Christian surfer Bethany Hamilton has vowed to boycott the world surf tour after it agreed to allow biological men to take part in women’s events.
The 33-year-old legend has competed in the sport for over 15 years despite losing one arm in a shark attack.
Ms. Hamilton said in a social media post that she feels she must speak up on behalf of colleagues who are reluctant to speak out for fear of retribution.
She agreed with 11-times world champion Kelly Slater who called for a separate transgender division on the tour.
World Surf League (WSL) chief of sport Jessi Miley Dyer says the WSL is working hard to balance equity and fairness.
She conceded the policy may need to evolve as it assesses feedback and new research.
One of Bethany Hamilton’s main concerns is the lack of consultation with professional surfers before the decision was made.
She questioned whether hormone levels are the appropriate way to measure fitness for biological males to compete against females.
The WSL will adopt the International Surfing Association’s policy which requires transgender surfers seeking to compete in the women’s division to maintain a certain testosterone level for at least 12 months.
“Who is pushing for this huge change?” Ms. Hamilton asked, noting that she struggles to imagine the future of surfing if these policies remain in place.
“We are seeing glimpses of male-bodied dominance in women’s sports.”
The new WSL policy takes effect immediately.