Committee for equity in women's surFing


It’s time women athletes had an opportunity to showcase their talent at Mavericks surf break near Half Moon Bay in Northern California and beyond.


  • In 1994, bodyboarder Sarah Lucas broke the Mavericks gender barrier.
  • Feb 17, 1999, the first surf competition was held at Mavericks. The inaugural event was named “Men Who Ride Mountains.”
  • Feb 26, 1999, Sarah Gerhardt became the first woman to ride the enormous wave at Mavericks standing on a surfboard. 
  • In Nov 2015, San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan asked the California Coastal Commission to require a women’s heat as a condition of a Coastal Development Permit for the Mavericks Surf Competition. In a 7-4 vote to approve, Commissioner Mark Vargas added a condition to the permit requiring a plan for encouraging equal opportunity for women at future events.
  • In Feb 2016, the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing (CEWS) was co-founded by Professional Surfers Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly, Andrea Moller, Bianca Valenti and SMC Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan and attorney Karen Tynan. 
  • At the Nov 2016 Coastal Commission hearing Sabrina Brennan and Karen Tynan represented CEWS and affirmed the request for a women’s heat. The Coastal Commission voted unanimously in support of requiring a women's heat.
  • At the Dec 2017 Coastal Commission hearing Karen Tynan represented CEWS and reaffirmed the request for a women’s heat. For the second year in a row the Coastal Commission unanimously supported the inclusion of women's heat in the competition.
  • Women will compete for the first time in the Mavericks Challenge.

We Are The New Future of big wave surfing

This summer, the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing will provide a proposal to the World Surf League for a multi-heat women’s division in the 2018/2019 Mavericks Challenge. It will be good for women, for the Mavericks legacy, and it will ensure fair and equal access to coastal waters. The next time the Mavericks event is held it will be about women versus women. Increasing the number of events and the number of awards for women, as well as offering equal prize money, is the only way to achieve meaningful equity in competitive surfing.