Photography James Geer
Photography James Geer

Champion surfers Laura Enever and Owen Wright on the disparity between men and women's surfing - and why girls are so good on the waves!

Owen Wright, 23, ASP World Tour surfer

Q. How did you meet Laura?

A. "We grew up competing at the same junior events. My sister Tyler [who is also a surfer] is really good friends with her, so naturally we became friends too. In 2009 I qualified for the ASP World Tour and Laura qualified a year later, so we're still competing at the same events."

Q. What's the best thing about watching women's surfing?

A. "That they're improving so much faster than the men. At the first event of the year [the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast] our reactions are always: Woah, look at what they're doing now!"

Q. The biggest lesson you've learnt from the girls?

A. "To look at things from a different point of view. When the waves are huge they'll see big guys taking them on and think: "Well I'm more skilled than him, so why can't I do that?" And they go for it. When the waves get big - that's when the women really shine."

Q. What's your hope for women's surfing?

A. "I want to see the women in better waves. A lot of the time they get put in average conditions and breaks and it's a shame. They get less chances to surf great waves - but when they do get the opportunity they're much more impressive than the men."

Related: Five of Australia's top sportsmen get vocal on the women they back

Laura Enever, 21, ASP World Tour surfer

Q. Why's it important for male surfers to champion you?

A. "Because it makes people take notice of us. The men are now publicising the fact that we're pushing the limits and making surfing our own sport - we're bringing grace to the water - and they admire that. Because of the respect the guys show for us, the world is now taking women's surfing more seriously. "

Q. What would you like to see in the future of women's surfing?

A. "I'd really love to see more sponsors come on board and support our events to make them bigger and better. And of course more prize money and publicity so we can really showcase surfing."

Q. Do male surfers get more prize money?

A. "Yeah - more than double. It would be amazing to get more prize money because there a few girls on tour who don't even have sponsorship and their prize money barely covers their travel expenses. The more money we get, the more prestigious the contests will be - and that's going to push our profile both as a sport and individually."

Watch Laura's trailer for her IM Laura four-part TV series