RipCurl Faces Backlash After Promoting Trans Surfer Instead of Bethany Hamilton

RipCurl is facing backlash after promoting Trans Surfer instead of Bethany Hamilton

RipCurl Faces Backlash After Promoting Trans Surfer Instead of Bethany Hamilton


Rip Curl, a renowned surfing brand, is facing criticism following the deletion of an Instagram post that featured a transgender woman surfer as part of their campaign. The post, which showcased Sasha Jane Lowerson, a 44-year-old trans surfer from Western Australia, was removed after receiving negative feedback from Rip Curl’s customers. T

his incident occurred shortly after the company ended its association with Christian professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who survived a shark attack.

It was rumored that Hamilton’s opposition to transgender women competing in women’s sports led to her departure from the brand.

In January 2022, Hamilton had signed a lucrative five-year deal with Rip Curl, as reported by Stab Magazine. However, in February, she expressed her disagreement with the World Surf League’s decision to adopt the International Surfing Association’s guidelines on transgender participation in the sport.

Hamilton, a respected figure in the Christian sports community, voiced her concerns about allowing biological men to compete against women. She suggested the creation of a separate division for transgender surfers to address the issue.

Hamilton believes that the inclusion of male-bodied athletes in women’s sports could lead to male dominance in various disciplines such as running and swimming. She emphasized that she would not support or participate in the World Surf League if the current rule remains unchanged. Hamilton’s stance has remained firm, as she recently reiterated her belief that male-bodied athletes should not compete in women’s sports.


Numerous individuals have expressed their support for Hamilton, with some Rip Curl customers criticizing the brand for endorsing Lowerson. Moreover, the hashtag #BoycottRipCurl gained popularity on X-Monday.

One user on X stated, “Just imagine dropping an exceptional professional surfer who survived a shark attack that resulted in the loss of her arm, only to replace her with a man pretending to be a woman. Can you guess what my followers and I will do? We will all boycott #RipCurl.”

On Instagram, a supporter posted, “Bethany is an icon. She is better off without this company.”

Another individual added, “There is no one more suitable to represent women in women’s surfing than Bethany – RIP Rip Curl.”

Furthermore, other customers have also decided to boycott the brand. A follower questioned, “Why do you hate women? I will take my money elsewhere.”

Another customer shared, “Rip Curl has always been one of my favorite brands in this industry. It’s a shame I will never spend a penny on them again.”

One user exclaimed, “Quiet for me, Rip Curl!!! I no longer support you!”

Riley Gaines wrote on X, “Hahahaha Ripcurl suddenly knows what a woman is. They have also deleted all posts promoting a male surfer posing as a woman after he replaced Bethany Hamilton. They want you to forget their disregard for women. Do not do that.”

According to Outkick, Lowerson previously competed as Ryan Egan in the men’s surfing division before transitioning in 2021. The surfer cited “fear of rejection and even the threat of violence” when participating in the women’s side of the sport.

Surfing will be introduced as a new sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics.



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