During the surf  contest season I’m asked over and over again “how come there is no women’s surfing contest on the North Shore?”.  My answer is because surfing is still a very sexist sport and in spite of Hawaii having some of the strongest gender equality laws in the United States, the surf contest permitting process does not allow for gender equality.  One of the problems is that a contest promoter can submit a surf contest application that looks like it has gender equality, however, upon closer inspection, it’s the furthest thing in the world from that.  For example, a surf contest promoter will say that they have a women’s division, but severely restrict the number of women they allow to compete to a single heat of 4- 6 individuals.  The results being that they run a 3-day event with over a hundred male competitors surfing for 23.5 hours out of the 24 hours of surfing competition time allowed under the permit.  Equal prize money?  Forget about it!  No prize money for the women at all is the standard.  How is this good old boys system allowed to continue?  The City and County of Honolulu’s permitting process is done only a couple of month’s prior to the actual event, so there is little time to protest  the process.  It’s kind of amazing that in the year 2018 that we still have no women’s events running on the North Shore of Oahu also known as the surfing capital of the world.