•2022 HEATS SCHEDULE•
*subject to change
WOW 2022 • OCT 22+23
We are thrilled to be back, not one, but TWO days! (Gasp) That means, more time to surf & swim, more time to laugh, more participants to meet (we love making new friends), more hours to soak in all the good vibes from the female surfing and swimming community.
Capitola Beach here we come!
Our theme for this year is Sea Happiness. We selected this theme to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and the therapeutic benefits we all get back from the ocean. We want to create awareness amongst ourselves and for others to always be fully present and absorb all the joy and peace we feel when surrounded by water. Thank you Ocean!
Like in previous years, we are inviting our friends from across the globe that can't join us in Capitola, to be part of WOW through our virtual option. Spreading our mission of empowering women and raising awareness about different subjects that are important to us.
SEA HUGGER is a nonprofit organization focused on protecting and healing the marine environment from plastic pollution through action and education to drive systemic change that addresses the root cause of the issue. Our mission is to educate the public to reduce plastic dependency, while focusing on protecting the marine environment, ensuring the intrinsic rights of aquatic life, and helping create sustainable communities that are no longer affected by plastic pollution.
Or visit Sea Hugger plastic free shop. Your purchases help avoid ocean bound plastic and support our conservation programs.
2022 WOW GLOBAL KIT
The 2022 WOW Global Kit is an option for nonlocal chicas that can't participate in the actual contest but want to be part of this fundraising - waterwomen empowerment event. On October 22-23 we can all connect through the oceans while spending time in the water, absorbing all the joy it gives us and giving back kindness and respect.
Pretty please place your order before September 17, 2022*, to receive your kit on time for WOW SEA HAPPINESS Surfing Day(s). *International shipping: place your order no later than Sept. 1* ( We will do our very best to ship on time but it's not guaranteed)
SEA HAPPINESS TEE, CROSS BODY BAG, sticker, and print + SEA HUGGER STICKER.
All registered Capitola Beach surf contest and OWS participants will collect the WOW KIT at packet pick up the morning of October 22, 2022.
THE WOW STORY
WOW is a unique event that gives women an opportunity to surf and benefit the local community. It all started in 1996 by a group of guys from the West Wind Surf Club who saw inequity in the sport of surfing and set out to make an impact in changing this. WOW has continued to evolve and grow over the years with the support of many volunteers from the surfing community, Toni Castro, and the Capitola Chamber of Commerce.
2006: Sally Smith, founder of Paradise Surf Shop, stepped up to provide female leadership and kept the Women On Waves Surf Fest alive.
2008: Sally started a new chapter in her life, passing the Paradise Surf Shop torch to Anna Macken and the WOW Surf Fest to the Mermaid Series, which organizes all women events.
2009: WOW was produced by Mermaid Series
2010-2012: WOW went through a 3 year hiatus
2013-2014: Mermaid Series, along with the help of many volunteers from the West Wind Surf Club and the Capitola community, brought WOW back.
2015: With an organic community effort, it all came full circle with support from Sally Smith, the help of Marisol Godinez and many volunteers who organized the event.
2016: WOW went through another 2 year hiatus
2018: Aylana Zanville from Ola Chica led the resurgence of WOW. As a local surfer, Aylana brings her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for bathing suit designs through Ola Chica.
2019: WOW went through another hiatus to establish a long term event permit.
2020: Due to Covid-19 WOW celebrated female surfers through an international virtual event to raise funds and awareness supporting diversity in surfing and ocean conservation.
WOW had so much interest in the 2020 virtual event we continued the international virtual celebration of women in surfing in addition to returning in person to hold the WOW surf and swim contest in Capitola. Our focus was on ocean conservation and education. After being isolated for so long with Covid-19 this was a particularly special year.
2022: WOW has so much momentum and interest we are holding a 2-day surf and swim contest in addition to our virtual celebration.
Since WOW began in 1996, this event has raised over $69,000 for the Santa Cruz Community. Among others, proceeds benefited: The Barry Hamby Cabrillo, Women On Waves Zeuf Hesson Scholarship, WomenCARE, Women's Crisis Support - Defensa de Mujeres, The Wahine Project, Brown Girl Surf, Black Girl Surf, I Am water Foundation, & Drop-In Coalition, Groundswell Coastal Ecology, and Sea Hugger.