Change is in the air.

One of surfing’s most well-known destinations still has some tricks up its sleeve.

I first witnessed the phenomenon on the thirteenth day of January, 2004. Sitting on the guardrail at Waimea Bay, I was contemplating a thirtieth birthday session at the bay. But it was kinda crowded, a little lumpy, the wind was picking up, and most importantly-it was f-kin’ huge! There was no way I was gonna go out and die on my birthday. Over it. Going to the Eastside.

Then, just as I was about to walk away with a small piece of my manhood left, I saw a woman by the name of Jamilah Star takeoff on a solid twenty footer. A Hawai’ian style twenty footer. It was radical and the throes of onlookers on the bluff roared in appreciation. As I walked away-head hung low-I thought to myself, “What the f-k is wrong with me?”

Fast forward to the Mentawais last July. I’m sitting on a boat with seven of the best female surfers ever-and getting schooled again. Melanie Bartels is landing double grabs, Rochelle Ballard is getting spit out of tube after tube, Lisa Andersen is sunbathing, and Chelsea Georgeson is carving up Lance’s Right like a Thanksgiving turkey.

That’s when it dawned on me: Girls are surfing better than ever, and thanks to films like “Blue Crush”, women now make up a quarter of the surfers in the water at any given time.

Dudes: Drop the stereotype of girls sitting on the beach dutifully waiting for their man to come in from the sea, because they’re out there-and they just might rip over you.-Justin Cote