Sierra Lerback Makes History in Australia. It was a different day in Australia, but for many, it seemed no different than any other beautiful sunshine day. However, in the surfing world, things were dramatically different in a way that laid to rest many gender-related assumptions. On this day, there was equality, as least in the world of surfing.
Sierra Lerback from Maui, Hawaii defeated everyone in the Old Mal division of the Noosa Festival of Surfing. Upon her lifting the trophy above her head, she made history.
Not only did she defeat all the women in the field, but she took down a slew of elite male surfers such as Harrison Roach, Jared Mell, Byron Chadwick, and Jack Norton.
The accomplishment didn’t go unnoticed by greats such as “Wingnut” Weaver, Joel Tudor, World Surf League Longboard Commissioner Devon Howard, and Alex Knost.
What Lerbeck proved to the naysayers is that women can work the waves just as well as the men, and perhaps even more beautifully. The next step is for mixed longboarding on a regularly basis. It’s up to Howard to seriously listen to such a proposal.
Equality is one. The World Surf League Shortboard Commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer is rumored to not be fond of longboarding, in fact threatened to reduce the tour to a single event. Hopefully what happened at the Noosa Festival of Surfing can sway Miley-Dyer. This could still be a hard sell for Miley-Dyer, who didn’t immediately reach out to congratulate Lerback on her historic achievement.
Hopefully, in time, Miley-Dyer will changer her view. This would help bring true equality to the world of surfing.