Lucy Small: A Giant Amoung Men

Imagine your dream is to be a professional surfer, you’ve grown up surfing, training, and committing all your time and energy to achieving this goal. 

When you finally get there and make it to the pro league, you’re winning surf comps and seeing all the effort of those years paying off, but there’s just one thing.

You’re a girl.

And because you’re a girl, you get paid less than half the prize money of the male division. 

The training is the same, the waves are the same, the comp entry fees and accommodation fees are the same, the dedication is the sa- actually could potentially be more because of the fact that you know you are female. Yet, you get paid substantially less.

This on- going issue has been around for many years and though in 2019 the WSL decided to introduce equal pay among men and women, it seems not all private organisations and competitions have caught on.

However, one young Sydney woman is making waves in this space and we want to tell her story.

Meet Lucy Small: originally from the wild coast of Western Australia, she is known for being a fearless traveller, passionate surfer and avid writer. With a ‘calling’ to right the wrongs of the world and experience all that life has to offer, Lucy is not afraid to cross borders both physically and metaphorically. 

Image credit: Saltywaterpilgrim

Feeling like she’s spent an eternity in University, Lucy has gone through the paces to get an undergraduate double- major degree in Journalism and Anthropology, worked through internships, been a sub-editor, editor, journalist and in 2021 graduated again with a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies- this girl’s on her way to changing the world!

Not only is Lucy super educated but she has travelled and learned from varying corners of the world (and been to the most awesome places might we add!)

Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Palestine, U.K, Spain, France, Ireland, Portugal, Holland, USA, Mexico, Canada, Swaziland and Vanuatu are just some of the stamps in her passport. 

Lucy in Palestine 2016, image credit: Saltwaterpilgrim

Somewhere in between all this, Lucy finds time to be a professional surfer and is known as one of the best longboarders in Australia. Competing professionally since 2016, Lucy has surfed in a number of competitions. However, it wasn’t until 2021 when she found herself amid a moral dilemma, and in a split- decision moment, decided to act.

A moment that has since caused a lot of stir and has been in parliament more than once, on the cover of Sydney’s biggest newspaper, it’s been to New York, Germany, the UK and across Australia and New Zealand. 

After winning a surf competition in Sydney’s Northern Beaches in 2021, and receiving a prize of less than half the male division’s award, Lucy courageously called out the event organisers on stage for the inequality. The incident went viral and catapulted Lucy into a world of accidental fame.

Image credit: Saltwaterpilgrim

‘Below Surface’ is a film that follows the journey of Lucy Small as she finds her feet amidst this media maelstrom of newfound attention. Lucy comes to a crucial realisation – if she’s taking the podium, she better have something worthwhile to say.

But can she say it loud enough in order to make a difference?

Join us at the 2nd annual ‘She Surfs’ Film Tour of Australia beginning this October 19th. Get ready to be inspired and motivated by some of the world’s leading female surfers who are doing big things.  Their talent, drive and tenacity are contagious. Get your tickets from 

Image Credit: Saltwaterpilgrim

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