Andrea Moller makes history for women's big wave surfing

February 24, 2016 | Surfing
Andrea Moller: one of the biggest waves ever ridden by a female surfer | Photo: Fred Pompermayer/WSL

Andrea Moller has ridden one of the biggest waves ever by a female surfer at the infamous break of Jaws.

The Brazilian-American charger will never forget the 28th January 2016. On that day Moller was in Maui, but she didn't plan to make history for women's surfing.

Jaws/Peahi was delivering some of the biggest waves of the decade, and many surfers simply decided to stay on terra firma contemplating the swell explode in front of the nearby cliffs.

Not Andrea. The waterwoman wanted to catch the liveliest waves, and she opted for an early morning challenge. Sun had barely risen, and she was almost by herself in the dangerous lineup. When the moment of truth came, Andrea Moller was towed into the giants by Yuri Soledad.

Andrea Moller was born in 1979. She is also an experienced windsurfer, canoeist and outrigger racer. Moller was raised on the island of Ilhabela, off the coast of São Paulo. She was one of the first female surfers to paddle in at Jaws/Peahi. So, she had never been readier.

"Because I was a windsurfer, I learned how to read the wave from behind, like you sail into a wave," Andrea Moller recently told World Surf League.

"Which is very much how tow-surfing is: the jet ski comes from behind, and the wave is forming with you, and you read your waves differently than when you're sitting watching the face of the wave. So it was like second nature. And then of course I knew how to surf, so paddle-in surfing was the next step."

The ride at Jaws/Peahi was hailed as the biggest ever by a surfer girl. As a result, we have to question ourselves once more: why can't female surfers compete in big wave surfing competitions alongside men? Are event organizers missing something?

The time of discrimination is long gone. Let Moller, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms, Savannah Shaughnessy, Maya Gabeira, and Bethany Hamilton do their thing. Because they're ready, because they can, and because they'll definitely outperform many male athletes.

"Just open the window, let the girls paddle out in the lineup and fight for the waves. I don't think separating ourselves and having our own women's competition is the right thing right now," concluded Moller.

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