WOMANERA: Meet the legends of women in watersports

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Global Partner

Manera takes a moment to highlight the many women of watersports who are raising the bar higher. Their message is to listen up and take notice. “Womanera” (from Woman + Manera) is a mission to inspire. Watch the video and read the following interviews as the female Manera team riders seek to inspire a grom to take her first kiteboarding lesson. They hope their message will inspire a lady to surf her first wave. Join the uprising. #Womanera by F-ONE/Manera.

“Being part of this story with so many
amazing and inspiring women motivates me
to want more for myself.”
– Marcela Witt –

Justine Dupont F-ONE Manera

Justine Dupont:  “I Feel I Belong on a Wave.”

For me it isn’t a question of men or women, it’s more a question of will.

In order to achieve a high level of performance, we need to search for balance between our motivations, technique, muscular power, flexibility and experience. The important thing is to feel grounded in your place and feel good there. As far as I am concerned, I feel like I belong on the wave.

Justine Dupont dropping in on big waves at Peah’i
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Bahia Frediani F-ONE Manera

Bahia Frediani:  “Women are as legit as men in this area”

Today, women in the watersports world are proving themselves. There is a lot more risk-taking in our choices of maneuvers and women are adventuring into more and more extreme conditions.

For me, this proves that women are as legit as men in this area. In my personal experience, I believe in the surfing world we are forced to prove and to establish ourselves even more so than the men. In the end, it’s a good thing because it makes us stronger. So, the little message that I want to give is:

Fight girls! “Girl Power” should not just be an expression but a reality!

Manera Wetsuits:
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Marcella Witt F-ONE Manera

Marcela Witt: “In 2021, we are still far from equality in sport.”

Passion, dedication, persistence, emotional balance and patience: these are qualities an athlete needs to develop.

What’s it like to be a woman in the sport? Sometimes I wonder if it is harder to get on the podium or to be respected as a woman. We are judged not only by our performances, but we are questioned about our clothes, our bodies, the way we talk, our sexual choices and even how we spend our money.

Woman are still a minority in watersports. Not because we are more fragile but because we played different sports as children. For example, the first marathon took place in 1896, but no women were allowed to participate. It took almost a hundred years for that to happen. The first woman ran – illegally – in a marathon in 1967 by signing up and hiding her gender. It was only in 1972 that women were allowed to take a part in marathon events!

Since the days of Athens, women were forbidden to participate in any sporting event as a competitor or as a spectator under threat of the death penalty. We were supposed to dedicate ourselves to home, husband and children.

In 2021, we are still far from equality in sport. There are still fundamental challenges from being respected as a female athlete to being equally paid. This is because of our gender. However, women have been evolving recently and conquering our space. Several sports already have announced equal prize money for both men and women. We are grateful to see this happen within the sports of tennis to surfing.

“I have seen more and more women in the water and I feel we are breaking many barriers. But we still have a long way to go.”

Watersports have made me a much stronger and more independent person. I have traveled around the world as a kiteboarder and I feel both the joy & pain of being a woman on the water. In the end, it’s beautiful!

This is just the beginning of women in watersports. I am honored to be a part of this story with so many inspiring women  to motivate me to want more for myself and others.

Manera Harnesses:
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Ariane Ochoa F-ONE Manera

Ariane Ochoa: “It gives me more reason to push myself.”

When I first started surfing there were only a couple of girls were in the lineup. Over these past few years, more and more girls have entered into the surf lifestyle. It’s great. They use it as a way of grow in life. It is really inspiring to see other girls pushing their limits in the water. For me, it gives me more reason to push myself to become a better surfer every day.

“I think nowadays women are showing society that we have the capacity to keep growing and pushing the limits of surfing.”

Manera’s Green Touch:
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Pauline Valesa F-ONE Manera

Pauline Valesa:  “The desire to kite came to me naturally.”

A big evolution has taken place over the last few years concerning the place of women in the watersports world.

There are more and more women in the lineup and I think it’s awesome! The strength we get from riding and the freedom we feel on the water is attracting more and more women to the water. I think that the fear of getting hurt or the idea that ‘girls can’t’ because of our physical nature is much less present. That’s a good thing!

The desire to kite came to me naturally. I was inspired by two or three female kiteboarders. Their careers and the time they spent on the water always inspired me. I was attracted to their lifestyle: the sea, wind, sun and new horizons! I discovered that I could have a similar career. I also wanted to experience the pleasure and thrills of riding my board and my kite. Riding with other girls allows me to push myself and always get amped to try new tricks. I dove into it. It’s always fun to ride with others to share your passion.

All of us are able to realize our dreams and do beautiful things. It is not because we are female that we must give them up! Maybe our jumps are less high or we pass the bar a few less times BUT we bring different aspects of style and different qualities to our rides. I think this last point is essential. It would be a pity to compare one gender to another.

From a professional point of view, it’s important to understand that even if there are fewer women on the tour or in competition, our investment in the discipline equals that of the men. The time that we spend on the water, our rigorous training sessions, and the risks taken in pushing our limits are the same. Our reward should then be just as much as the men’s. However in watersports, it is still quite difficult for women to get it recognized.

Manera Kite Trips:
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Charlotte Consorti F-ONE Manera

Charlotte Consorti: “Women bring aesthetics into practice.”

Women ride the same storms, the same waves and the same gusts. Our difference is in how we nuance the bit of softness that emanates from them.

I think that women in the waterworld bring aesthetics into practice. We are often less physical, but more technical. Our tricks are more fluid and even prettier. Women are just as committed as men and should be respected the same amount.

Manera Athletes:
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Join the revolution
#STAYWOMANERA