y Chris CookNew Media Manager
Huntington Beach, Calif. – Pro woman surfer Rochelle Ballard of Kaua’i is
heading up the newly-formed International Women’s Surfing
Ballard was named president of the organization on Tuesday.
She is one of the top competitive professional woman surfers in the world and
is a leader in the global pro surfing tour.
Ballard grew up surfing on
Kaua’i and began her career here, but now spends much of the year on the North
Shore of O’ahu and on the global tour. She is married to surf filmmaker Bob
Stand-alone women’s surfing events are at the top of the goal’s
list of the organization.
Ballard has been flourishing on the tour this
year with a victory in French surf and high rankings on the pro tour this
Most women’s surfing events are now held as second-dog events to
men’s pro surfing contests.
In a press release, the IWS announced plans to
represent all female surfers involved in competitive short board surfing around
The statement said IWS is in the process of developing a series
of women-only professional surfing events in prime surfing locations throughout
the world that would launch in 2001, with a tour schedule finalized by
The new organization apparently aims at bringing
additional stability to the careers of the pro female surfers, and is being
formed as a California mutual benefit non-profit corporation. The organization
incorporated in April of 2000.
Purses for women’s surfing events generally
are a fraction of those offered to pro male surfers competing in the
Association of Surfing Professionals global tour.
The ASP is the governing
body for professional surfing and is based in Queensland, Australia. The ASP
also reorganized this week, setting up an eight-month tour schedule.
women surfers rely on sponsorship checks from surfboard companies, surf wear
clothing companies and surfing accessories manufacturers to cover airfare,
accommodations, entry fees and other costs of following the pro circuit. Venues
range from the North Shore of O’ahu to South Africa, France, Indonesia, Brazil
The commercial side of women’s surfer has grown
considerably over the past five years, with clothing lines like Quiksilver’s
Roxy, women’s-only surfing publications and boards designed for female riders
signs of the new popularity.
A press release from the organization stated:
“While the long-term goals of IWS include building a strong, global grassroots
base for women’s surfing and increasing competitive opportunities for female
surfers at all levels, initially IWS will focus on tapping the energy and
spirit of today’s top professional female surfers to capitalize on the recent
surge in interest in women’s sports. IWS’ immediate goal is to lead women’s
professional surfing to achieve its fullest potential in the global arena of
Plans call for the IWS to work closely with the
Association of Surfing. The IWS said new stand-alone events will be
ASP-sanctioned, and the final women’s tour schedule will be comprised of
approximately 2/3 new women’s-only events and 1/3 existing ASP World Tour
events that feature both men and women.