At The Inspire Initiative, we believe that the ocean environment and the “surf zone” is an exceptional space where women of all ages go to escape the pressures, concerns, expectations and obligations of an increasingly complex cultural land-environment. We go to the sea to slow-down, recharge, reconnect with our hearts and find a moment of peace in a topsy-turvy world.
These precious moments spent with the ocean, while surfing, allow us to return to land having reclaimed an essential energy and self-efficacy that comes from connecting with a positive psychological state called The Flow.
There are tremendous physical, mental and emotional benefits to be had from consistently returning to a state of Flow, but there are forces at work within surf culture that actively undermine a woman’s ability to connect to The Flow.
The effects of the sexualization of women have a visceral impact on both females and males and we at The Inspire Initiative believe that it is time to unpack the complex forces at work within ourselves and our surf culture in order to initiate a grassroots effort to shift the current tide of sexualization. We believe this will allow women to more fully realize the potential surfing offers. Research clearly links women’s participation in activities like surfing to self-efficacy, self-determination, positive mental health, positive self-image and a capacity to combat social pressures they might otherwise internalize.
In addition, we believe that a fully developed History of Women’s Surfing will serve to create an appreciation for the paths our grandmothers and mothers have tread before us. Without these stories, we are bound to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors and miss the lessons of the challenges they struggled with in their time. The rich tapestry of the History of Women’s Surfing has yet to be woven into a whole. We are committed to this weaving, to collecting and preserving the diverse stories that remain untold on a web archive that will serve as the world’s main resource for the History of Women’s Surfing.
With our sacred oceanic space secured and our history firmly rooted, our central purpose emerges: the galvanizing of an empowered community of female leaders who will rise from the sea to bring a wave of change to their respective land-environments.
Learn more about our initiatives here.