Sisters of the surf from all over the world came together to show their bravery on boards at Tofino’s Cox Bay Beach over the weekend.
They’re all vying for the title of Queen of the Peak, which is now in its 12th year and has attracted 112 competitors.
“Insane. It’s so good because we have each other to push each other,” surfer Jo Humphries, who moved to Tofino from Australia, told CHEK News.
“It’s so fun. It’s so empowering to be around so many women that just really encourage one another, and yeah, it’s just a lot of rad women on the beach all weekend,” said Tofino surfer Jenna Pearce.
“I drove 24 hours, of course, I love coming here,” said competitor Mando Levette, who travelled from California to surf in Queen of the Peak.
Yet, in all the inspiring girl power, one woman stood out and left a wake of admiration around her. Victoria Feige, who was paralyzed in an accident and has returned to the sport as a disabled surfer, has risen to become a four-time world champion in Para Surfing.
“I’m a very strong swimmer and I paddle my surfboard on my stomach and then when I catch a good wave, I pop up to my knees, and so I knee board and change the physics for my body and then do top turns, bottom turns and hit the lift if I can,” said Victoria Feige, who is originally from Vancouver and now makes her home in Hawaii.
“It’s just amazing to see her out there and she’s gotten better every single year,” said Feige’s friend Ava Storey.
Contest organizer and Surf Sister owner Krissy Montgomery says this is just the atmosphere she dreamed of creating. According to Montgomery, Tofino’s now a destination for women surfers from across the world to feel at home.
“Anywhere else I’ve travelled in the world, I’ve never seen a surf population like this where there’s so many women participating in the sport at a high level as well. It’s really special and it makes for a really unique surf scene here,” said Montgomery.
“And (it’s) really cool to see how inclusive Queen of the Peak and everyone here is of me as an adaptive surfer, and I think it’s just gonna grow,” said Feige.