Why a Hawaii surfer is making the sport inclusive for plus-size women

Sarah Sekula

Special to USA TODAY

  • Elizabeth Sneed launched Curvy Surf Gil to showcase plus-size women like her who surf.
  • “It was very hard to divorce the idea that the body that I had and being an athlete could exist in the same space,” Sneed said.
  • These days Sneed carves up waves three to five days a week, sometimes with women from around the world.

WAIKIKI, OAHU — It’s a few hours before sunset. Mellow waves are consistently kissing the shoreline. With a few strong strokes, Elizabeth Sneed pops up onto her yellow longboard with ease. She smiles.

Sneed is doing something she’s always dreamed of: surfing.

It’s something that certainly didn’t happen overnight. Back in 2020, Sneed was feeling the effects of a breakup and had suffered the loss of her grandmother. Not to mention, the pandemic left her without a regular 9-to-5.

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