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3 Barrier-Breaking Moms

Mothers Breaking the Mold 2016

In 2020, our country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

We’ve come a long way since that watershed moment. Today, women are forging paths as leaders of industry, showing that they are just as capable, and in many cases even more so, than men. Nowhere is this more apparent than in sport.

Whether it be running, bicycling, skiing, surfing or golfing, to name a few, women are providing inspiration for future generations by showing what is possible when given the chance.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we wanted to highlight some women who are breaking down barriers as they forge new paths as athletes, role models and parents.

Bethany Hamilton (Surfing)

Thought surfing was hard? Try surfing with one arm. That’s exactly what Bethany has done since the age of 13, when she lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing with her best friend in Kauai. Just three weeks after the horrific incident, Bethany was back on a board doing what she loves most.

Despite her limitations, Bethany has forged a career as one of the top female surfers in the world, winning the 2005 NSSA National Championships, third place in Australia’s Roxy Pro in 2008, second at the World Junior Under 20 Championships in 2009 and first place in the 2014 Surf ‘n’ Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro.

Her amazing story was chronicled in the feature film “Soul Surfer” and she has served as an inspiration for others, using her celebrity to change the world.  Last year, the 26-year-old became a mother, telling the Daily Mail she was excited to one-day tell her son about her accident and “how I ended up with one arm, but then tell him life got even better because of what happened to me… I want to show him a shark might have bitten off my arm, but that doesn’t stop you in life, it just makes you more determined and stronger.”

If only we all had such strength.

Is your mom like Bethany? Then consider getting her this surfboard by Softech which is perfect for those new to sport, providing enough excitement that she will want to return to the water again and again this summer. For something a little more relaxed, check out our Stand Up Paddleboard gear which includes a board, women’s wetsuit and waterproof case for your tablet.

Annika Sorenstam (Golf)

Widely considered the greatest female golfer of all time, the prolific Swede won 72 LPGA tournaments in 13 years, eight Player of the Year Awards and a total of 93 professional titles. She set numerous scoring records that included shooting an amazing 13-under 59 at the Standard Register Ping in 2001.

Perhaps her best year came in 2002 when she won 47.8 percent of the tournaments she entered, including 13 titles, all while averaging an incredible 68.7 strokes per round. Her response when asked what she planned to do in the off-season in preparation for 2003: work harder.

It’s that type of attitude we should all bring to our own lives.

Despite that drive, the mother of two – Ava, 7, and William, 5 – has not put that type of pressure on her own children.

Now retired, Sorrenstam recently penned a letter to her daughter that was published on The Players Tribune (you can read it here). In it, she provides advice, encouraging Ava to enjoy her childhood.

And when Ava gets older, Sorrenstam wrote, “find your passions, be ready for them, work hard for them and appreciate them. And when the time comes, learn how to share your passion with others and inspire the next generation. But promise me, my little sweetheart, to enjoy the journey and wherever life takes you.”

If your mom has the drive of Sorrenstam, then consider this pair of Maui Jim Ho’Okipas which are ideal for golfers of all levels. The Oakley Commit is another option, providing a sleek look without compromising on performance. The best part? A portion of each sale from the Commit goes to benefit breast cancer research.

Barbara Odanaka (Skateboarding)

Proving you’re never too old to skate, the 53-year-old Odanaka has flipped multiple stereotypes on their head. And in the process, she may be the raddest mom ever.

While she took to the sport as a kid, she gave it up at the age of 13 because it conflicted with competitive running. Twenty-five years later, she returned to skating when she released her first book, Skateboard Mom, in 2004.  

That same year, in an example of life imitating art, she created the nonprofit Skateboard Moms & Sisters of Shred. On Mother’s Day, the group meets for an annual skateboard party – this year it will be at Laguna Niguel Skatepark in California – helping raise money for children’s charities all while skating, in Odanaka’s words, “like women possessed. It’s one long day of smiles, sisterhood and stoke.”

Odanaka is proving that age is just a number while promoting a positive message of female empowerment through skateboarding.

At X-Wear, we have all the gear you need to get your mom on a skateboard for the first time or the second time, 25 years later.

Regardless of your mom’s interest, we hope you take a moment to thank her and celebrate all that she has given you this Mother’s Day.

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