News: Australian Female Surfers Are On The Money

by Amy in News

While surfing is still considered a male-dominated sport, Australia’s top women are proving they can earn as much or more money from their skills in the water.

Five of the top 10 ASP World Tour women come from our shores, taking out the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th and 9th places in the competition. In contrast, there are four Australian guys in the top 10 Men’s World Championship Tour – ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 10th.

sally fitzgibbons portrait

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

But in terms of earnings, the current world number 2 female surfer, Sally Fitzgibbons, shows how far the sport has come, collecting US$177,250 (about AUD$190,223) from the current tour. The men’s world number 2, Australia’s Joel Parkinson, on the other hand, has earned US$135,000 (AUD$144,880).

Similarly, Stephanie Gilmore – third on the women’s tour – has earned more than male counterpart Taj Burrow, with $158,832 in winnings compared to his $125,563.

The trend is a big change from previous years, where men’s winnings were significantly higher than the profits women made, and reveals the far reach of recent changes at the Association of Surfing Professionals.

While the ASP used to be totally reliant on money from sponsorship partners such as Rip Curl, Billabong and Quicksilver, a recent takeover by ZoSea saw a wide range of changes that included more women’s events and an increase in the prize money on offer for both men (now US$500,000) and women ($250,000_

As Surfer Mag’s Jeff Mull reported in February, ZoSea’s changes are set to be a particularly huge boon for women.

“For the past few years, the ladies have seen a fledging schedule, with events dropping left and right,” Mull says.

“From the outset, ZoSea made it clear that they have big dreams for women’s surfing and have reinvigorated their Tour, adding events in Fiji, Honolua, Trestles, and Margaret River.”

The result of the changes so far is more exposure for women, and more balance in the earnings. And, although the women’s world champion Carissa Moore’s US$184,500 is still a far cry from men’s champion Gabriel Medina’s US$252,000, Australia’s women are proving that earning money from the sport is really becoming anyone’s game.

Featured image courtesy: blaineharrington.photoshelter.com