Just four days after one of the most recognised and widely celebrated International Women’s days, Bianca Valenti showed us just why women are smashing through boundaries in all sports. Valenti might be just another highly skilled and dedicated female big wave rider to many surf fans out there, but last week she moved the sport forward with a performance that was as good as it was important.
The Big Wave World Tour
The Big Wave World Tour is a massive event on the men’s world surfing calendar, posting events all over the surfing world. Countries such as Chile, Peru, Mexico, Spain and several locations in the United States have been hosting popular and well received events for years, but it was only four years ago that a trial run of a women’s big wave event ran alongside the men’s event. Fast forward four years and we have just witnessed the most hotly contested women’s Big Wave world tour competition yet. This was the first time the cream of the crop in female big wave riding has really come together, and Bianca Valenti came out on top.
Top Line Up
With a line up including Keala Kennelly, one of the most well respected, and most gutsy female performers in big surf, Savannah Shaughnessy, known for her abilities in big water, along with Paige Alms, with a strong reputation for big wave riding in Maui, it certainly wasn’t a given that Valenti would be walking away with such a coveted award.
This was the first time it could be truly said that there was a genuine, well regarded big wave riding contest for the elite women surfers of the world, and as a spectacle, it didn’t let anyone down. With perfect conditions, and beautifully big waves, along with some incredible performances from these queens of the waves. Valenti has surely now cemented herself as a permanent fixture in the upper echelons of female big wave riders, and she will undoubtedly go down as a pioneer in her sport. Just to be the first woman to walk away with an important trophy in big wave riding will guarantee her of that.
Valentin Gracious In Victory
Following her victory, Valenti gave shout outs to a couple of people synonymous with big wave riding in the Northern California circuit: Famous shaper Matt Ambrose, who designed and shaped her 9 ½ foot board, along with her physical therapist Lance Harriman, who obviously does a great job to keep her in shape for events like this.
Men’s Event Result
In the men’s event, Alex Gray came away with the men’s trophy, defeating a strong line up including the Mavericks contest victor Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker along with Shawn Dollar and Anthony Tashnick. We’d love to think that the men’s event really kicked off, but the focus just had to be on the women’s event. It’s time for women’s big wave surfing to really stand tall and proud alongside its male counterpart, and if this competition is anything to go by, this will be happening more and more in the future.