Tofino’s Girl Grom Gang
Words & Photos – Bryanna Bradley.
I realize I am very privileged to photograph surfing. However, I sometimes lose perspective as to why I do it. The landscape here in Tofino is gorgeous. I love being in the ocean. Sometimes it seems like I’m perpetually swimming upstream. I’ve learned to trust there is a story worth telling somewhere in this moving water and to be organic. When forced, it becomes contrived.
When I first began shooting surf, it was because I wanted to share the story of all the females here in Tofino. We have a strong tribe of ladies that make up a large portion of our line-ups. Fast forward four years. I have plucked away at covering the female surf scene, showcasing just how beautiful the surf community is here in Tofino. I wanted to dig deeper and get to the root of our thriving female surf gang.
So quickly, it was easy to recognize, tucked in amongst the chaos of the west coast of Canada, there is a group of young female surfers. This gang of 16 and under ladies might just be the most dedicated teenage girls to exist. With a passion for not only having fun but charging the waves with more skill and determination than the majority of men in our waters.
I must admit, that seeing them every day in and out of the water, their efforts and dedication for the sport of surfing, cold-water surfing nonetheless, has often gone unnoticed. However, like most things in life, when I stop to really think and appreciate what these young girls add to our lineups it is pretty extraordinary.
These girls are passing on our strong and growing female surf community that has been recognized globally. No small feat when the surf culture on an international level continues to expand into every corner of the globe.
Without knowing it, they are encouraging younger girl groms to brave our often frigid waters and unpredictable weather conditions to pursue something they love. They are pushing the stereotypes of a large population of girls their age, not just out there on small days for Instagram, but they are out there shredding on shortboards on the worst days as well.
So let us take a minute or two to appreciate this young group of female surfers in our community, whether it is in Tofino or elsewhere in Canada. These girls are true pioneers for the future generations of female surfers in Canada. They are bringing their skills and talent to an international level and unfortunately, they are often overlooked amongst the chaos of our line-ups. These girls deserve recognition and some admiration for the athletes they are, as they can all teach us a thing or two about dedication and passion.