“‘Pipeline’s for the F**king Girls’ – Caity Simmers and the Best Surf Quote Ever” by Joe Carberry via The Inertia

“‘Pipeline’s for the F**king Girls’ – Caity Simmers and the Best Surf Quote Ever” by Joe Carberry via The Inertia

All that’s left is a world title. Photo: Bielmann//World Surf League

The Inertia

Something crazy happened Saturday afternoon in Hawaii, on that little stretch of sand at Ehukai Beach Park. Out in the water, a new generation was blowing minds. A new generation of women, that is, overshadowing the men by a long shot. After the heat of the decade between Molly Picklum and Betty Lou Sakura Johnson, Caity Simmers captured her first Pipeline title in the final, having ridden the wave throughout the event as bravely, and stylishly, as any surfer in recent memory. Afterwards, Strider Wasilewski stuck the microphone in Caity’s face and she uttered these now-famous words: “Pipeline’s for the f**cking girls, that’s all I have to say.”

The internet lit up, and for a brief moment on Super Bowl Weekend, surfing took center stage in the Google algorithm. It was a performance by the women that put a lump in your throat. They belonged. They were here. And they don’t give a f*** what you think. The thought leader in all this was the 18-year-old head of the new school in Simmers. In an act of pure spontaneity, she’d declared victory for a generation.

Surfer’s, in all their organic bombasticism, have a way of blowing your mind off the top of their heads. In short, they can make for great soundbites. Like when Gabriel Medina made Pete Mel squirm in his Tommy Bahama shirt when, in a post-heat interview, he told him what he was going to do to Glen Hall next time he said “Fuck you,” to him. 

My all-time favorite though (before Caity’s quote) was of course Bobby Martinez’s eloquent rant to Todd Kline (and the ASP) at the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York about the fact he didn’t “wanna be part of this dumb-wannabe tennis tour.” Bobby was pissed at the schedule, the rankings, maybe even the robotic nature of the super-jock invading his sport. It was a poignant moment if you’ve followed pro surfing and its relationship to surf culture. It was emotional, spontaneous, and genius, even though it didn’t do any favors for Bobby’s competitive career. But he didn’t care. There are parts of that rant that share a spontaneous relationship to Caity’s utterances. But Caity’s simple sentence becomes my new favorite – and probably the best surf quote ever for different reasons.

I find Caity Simmers a reluctant leader of a movement in women’s surf. Plus I just think she’s rad. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with her to film and what you see in her on-screen persona is exactly who she is. She’s not a persona. She’s real. She’s easy to get along with, she’s fun to talk to, and she just wants to surf.

We filmed relentlessly during a seven-day stretch in Central America and the kid didn’t care if it was windy, small, big, hot, chilly. She just wanted to rip. And that’s what she did. Until she caught a third-world bug, relegating her to the hotel room the last day. Not before she’d thoroughly exhausted herself, though, and put some great rides on tape.

One thing struck me: never let the laidback cadence of her speech fool you. She’s smart as a whip. She was raised by super intelligent people, too. Caity knows exactly who she is and what she’s doing and is so clearly comfortable with it. She’s got a brand that’s all hers, based on her unpredictable style – her ability to read what’s in front of her and what the wave gives her. Surfing, and competing, are simple for her because she’s never one to overdo it. If there’s not a turn in the section, she’s not going to force it.

After her semifinal win against Brisa Hennessy, the WSL interviewer asked what her strategy was for the final at Pipeline. “Get barreled,” she replied. The interviewer sort of stumbled at the simplicity but that’s really all you need to do to win at Pipe. Get the deepest.

It was a spontaneous answer. It’s what she felt in the moment, because really, isn’t that what we love as surfers? We’re not big planners or super jocks. We can’t plan all that well because we never know when the waves are gonna be perfect. We have to take what Mother Nature gives us to fit riding waves into our lives. We’ll drive to five different spots in the morning ready to jump in our suit the moment we spot a nug on the horizon. We don’t worship workout programs or world records. We praise those under-spoken heroes that can make an instant read on a wave and do something spectacular with it that blows our minds and inspires us to hop in the water after work when we spy a corner from the office window.

That’s why Caity’s answer was gold. The WSL suffered through a season of mediocre waves last year, were ripped for not running the 2024 contest earlier in the week, and then celebrated when everything came together for a historic day of conditions, and performances Saturday. It was glorious and came out of nowhere.

The women, surfing for just the third time at Pipe, showed that the Banzai could be theirs, after years and years of working towards equal footing with the men – from pay to venues. Caity’s response wasn’t planned. It wasn’t pre-prepared or written down. She read the moment and gave a statement that subtly spoke for a generation of women. It was totally natural and off the top of her head.

It was fucking beautiful.

Founded in 2010, The Inertia is the definitive voice of surf and outdoors. They approach the natural world and its devoted culture with curiosity, optimism, and respect. They take pride in bringing their passion for the oceans and mountains to life through original films, reporting, and monumental gatherings. They aim to make a positive impact on the planet through partnerships with nonprofits working hard to preserve earth’s sacred places. Be sure to visit The Inertia website to view valuable Surfing and Outdoor related News and Resourceful Articles regularly.

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