- Surf brand included transgender woman in promotion for women’s surfing
- Consumers calling for a boycott including slogan #StopReplacingWomen
- Promotion has since been removed from social media by Rip Curl
Australians are calling for a national boycott of iconic surf brand Rip Curl for using a transgender woman in their social media accounts, as the brand moves to scrub any trace of the promotion.
Rip Curl came under fire for using Western Australian professional longboarder and transgender woman Sasha Lowerson in a promotion for women’s surfing last week.
Lowerson, 44, featured on the Rip Curl Women Instagram page on Thursday as part of the company’s Meet The Local Heroes of Western Australia campaign.
It comes just months after Rip Curl severed ties with pro-surfer and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton – one of the world’s most famous surfers – reportedly over her opposition to transgender people competing in women’s sport.
The post featuring Lowerson has since been deleted from the Rip Curl Women Instagram page, but hundreds of Australians kept attacking the company on other posts across its social media platforms.
Western Australian longboarder Sasha Lowerson featured in a Rip Curl promotion for women’s surfing, which led to a backlash from consumers
The promotion featuring Lowerson has since been removed by Rip Curl, but Aussies are still calling for a boycott of the company’s products
The outcry comes after Rip Curl cut ties with former brand ambassador and champion surfer Bethany Hamilton, allegedly because of her views on transgender women in surfing
The posts featured the hashtags #GoWokeGoBroke #savewomenssports #StopReplacingWomen and #boycottripcurl with commenters calling for Aussies to cut ties with the surf brand.
‘Taking my money elsewhere. Why do you hate women?’ one follower asked.
‘Rip Curl was always one of my favorite brands in this industry, bummer I’ll never spend another dime with em,’ posted another.
‘RIP for me rip curl!!! Not supporting anymore!’ added another.
There have been several messages of support for Hamilton as well.
‘Bethany is an icon. She’s better without this company,’ posted a follower.
‘There will be No one better than Bethany to represent women in women’s surfing – RIP Rip Curl,’ added another.
One commentator even accused Rip Curl of removing comments as it goes into damage control.
‘Why are you deleting comments? Delete as much as you like, people already know where you stand when it comes to biological women,’ they posted.
Rip Curl has not yet made a public statement about the removal of the Lowerson promotion.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Rip Curl for comment.
Surfing, which will feature as a new sport at the Paris Olympics in 2024, adopted its International Surfing Association’s policy for transgender participation in early 2023.
The policy is recognised by the Olympic Committee and states: ‘Eligibility criteria applying to transgender (trans) people and/or people with sex variations must be evidence-based, rights-respecting, and developed on a sport-by-sport basis.’
It states that surfers that were born as biological males must maintain set standards of testosterone levels continuously for 12 months to be eligible to compete in a women’s event.
Hamilton and fellow Aussie surfing legend Kelly Slater have previously called for a separate transgender division in the sport.
Hamilton also previously threatened to boycott the sport over its transgender policy.
While many followers support her stance, she has also been labelled a ‘homophobe’ and ‘transphobe’ on her Instagram account.
Australian surfing champion Kelly Slater has also been outspoken about transgender athletes in the sport and wants a separate category created for them to compete in
Last year, Lowerson told Daily Mail Australia she has received support from top surfers that ‘made me regain my faith in humanity’.
‘The current number six in the world, who I hadn’t seen since before my transition, I paddled up to her and she saw me and said, “Look at you, you look amazing”. The 2016 world champ Rachael Tilly came up and said hello, she said, “It’s so good to see you here”.
‘I initially had a lot of fears for my safety, but there were little things, little acts of kindness.’