Watch the competition or hit the surf during the annual Wrightsville Beach Wahine Classic. As one of the only all-female surfing competitions on the East Coast, this beloved event attracts all levels and ages of female surfers from across the country and globe. Held on the south end of Wrightsville Beach, see the competition from the shore or take on the waves with divisions including Pro Short and Longboard, Amateur Short and Longboard as well as crowd favorites like the Stand Up Paddleboard and the Tiny Wahine Division.
The Wahine Classic Surfing Competition in Wrightsville Beach began in the summer of 2013. The event is one of the only all-female surfing competitions on the East Coast and it continues to grow each year, attracting both amateur and pro surfers. Jo Pickett, a legendary surfing instructor with over 20 years of experience and the owner of Crystal South Surf Camp, is the event’s organizer. Jo’s skill at teaching surfing and her love of incorporating yoga for strength and balance, have made her a popular coach and a successful one in competitive surfing. Many of her students have gone on to become surfing instructors themselves. From teaching surf etiquette and ocean safety to coastal ecology and marine life, Jo has helped many surfers develop a vast understanding of the ocean and how to enjoy surfing for pleasure or at the competition level.
HISTORY OF THE WAHINE CLASSIC
The origins of the Wahine Classic in Wrightsville Beach go back to 1997 when Tammy Zybura Kennedy started the East Coast Wahine Championship (ECWC) in response to a tragedy that occurred in our female surfing community. The ECWC was a success from the start. As the event continued to grow, additional organizers were asked to help including Jo, Anne Beasley Weber, Paula Bushardt, Karen Allison, Lisa Andre and Jack Viorel.
In 2013, our Wahine contest name changed to the Wrightsville Beach Wahine Classic. Affectionately referred to as “the Wahine”, we continue the tradition of providing a fun-filled surfing and beach weekend in August for participants and spectators. Female surfers, young and old, congregate with families and friends to compete and enjoy the surfing vibe that the term Wahine personifies.
The mission of the Wahine Classic is promote surfing and wellness in women and girls. Each year, the Wahine Classic raises money and makes a donation to a non-profit organization that promotes wellness for women and girls. Our 2019 recipient is the Southern North Carolina District (SNC) of the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA).