Wave of surfer women

Pilbara News - - NEWS - Tom Zaun­mayr

Wahine is Hawai­ian for fe­male surfer and it also pro­vides a nice touch of al­lit­er­a­tion when cou­pled with the Nin­ga­loo Coast’s Wo­biri Beach.

It was a per­fect ti­tle then for a group of Ex­mouth women who wanted to come to­gether to em­brace the waves and cre­ate a safe, fun en­vi­ron­ment to en­joy or learn surf­ing.

A mixed-age group, the Wo­biri Wahines hit the waves early ev­ery Wed­nes­day morn­ing on SUP boards, long­boards, short­boards and body­boards to ride the waves and en­cour­age each other.

Wo­biri Wahines founder Naomi Mallin said the group was all about con­fi­dence build­ing and hav­ing a bit of fun.

“Learn­ing to surf, I would al­ways go down to the breaks fur­ther away from every­one be­cause I didn’t want to run any­one down un­til I had the con­fi­dence to surf in the crowd,” she said. “It can be in­tim­i­dat­ing when you have all the guys out there drop­ping in on you. The nice thing about us, as a group of women, is it is all about fun, laugh­ing, catch­ing a party wave. There is no judg­ment or crit­i­cism.

“Quite of­ten, it will be three or four of us on a wave hoot­ing and car­ry­ing on.”

Wahine Hi­lary Van Eldik said those party waves were “about the most fun” you could have.

“I’ve gone from ter­ri­fied leg shak­ing to catch­ing waves and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of rid­ing a smooth green face all the way to the shore,” she said. “It’s amaz­ing and I owe it all to the en­cour­age­ment and sup­port of the Wahines.”

Mallin said the Wahines had be­come quite a pop­u­lar lit­tle group in Ex­mouth, with women from Kar­ratha and Perth sig­nalling in­ter­est to come and catch a wave to­gether while in town.

“It is about cre­at­ing friend­ships and get­ting like-minded women to­gether,” she said.

“Here in Ex­mouth, there is quite of­ten more women in the break than there are men. You won’t find that (in) most other places in Aus­tralia.

“I think that is be­cause we have a nice, easy wave to surf here in Ex­mouth and with the whale shark crews, you have all the young peo­ple com­ing here who love get­ting out in the surf.”

The Wahines are start­ing to share their skills out of the wa­ter too. From yoga and surf movie re­treats to com­pet­ing on the Vir­tual Rot­tnest Swim, WW is a moniker be­com­ing syn­ony­mous with fun and friend­ship in Ex­mouth.

Pic­ture: Sa­muel Van Eldik/Ocean and Earth Aerial Pho­tog­ra­phy

Wo­biri Wahi­nis hit the waves early ev­ery Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

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