Women surfers from around the world competed for a total of $5,000 in prizes at the Margaritaville Malibu Women’s Longboard Open Saturday and Sunday.
Kassia Meador, age 18, using a 9-foot board by Donald Takayama took first place and the coveted $1,500 purse. Kassia has been using a longboard for four years. A graduate of Agoura High, she describes herself as a professional surfer.
Ashley Lloyd, of Newbury Park, received second and $900, Brittany Quinn Leonard, a long-time resident, scored third with $700 and Cori Schumacher, of La Jolla, took fourth place and $600.
Mary Schwinn, vice president of the Malibu Board riders association, a surfer’s club with 100-120 members, took part in the competition.
“Woman’s surfing is coming along,” she said. “There’s prize money now. It’s not as good as in men’s surfing, but it’s growing.”
Schwinn, a trim blonde, age 39, who works as a sales representative for a local company so she can go out when the surf’s up, considers herself a semi-pro in the sport to the extent she travels far and wide to surf — As far as Fiji, and Costa Rica. And of course there are the many trips to Santa Cruz up the coast and Baja, Mexico.
Schwinn said women’s surfing is great for health; she didn’t start surfing until she was 25 but now considers herself healthier than before she surfed.