FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – The Wahine Classic all-female surf competition will return to Folly Beach this weekend.
Director of the Folly Beach Wahine Classic, Nicole Elko, told News 2 this is the largest and longest-running all-female surf contest on the East Coast.
Event organizers say this year they have women surfers from ages three all the way to 73 competing, with a total of roughly 250 competitors. The competition is open to the public and is an all-day event starting on Saturday and ending on Sunday.
The surf competition is a non-profit event aimed towards women surfers, the event also benefits Charleston Surfrider, Waves for Women, and other local non-profits. Organizers said those who wish to support but can’t make it to the surf competition, can make an online donation to the Wahine Classic non-profit.
This year, for the first time in 21 years, the Wahine Classic is doing a sustainability giveaway, if guests bring reusable products they could enter and win a raffle prize. Elko said while there are competitions for all ages this weekend the event also has a bigger purpose.
“It is an event where women of all ages and abilities can get together and enjoy a challenge-free surf environment. Surfing is traditionally a male-dominated sport and some women are a little intimidated by that especially if you’re a beginner, so we get an opportunity to take over an iconic surf spot at the Washout,” said Elko.
Elko said efforts like the raffle, show how the event is aimed at being impactful toward the community while preserving the beach.
“We also work with our partners at charleston surfer rider to make it a plastic-free low waste event. So we encourage all competitors to bring their reusable water bottles, we have water stations, lemonade, and Gatorade available throughout the day. We’re even doing a sustainability giveaway so they can sign up to win a raffle prize if they bring their reusable products,” said Elko.
The event is open to the public starting Saturday and ends on Sunday at the Follybeach Washout.