“A 12-year-old girl once told me that when she surfs, she feels like she can do anything,” Dionne Ybara, founder of the Wahine Project, said to me while sitting on the beach in Punta de Mita, Mexico. I was helping Dionne out as an instructor at a couple of the clinics close to where I live.
She tied her shoulder-length, curly black hair into a ponytail, looked out over the ocean, and smiled. We were waiting for the Wahines (Hawaiian word meaning “girl” or “woman”) to show up for the 4pm surf clinic. Gentle waves lapped against the shore. The water was a brilliant blue even though clouds stretched across the sky.