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Wahine Kai Surf Club – California, USA – Wahine Kai is Hawaiian for ‘Women of the Sea’, and that’s exactly what this Californian-based club is. The group was created in 2004 as a way to promote women’s surfing and encourage more females to participate.

know that a fellow WK member in the line-up will

What’s the best thing about being in a female

be there for us if we need help. Surfing can be a

only surf club?  When you take men out of the

dangerous sport and it’s a comfort to know that

equation it allows women to focus on being sup-

someone is looking out for you if you take a huge

portive of one another. We can be open and honest

spill over the falls or get taken out by the set wave.

about the trials and tribulations, rejoice about the

Friendship is made when a fellow WK member

achievements and accomplishments and let our

is there to cheer you on, give you a high five or

hair down with the ease and comfort of knowing

just a simple smile after you have a nice ride on a

that you are amongst friends.

wave. The lulls between sets also leave a lot of time for members to chat and make bonds and friend-

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ships out on the water. What would you like to say to anyone wanting to learn to surf? You can do it!  I have members ranging from 18 to 70 years old, from all walks of ERIK OSTLING

life. We have one member who is an astronaut and a member who is a consultant in the fish industry. So, regardless of your age, body shape, career, or any other obstacle that you might think will get in your way of learning to surf, you can overcome it.  

Jennifer, how many members does your club

Which led to the creation of Wahine Kai. During

have? We have over 200 members in Wahine Kai,

the first year I organised all the events myself and

with over 120 members in the Orange County

ran the club out of my living room. During the sec-

and Los Angeles Chapter, over 50 members in the

ond year, I formed a board of directors who helped

North San Diego Chapter that started last year, and

me grow the club and attract new members. I will

over 30 members in the Maine Chapter.

never forget our first meeting because about 10 of

the women that came are still members today – 12

How did the club come about?  

years later.

I founded Wahine Kai (Women of the Sea) in 2004 as a way to promote women’s surfing and

Have you seen an increase in the group because

encourage more females to experience the sport

women’s surfing is getting more press cover-

surrounded by supportive and empowering wom-

age? Yes, every time we get local media coverage

en. When I started surfing in high school there

in the newspaper or on the local TV station we get

were no other women in the line-up and it was a

new members. But most of our members come

difficult experience. When I moved to Huntington

from word of mouth. When a female surfer meets

Beach, California, from Maine 10 years later, I

a Wahine Kai member and finds out about all of

really thought that I would find a surf community

the cool trips and events we have as well as the

that was accepting of women surfers, because

amazing friendships that our members have with

Surf City is the mecca of surfing, but I was wrong.

one another, they are always drawn into wanting

I kept meeting women who said that it was hard

to join.

to learn how to surf or enter a line-up filled with

men. They were looking for like-minded women

What do you love about women’s surfing? The

that they could surf with and to feel empowered

camaraderie. When the members of Wahine Kai

enough to try a new spot or go out on a bigger day.

paddle out together we trust one another and

62 SurfGirl Magazine

SurfGirl Magazine 63

Surf Girl Magazine - Wahine Kai  
Surf Girl Magazine - Wahine Kai