SALTWATER Boardriders officials hope the significant increase in the number of young girls involved in the club's super grommit division this year will eventually filter through to older age groups.
Super grommit is loosely for kids aged four to 12.
"This year we had 25 girls in our super grommits and 21 boys,'' boardriders secretary Kirby Stanley explained.
"More girls than boys. That's never happened before and it's really exciting.''
Kirby is the club's women's champion, although she doesn't make a big deal about her win.
"But there were only two other surfers against me this year,'' she said.
"They'll both beat me next year.''
Kirby concedes she's at a loss to explain the sport's sudden popularity with younger girls.
"This club has a nice family feel to it and we've encouraged that heaps,'' she said.
"We're getting mums and dads being able to surf with their kids and getting involved. It's really positive.''
Parents are also heavily involved in the club's operations, particularly on competition days - whether they can surf themselves or not.
"All the parents get a job, whether it's pushing their kids onto waves, handing out red frogs or giving the kids high fives. There's a strong focus on parents.''
However, she conceded there were concerns at the dropoff in the ranks of girls in the club and she hopes this will be the start of a resurgence.
"We're hoping as the girls get older they'll move through the divisions.''
Kirby's 35 and has been surfing since she was 12.
"I just wanted to hang out with my friends and surfing is a really social environment,'' she explained.
Kirby said that most importantly, kids learn ocean skills as they're being taught to surf.
"They learn about rips, tide and winds, things that will stay with them for life,'' she said.
While 12 is the accepted age limit for super grommits, Kirby assured no child is pushed into the next grade before they're ready.
Summer generally means a smaller surf and Kirby said this is the great time for kids to hone their skills before the start of the club's new season in March.