An Australian father has set fire to his treasured board shirts in an angry protest against Rip Curl over their use of a transgender woman to promote the iconic brand.
Western Australian longboarder pro and transgender woman Sasha Lowerson became the face of women’s surfing in a company Instagram post last week.
Lowerson, 44, was featured in the company’s Meet The Local Heroes of Western Australia social media campaign on Thursday.
It comes just months after Rip Curl cut ties with pro surfer and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton – one of the world’s most famous surfers.
The split was reportedly caused by her opposition to transgender people competing in women’s sports.
The move has angered many Aussies, including an outraged father who burned his Rip Curl shorts in an angry response to the social media campaign.
“Wake up, go broke – fuck you, Rip Curl,” he said to the camera before throwing his board shorts into the flames of a fire.
The Australian dad was filmed setting his rip-curl board shorts on fire
Western Australian longboarder Sasha Lowerson was featured in a Rip Curl women’s surfing promotion, sparking consumer backlash
Another man, Tomislav Stojanovic, filmed himself throwing his reef boots in the trash.
“I’m in Bali, I just heard about Rip Curl… F*** you Rip Curl,” he can be heard saying in the footage.
The posts included the hashtags #GoWokeGoBroke #savewomenssports #StopReplacingWomen and #boycotttripcurl, as commenters called on Australians to cut ties with the surfing brand.
“Taking my money elsewhere. Why do you hate women?’ one follower asked.
“Rip Curl was always one of my favorite brands in this industry – shame, I’ll never spend a penny on them again,” another posted.
‘RIP to me, Rip Curl!!! I don’t support anymore!’ added another.
There were also several expressions of support for Hamilton in the list.
‘Bethany is an icon. She is better without this company,” said one follower.
“There will be no one better than Bethany to represent women in women’s surfing – RIP Rip Curl,” another added.
One commenter even accused Rip Curl of removing comments because it limits damage.
‘Why are you deleting comments? Delete as much as you want, people already know where you stand when it comes to biological women,” they posted.
Rip Curl has not yet made a public statement regarding the removal of the Lowerson promotion.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Rip Curl for comment.
The promotion featuring Lowerson has since been removed by Rip Curl, but Australians are still calling for a boycott of the company’s products
Surfing, which will feature as a new sport at the 2024 Paris Olympics, adopted the International Surfing Association’s policy for transgender participation in early 2023.
The policy is recognized by the Olympic Committee and states: ‘The eligibility criteria applicable to transgender (trans) people and/or people with gender variations must be evidence-based, rights-respecting and developed on a sport-by-sport basis.’
It states that surfers born as biological males must meet a fixed testosterone level continuously for 12 months to be eligible to compete in a women’s event.
Hamilton and fellow Australian surfing legend Kelly Slater have previously called for a separate transgender division in the sport.
Hamilton also previously threatened to boycott the sport because of his transgender policy.
Although many followers support her position, she has also been labeled as ‘homophobic’ and ‘transphobic’ on her Instagram account.
Last year, Lowerson told Daily Mail Australia that she has received support from top surfers that has helped me “regain my faith in humanity.”
‘The current world number six, who I hadn’t seen since my transition, paddled over and she saw me and said, “Look at you, you look great.”
‘The 2016 world champion, Rachael Tilly [also] came up and said hello, she said, ‘It’s so good to see you here,’” Lowerson said.
“I initially had a lot of fear for my safety, but there were little things, little acts of kindness.”
Lowerson’s own personal Instagram account – where she says she is a ‘West Aus Girl always wanting to have more surfing adventures’ – is set to private.