Happy International Women’s Day!
Female Flow Family Members Continue to Inspire Us
(Click on photos below to enlarge and check out the ladies galley above! #GirlsFlowToo)
At the end of 2016, history was made in the surfing world. The first-ever big wave contest for women took place at Jaws, the world famous surf break off the shores of Maui. Awe-inspiring athletes like Paige Alms and Keala Kennelly charged the same waves that their male counterparts did right after that last men’s heat. Being involved in the hybrid board sport of flowboarding, this news should have been really hard to miss. If you did miss it though, International Women’s Day is a great day for all us to review and take some notes.
It’s no secret that flowboarding has followed a similar path that surfing and skateboarding has in that it too started out as almost 100% male dominated but is now creeping towards being more even. Our Flowboarders community has some kicka** females driving this shift. In past years, women like Vanessa Arroyo, Hayley Balderrama, Amy Stevens (FlowBarrel USA National and World Champion), Jessica Nichols, Ili Lim (2016 Womens World Champion), Jennifer Mauerhofer (World Champion), and Crystal Paslawsky have showcased their passion and sheer drive on the FlowBarrel®. This attraction is a beast, so this is no easy feat!
Along with these ladies, there are some FlowRider® empresses like Dee Daniels (2x Women’s Pro World Champion), Xana Nash (3x Women’s Pro World Champion) and Austyn Bynon who have carved a path to success on their own. The ladies do not shy away from the amount of work it takes to compete on the FLOW Tour, nor do they shy away from attempting difficult tricks!
Remember though, Ladies, this determination lives deep in these riders’ souls and their skill level didn’t rise overnight. It takes practice, hard work, falling on your face, charging the same waves the boys do and it take leaps of faith to enter contests even though you might be intimidated.
Speaking of contest entries, now more than ever, theses veteran women riders are being reminded that they are indeed role model, and might have some new competitors nipping at their heels. The number of young girl flowboarders entering contests is steadily growing on an international platform. Shredders like Dorlinda Hickerson (below, left) and Gabby Savettiere (below, right) are obviously watching and catching on fast. In fact, Dorlinda and her father participate in contests throughout the US FLOW Tour together. Talk about Flow Family! While Gabby’s travel partner is FLOW Pro and competitive veteran, Theo Koby.
Creating a community for young girls to get active and spend more time with their family, friends and peers, is a community that we are so proud to have fostered and we can’t wait to continue to do so.
The FLOW Tour is premier tour for competitive flowboarding and operates in several regions of the world. USA, Asia and Europe are among the core group of sanctioned Tours operating over the years, while Canada and Australia are not to be forgotten. The female rider base and competitive scene in Asia is a force to be reckoned with. Asia champions such as Anissa Flynn (below, left) and Alysha Rizwan (below, right), along with other notable stand outs, Deena Mumtaz Adam and Zaara Dhanji are up and coming flow stars leading the charge.
FlowRider Utah, Wave House Sentosa, Flow House Bangkok and venues all around the world are helping in that effort too; these venues have Ladies Night periodically and they are always a well-attended hit. Same with Austyn Victoria of FlowLove; she started by just riding occasionally and now not only competes at a high level, but started FlowLove, a full line of flowboarding gear.
We pour heart and soul into the continual growth of this sport and we LOVE seeing you all do the same. So, ladies, get out there and ride, enter those contests, take some time to practice, ask for advice, don’t be shy & keep shredding!