#IGotYou is Still Stoked’s campaign to encourage women to be a positive influence to other women in the surf and beyond.
In a sport where there is no female tee or no ladies division, like it or not, we all have to work for their wave-rights alongside everyone. Let’s face it, this isn’t always easy. Crowds can be thick and it seems surfers are starting younger and younger, getting a head start, something many of us missed.
#IGotYou is a message of sisterhood and support.
Surfing is very much an individual activity. It’s easy to miss the beauty that is found in togetherness. Less competition and more collaboration can make the sport we love even more enjoyable.
Have you ever been in a line up with aggressive people paddling around you, leaving you to play garbage woman on the sub-par waves?
It seems like you spend more time paddling around looking for an open peak, than enjoying yourself. Larger sets break where the most aggressive surfers sit, and they end up hitting you on the head.
When you finally get a wave it closes out leaving you in the impact zone struggling to escape. You might feel like you are in everyone’s way and could seriously start to doubt why you even bother to try.
It is hard to improve at surfing in these conditions. It can become very discouraging to even try.
But then there is the flip side.
First of all, people have smiles on their faces and offer greetings to each other. Everyone is taking turns. Someone hoots at you as you surf by. More advanced surfers encourage those with less experience to take waves, because it actually keeps the entire line up moving more efficiently (& they are good humans!).
Someone might point out a peak and say it would be a good one for you to paddle for. On your paddle back out, another surfer offers you a tit-bit of helpful advice so you can complete your ride outside of the impact zone next time.
As your wave count increases so do your skills.
The thing is, one person has the potential to change the entire vibe in the water, for positive or negative.
#IGotYou is a pledge to be a positive voice of encouragement for other surfers, especially other women, in and out of the water.
The #IGotYou Pledge
I pledge to enter the surf zone with a smile in my heart, grateful for the time spent in the ocean no matter the conditions. I will greet other surfers in a friendly matter. When I see someone get a great ride I will be sure to let them know with a “yew!”, a shaka or a compliment.
I pledge to get to know the other women surfing in my area. When I see a new woman surfing my home break, I will introduce myself. I will not be competitive with the other women, nor compare my ability level to hers. It is competitive enough with the competitive guys out there. Rather, I will seek to make a new friend.
I pledge to help the other women get waves and have fun. If I see something that might be useful for another woman to know and she seems open to a piece of advice I will offer it. Likewise, if someone offers me advice, I will consider it before letting my ego shut it out.
I pledge to stand with another woman who is being mistreated. If I see someone dropping in on a weaker surfer, or otherwise snaking waves and behaving dangerously or inappropriately, I will support the person being mistreated by politely but firmly saying something to the offending party.
I pledge to support women’s surfing positivity, comradery, Support, and strength. #IGotYou
Thank you for taking the #IGotYou Pledge!
Amazing artwork in the header image by Lea Wells. Please check her website and follow her Instagram @lea_wells. She is a surfing, single-mum creating amazing ocean and nature-inspired work direct from her heart to yours :-)