting artists, bloggers, musicians and the amazing Steph Gilmore (notably supporting the Water Dancer series). Emerging brands VSTR and Summer Teeth were also cut.
From an industry news source:
“Growing the female side of the Quiksilver brand was previously a key growth initiative for the company. In December 2011, the company said its five-year plan called for the female side of the business to grow to $100 million in revenue.
But everything appears to be on the table and under evaluation from new CEO Andy Mooney, previously with Nike and Disney, who was brought in to bring a fresh approach to the company. Mooney officially joined the company on January 11.”
(Will Steph end up with Roxy??)
Back to the Roxy Pro in Australia, I was unimpressed with the language used by the male commentators who kept interjecting words like “beauties, nice girls, and spicy” to describe the athletes at hand.
And, to top it off, one of the commentators of the women’s event proclaimed on the live webscast:
“I don’t have a good track record watching girls surfing, but I sure will check out round two of the women’s event”
Well, thanks for committing to do the job that you are being paid for, Mr. Announcer man. And thanks for letting us know that you have basically no prior interest in what your commentating on.