EP 17. Sarah Gerhardt
Our guest for episode 17 is one of those rare people. In this instance, a first descent of a moving mountain from 20+ years ago, but arguably more relevant now than ever. Sarah Gerhardt was the first woman to surf the wave Mavericks in California’s Half Moon Bay.
Hosted by Lawrence Stafford
Sound Design by John Sampson a.k.a CJ MIRRA
thanks for tuning in as we find ourselves in steady flow of new episodes.
Thinking on this next one in our California omnibus, it would be
fair to say that in a time where just about every outrageous human endeavor or
era defining accomplishment has been done - one where you need to climb not one
but 14 peaks to get into the record books, it becomes rarer and rarer that
first ascents or descents, circumnavigations or pole to pole expeditions are
A wave that has launched the careers of surfers...
...photographers and many others, giving some the rides of their lives, but also a wave that has taken lives, remembering the great Mark Foo. A wave that for 15 years was ridden alone by one man, Jeff Clarke before it was discovered by the big wave surfing community.
It was Sarah Gerhardt however who braved these cold, dark, sharky waters dominated by a cold, unwelcoming crowd to paddle herself into the history books. What followed was instant fame and recognition but also instant backlash from the surfing community itself. From all appearances though Sarah took it in her stride, focusing on what was important
and surrounding herself with a tight knit crew of peers - paddling against the
flow when others wouldn’t.
We spoke on the madness of overnight acclaim to earning your stripes and navigating a male dominated line up. The intersection of science and sport and the journey of equity in women’s big wave surfing.
So here we go, Episode 17 of Hell or High Water with Sarah Gerhardt – Mavericks Maverick
“I wanted the water, I needed to see it as much as possible and be in it as much as possible to be a happy contributing person.”
Riding Giants, Film
Adaptive Surfing Games
Study vs Surfing
Ride A Wave Programme
Passing of Sarah’s Mother – confronting grief
Process & preparedness of surfing big waves
Studying the set up
Mental vs physical preparation
Media hype and being in the limelight
Responsibility of fame and attention
Establishing respect in a male dominated sport
Earning your stripes and a place in the line up
Facing adversity and aggression
Surfing as a tribal culture
Thoughtful stewardship of surfing breaks
Practice of calm, flow and present awareness
Shift from all consuming surf mindset to finding balance
Committee for Equity in Womens Surfing
The positive energy of women in the water
Finisterre Womens Wetsuit Tester Camp
Changing the language around surfing
Mavericks, Half Moon Bay
Roxy & Quiksilver
Save The Waves Coalition
Dungeons, South Africa
WSL – World Surfing League
Sally McGee, Yonder Surf
Dr Easkey Britton
Moana Jones Wong