"Surfing is for every 'body'"
Born and raised in Arizona, surfing was never something that was on Elizabeth Sneed’s radar, until 2017 when Sneed relocated to Oahu and quickly fell in love with the sport. But, as Sneed spent more time in the water, she came to realize there was a lack of diversity in the surf industry’s portrayal of female surfers. While the majority of surfers range from the beginner to intermediate level and vary in age and body type, most surf brands depict female surfers as tan, blond, white, young, skinny, and at the pro level, she says.
Then in June 2020, Sneed realized that if she wanted the surfing industry to have a surfing plus-sized role model, she was going to have to become it. So she created Curvy Surfer Girl, a community dedicated to providing the body-positivity and encouragement to women of different body types that Sneed had missed out on when she began her surfing journey.
Since starting Curvy Surfer Girl, Sneed’s community has grown into the thousands. She has built her community through an online forum, as well as by arranging in-person photoshoots, paddle-outs and surf retreats for women of all sizes and backgrounds to participate. As the curvy Surfer Girl movement has grown, Sneed has even collaborated with surf brands to encourage them to offer a wider selection of sizing for women. In February 2021, Sneed partnered with Rip Curl for a campaign that was a world-first in incorporating plus-sized surfers. Sneed has also partnered with other surfwear brands to expand further the availability of plus-sized options.