“We value integrity, inclusion and advocating diversity in the water.”
– Co-Founders of Textured Waves
We were honored to be the lead sponsor of Textured Waves’ Co-Wash Retreat this summer in Waikiki, Hawaii. During their biggest event of the year, Textured Waves brought together a group of women from all over the country for a week of surf lessons, beach yoga, roundtable discussions, and more.
We got the chance to chat with their co-founders Danielle, Martina and Chelsea following the event about some of the things that make this Co-Wash Retreat so special to them individually, how it’s impacting women of color in their communities and globally, and what’s to come for this empowering trio of powerhouse females.
Here’s what they said.
Can you tell us a little more about what your Co-Wash Retreat is and what it means to you?
The Co Wash retreat is about bringing black and brown women back to the ocean and providing an immersive and comprehensive surfing experience to adult learners. In the United States, most organizations devote their efforts towards youth, forgetting a large swath of the population. We want to encourage women, especially women of color that it’s never too late to try something new. It is one of the few retreats run by African American women.
Why did you choose Waikiki, HI as the location for the event?
We wanted to expose folks to a place with rich surfing history, so that as beginners they have a strong foundation of brown folks who have pioneered surfing as a sport and tradition. We want the teaching and education not to be led by our voices but the voices of generations of surfers.
Who was a part of it and what made you want to partner with them?
We had many brands help out with this retreat, Sun Bum being a main contributor. We chose to work with brands who have always supported us from day one like the Seea, Redbull and Vans just to name a few. We also worked with small brands as well. We wanted to give the women, many of whom this was their first surf trip to warm waters, the tools to take home to continue their journeys. This meant loading them up with suits that fit and sun protection and things we wish we had access to or knew when we were beginners.
If someone could take away ONE message from what you ladies are doing right now, what would it be?
We are opening the door for other women that have been overlooked by the outdoor and surfing world and letting them know this is a place for you although it may seem intimidating to navigate at first.
What are some of the ways you inspire women of color to try surfing?
We offer events, meetups, resources on our page, and also above all else we try and be positive examples in the water. Our goal is to not just show women holding boards and modeling, but actually riding waves and charging. We showcase all of that on our social media platforms.
How can brands be doing better + joining in on this movement to diversify the lineup?
There are so many things brands can do, but the most important thing is for them to be authentic and have a long lasting impact. Support long term causes and people working to change the current narrative.
How would you say Textured Waves has evolved since you first started?
We have accomplished so much and we continue to evolve each year. We only started out with imagery of ourselves and a few other women because the access just wasn’t there and folks were reluctant to hear or see us. Now we are leading the charge for brown and black women’s voices in surfing by being ourselves.
What’s next for you/Textured Waves? Any big goals for 2023 and beyond?
We have a lot of big plans for the future but we are taking things one at a time. We are relishing in the success of this retreat for now.
How can our community learn more about Textured Waves + support what you ladies are doing?
Please follow our journey on social media and look for updates regarding meetups, screenings, and community events we are involved in at our website.
The women of Textured Waves continue to inspire us in all that they do. We are proud to support these incredible women and their efforts in creating a more inclusive and diverse world of surfing.
Show them support by following them on Instagram and tik tok @texturedwaves and learning more about them on texturedwaves.com.
Photo credits: Nick Cribbs, Sarah Lee, Tommy Pierucki