Breaking Barriers: Empowering Girls to Surf

women in surfing


Kosin is driven by its passion and determination to get everyone enjoying the outdoors. From sunset surfs to sunrise SUP sessions, Kosin is committed to spreading its positive message: no matter who you are, you too can reap the benefits of an outdoor hobby, and teenage girls are at the forefront of their journey.

A recent study by Women in Sport has found that just 37% of 11- to 16-year-old girls are enjoying physical activity, with a drop to 30% once they reach the age of 17. To put that into perspective, the study has estimated that around 1 million girls who once thought themselves to be sporty, are now turning their back on physical activity.

The jarring research cites many reasons for girls leaving sport:

  • Fear of being judged
  • Feeling like she’s not good enough to take part
  • Lack of confidence and low self esteem
  • Body image
  • Feeling physically and emotionally vulnerable during puberty
  • Fear of having to meet new people 


“The ocean is the one place where you can’t be judged.” Yvette Curtis, Wave Wahines


An even more staggering statistic is that 80% of the girls surveyed had a perception that the activity is for boys, not girls. It could be argued that this is true of surfing. It has long been a male-dominated sport. In fact, according to Surfer Today magazine, girls and women make up only 19% of the total surf population, making the gender participation gap larger than that of rugby. However, North Devon based surf club, Wave Wahines is challenging this.


“Girls aged 9-16 tend to drop out of sport, and I’m adamant to make Wahines an environment where we can stop that happening. Body image, confidence, puberty, judgement – all of these are factors that drive girls to drop out of sport, so I made sure the club was about fun, community and friendship.”


Yvette Curtis set up Wave Wahines, a female only surf club, when her own teenage daughter felt uncomfortable at the boy-heavy clubs she tried out. This led Yvette on a mission to keep girls in sport and combat all the reasons girls gave for dropping out. Like Kosin, she is passionate about inclusivity and harnessing the power of the waves to improve the wellbeing of girls and women across the country.


“The sea doesn’t care whether you’re gay or straight, what gender you are, your ethnicity, or whether you’re able-bodied or not, so neither should we. None of those things matter when you’re in the sea, it’s just you and mother nature. That’s a really powerful place to be, and the fact that so few women have felt that is really sad.”


Due to their immense success, Wave Wahine’s two-day Summer Slide surf competition for women and girls is set for 17th-19th June 2022. This incredible weekend of aloha spirit will see female surfers competing in the only all-female competition in the UK. In true Wahine style, the weekend in beautiful Croyde Bay, North Devon, will be a supportive and friendly event for all competitors, whether you’re riding in white water or out back. Kosin is proud to be donating prizes for the competition, so why not come down and support these amazing surfers who are bucking the trend and getting out there.

Yvette has done inspiring things for the female surf community and we are proud to be able to support her mission. Why not check out our collection of escapism inspired women’s t-shirts to get you ready for a summer of outdoor fun? Click here to view our collection.


The wahine summer slide 2022