Bethany Hamilton: she believes the transgender surfing policy is not fair for women | Photo: Bielmann/WSL

Bethany Hamilton announced she won't compete in or support the World Surf League (WSL) if the new transgender policy gets implemented.

In November 2022, the International Surfing Association (ISA) announced its complete list of eligibility-by-gender rules that will apply to all competitions.

The world governing body for the sport of surfing released five transgender policies that apply to both male and female-born athletes.

Two months later, it's time for WSL to address the topic.

Jessi Miley-Dyer, the WSL chief of sport, has informally revealed that the professional competitive surfing organization won't test transgender athletes for testosterone levels.

Instead, male and female surfers will need to arrange their own testing before setting a meeting with WSL's chief medical officer, Dr. Allan MacKillop.

The meeting includes the presentation of valid medical documentation and a confidential talk.

The unofficial soft launch of WSL's transgender policy triggered several questions for the professional surfing community.

Pro surfers involved in WSL competitions have not expressed their opinion, though.

Bethany Hamilton, 32, was the voice of discontent.

"As a professional athlete competing in WSL events for the past 15 plus years, I feel that I must speak up and stand up for those in a position like me that feel that they cannot say something about this," says Hamilton.

"I think many of the girls currently on tour are not in support of this new rule, and they fear being ostracized if they speak up."

"Is It Better for Women Surfing?"

Bethany Hamilton has a few questions that she thinks need to be addressed.

"How is this rule playing out in other sports like swimming, running, and MMA?"

"Have any of the current surfers in the WSL been asked what their thoughts and opinions are on this new rule before it was passed or announced?"

"Should there be a conversation with the 17 women and all of the men on tour prior to a rule change such as this?"

"Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction that someone indeed is a male or female? Is it as simple as that?"

"Who is pushing for this huge change? Does this better the sport of surfing? Is this better for women in surfing? If so, how?"

"How did whoever decided these hormone rules come to the conclusion that 12 months of testing testosterone make it a fair and legal switch?"

"Why is the WSL statement about transwomen competing with women, and yet there's no mention of converted women competing with men?"

Hamilton Wants a Transgender Division

Hamilton supports the creation of a different division "so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent."

The legendary surfer finishes her public statement by saying, "it's hard to imagine what the future of women's surfing will be like in 15 to 20 years down the road if we move forward allowing this major change."

"We are seeing glimpses of male body dominance in women's sports like running, swimming, and others."

"I hope that if I ever have a daughter who is competing and surfing or any sport and also for all those firing Young Generation of women to have a bright and promising opportunity in her ambition to be the best of the best women and her sport."

In May 2022, Sasha Jane Lowerson became the first transgender athlete to win a surfing competition.

She won the women's open and logger divisions of the Western Australian Longboard State Titles.

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