Notorious North Shore chargers Megan Abubo and Rochelle Ballard paddle out at Rocky Point with Australian WCT-newcomer Chelsea Georgeson. They join the pack of guys already in the water and jockey with the best of them for the set waves. Megan takes off on a nice left-hander and throws buckets of spray as she reaches the apex of her snap. Rochelle scores a barrel, but unfortunately, it closes down before she can squeak out. On the beach, photographer Brian Bielmann sees her come up disoriented. He walks into the water to help her in, and doctors discover she has a small puncture in her eardrum.


However inviting the waves of Hawai‘i may seem in photos, the water there moves powerfully and even the most experienced of surfers have felt its authority. But the girls on the North Shore are standing up to it this year–not a week after Rochelle’s injury, she was back in the water. While the number of girls on the North Shore during the winter tends to be notoriously low (as attested to by dozens of sex-starved young men), this year saw an increase in girls who are “hot” in and out of the water.

Megan says, “A lot more girls are traveling over here now.” And more girls are charging the bigger waves as well. “It’s getting so crowded at Pupukea and Ehukai Beach Park, more people (including girls) are going over to Pipe.” The stereotype of a gnarly girl surfer no longer seems to apply. So, watch out, that cute girl bustin’ a move on the dance floor at your party might be able to throw a mean off-the-lip, too.–Stacie Perry