Big strides have been made to make professional sports look more like the ethnic mix the general population. Still, the three Black women who founded Textured Waves believes that there is more to be done. Essence reports that, in the recent Women’s Qualifying Series in the World Surf League, only a handful of the 261 female surfers were not white. Particularly, naming three most notable: Anali Gomez of Peru, Bahia Frediani of Guadeloupe, and Rosanny Alvarez of Venezuela. Changing the face of surfing, and giving Black women and girls the opportunity to fall in love with the sport is exactly what Textured Waves is up to.
Textured Waves is a predominantly Black, all-female collective of surfers. Chelsea Woody, Danielle Black Lyons, Martina Duran, and Gigi Lucas founded their group in 2019. Despite being young, their group are already making a splash. They have collaborated with some of the largest brands — including Adobe, Adidas and Vans. And with the voice and following they have created, they want to make people of all background visible.
“Belonging, sisterhood, and acceptance,” a line from their video “High Snobeity” for Adidas says. It summarizes what their mission is about. “It is our mission to diversify the outdoors through exposure and curate experiences for our community that they traditionally may not have access to,” Danielle Black Lyons told Essence. Since its inception, they have collaborated with several businesses to produce videos, photographs, and surf wear line that emphasize Black and Brown women. On their website, you can see an extensive portfolio of videos for many brands. And Textured Waves’ message has always been consistent.
As part of their efforts to create an all-inclusive sisterhood of surfers, Texture Waves is organizing their second “CoWash Retreat” this September 1–6, 2022 at the Sheraton Waikiki-Marriott on Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii.
“Within the natural hair movement of the African American community, co-washing is a term used to describe any technique that gently cleanses the hair while simultaneously nourishing it. We like to think of this retreat as a ‘CoWash’ for the mind and body. Our retreat will condition the soul while removing any impurities that are no longer serving it,” Martina Duran told Essence Festival of Culture.
The retreat will be filled with daily surf lessons, group paddle outs, and yoga on the beach. “We aim to inspire a new generation of surfers through community, knowledge sharing and wave riding. Last year our attendees really took sentimental value in hearing and learning from local Hawaiian surfers and leaders in Honolulu,” Chelsea Woody said.