The day that the spirit of surfing must forget

November 17, 2014 | Surfing
Dropping in: there is only one surfer in the picture | Photo: Grant Scholtz/Surfing South Africa

Yes, it happened. A group of male surfers has decided to intimidate, insult, drop in and snake female riders competing at the 2014 Billabong Women's Summersurf Challenge, an event held in Kommetjie, near Cape Town, South Africa.

The event attracted 41 surfers, including a nine-year-old girl and many other young surfers who traveled hundreds of kilometers to compete at Long Beach.

"I've been to a good few contests over the years but today I was gobsmacked. It was a total free-for-all, with nearly every guy on an SUP, shortboard and longboard just blatantly dropping in on girls as young as nine! Some surfing their first contest," Anne Wright, director at Surfing South Africa, told our friends at ZigZag.

These free surfers never waited for their turn. They simply showed a selfish behaviour and put out a disgraceful display of cowardice.

"The surf was big and difficult and for some of the girls pretty intimidating. Sadly however, this respect was not shown by the male-dominated non-contestant line-up of surfers and longboarders who spent the entire contest intimidating and bullying the female contestants," added Robin de Kock, president of Surfing South Africa.

"Our requests to the bunch in the water to give the girls space and show some respect was ignored. It made me ashamed of my gender. Not only did the mob in the line-up drop in, but they also sneered at the competitors and splashed water at them."

Robin de Kock confronted them about their lack of courtesy, but their response was an expletive-fuelled rant followed by personal insult. The event had not closed the break off for competition; organizers simply asked fellow surfers some competitive waves to crown champions.

In the end, and with the support from local longboarders and surfers, Faye Zoetmulder (Open), Anoush Zakarian (Under-20), and Sophie Bell (Under-14 and Under-14) claimed the overall titles.

Take a look at the basic rules of surf etiquette.

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