OCEANSIDE ⏤ The largest women’s surf contest in the world is returning to the Pier.
The 13th annual Nissan Supergirl Surf Pro Festival is the only major all-women’s World Surf League event in North America and is held right here in Oceanside.
Top professionals like three-time World Champion Carissa Moore, former Supergirl champions Lakey Peterson, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Malia Manuel, Sage Erickson and Coco Ho, as well as Caroline Marks and Alana Blanchard, are slated to compete in this year’s contest.
Bethany Hamilton, who never stopped surfing after she lost her arm in a shark attack 16 years ago at the age of 13, will also be competing in Supergirl Surf Pro this year.
Rick Bratman, director of the Supergirl Pro series and founder of parent company ASA Entertainment, said he is most excited to watch Hamilton compete.
“Hamilton has the skill level that she could win any event she enters,” Bratman said.
The overall event includes a festival village with 20 live concerts, an all-women’s DJ contest, fitness challenge, classes, speakers, autographs, makeovers, 40 vendor booths and a Celebrity Surf Invitational. Additionally, Grammy-nominated and Platinum recording artist Natasha Bedingfield is the festival’s headlining performer.
One of the Celebrity Surf Invitational participants is Lindsey Jacobellis, the voice of the Supergirl Snow Pro competition. Jacobellis is a four-time Olympian and silver medalist, six-time world champion and 10-time X Games gold medalist.
During the surf competition, the decorated snowboarder will be interviewing surf competitors after their heats.
Jacobellis was thrilled when she was first invited to come check out the Supergirl Surf Pro festival. She explained that she is used to attending high-caliber competitions like the Supergirl Surf Pro, but what amazes her about this particular competition is that it is women-dominated.
Marketing the potential for women to successfully surf and snowboard is important for encouraging young girls to pursue those sports.
“We’re highlighting these amazing women in the sport but we’re also unlocking limitless potential,” Jacobellis said.
Not only is the festival bringing in world-class surfers to compete, it’s also bringing in world-class gamers as well. In addition to the Supergirl Surf Pro competition, the three-day festival is also hosting the third annual Supergirl Gamer Pro, the only multi-title competitive women’s esports tournament in the country.
The event will host open game play tournaments with popular titles like “Fortnite,” “League of Legends,” “Hearthstone,” “Super Smash Bros.,” “Ultimate” and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”
Bratman said he is excited to continue to grow the Gamer Pro series in an industry that is often the “poster child” for treating women as second-class citizens.
“This event gives women a safe space to come out and show how amazing they are in gaming, and ultimately encourage and inspire young girls to become more active in the esports industry,” Bratman said.
Similar to Jacobellis, Stephanie Harvey, also known by her gamertag missharvey, is a professional gamer who wants young girls to be inspired by seeing women as successful, professional gamers.
“It happened to me 15 years ago and here I am now making a living out of it,” Harvey said.
The Surf Pro competition will be nationally televised and the Gamer Pro competition will be live-streamed on platforms like Twitch, Facebook Gaming, YouTube and Mixer.
The festival runs from July 26 to July 28 and is free and open to the public.
Photo Caption: Defending champion Carissa Moore at last year’s Supergirl Surf Pro. Photo Courtesy of ASA Entertainment.
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son