Sisters of the Sea

For the International Women's Day, we met with Erin Miller and Samantha Ryan from Sisters of the Sea

Samantha “Sam” Ryan. President, Sisters of the Sea


Hello Erin, tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in Jacksonville, FL and moved to the beach when I was 19 and started surfing. I currently ​live in Ponte Vedra Beach. I started surfing when I was 19 and am one of the founding members of Sisters of the Sea surf club.

How did you come up with the idea to create Sister of the Sea?

Eva Duran came up with Sisters of the Sea when she realized there were other girls that surf but never had any to surf with.

Tell us a bit more about Sister of the Sea, how long its been since the first contest?

Sisters of the Sea was founded in July of 1997 when 8 women came together for a memorable surf session at Dolphin Plaza in Jacksonville, FL. We longed to have more women in the water and more all sister surf sessions... the seed was planted and an idea was born. 20 + years later, we have a few hundred members and a solid presence in the water.

This year will mark our 22nd year holding our all-female surf contest, we are so very proud!

What makes your Sister of the Sea so unique and special?

I love this question. We are uniques because we are supportive and inclusive no matter your age or ability, from beginner to pro, we empower each other in what tends to be a male-dominated sport. We have a lot of fun doing what we love all while becoming stronger and feeding our souls. We are also a 501c-3 nonprofit and have raised over $110,000 to help women in our community have dignity while fighting breast cancer. We are not curing cancer but we certainly help keep the "lights on", food in the fridge, provide transportation and counseling by partnering with The Women's Center of Jacksonville.

What are the coming dates/events and where? ​

We have two main events per year and several beach clean-ups and surf sessions as well. Our Sisters & Survivors "A Day of Fun in the Sun" will be June 20, 2020 at 8th Ave North, Jax Beach from 8:30 am-11:30 am. This event is a blast! We hang out with some amazing cancer warriors who show up to learn to surf and share the stoke of trying something new. We partner with Saltwater Cowgirls and have 2 volunteers per person.

Contact our President, Samantha Ryan to sign up at

Our 22nd Annual Sisters of the Sea Surf Classic presented by Eidon featuring the Beaches Go Green Women's Pro ($2500 purse to top 4) will be Saturday, September 19, 2020 at the Jacksonville Beach Pier, this will be an amazing day of girl power as we take over the JB pier.

Why did you choose does location?

The Jax Beach pier is one of the more consistent surf breaks in Jax and there is public parking.

Why its women only? ​

Girls rule! Surfing has been such a male-dominated sport that 22 years ago when the idea was born to create an "all-female" contest, we were beyond excited to use it to empower women in and out of the water while raising funds to support those fighting cancer. There is definitely cool energy with having all women, we love the guys, but this is our time to shine.

It's it for all levels and ages? ​

Yes! We have a division for everyone, from white water riders to pro.

What inspires You?

Seeing women choosing to learn to surf as adults and excelling at it.

What's your most memorable experience through this event? ​

That's a hard question because there are so many. What tends to happen year after year without even trying to make it happen is how all the girls cheer each other on, support each other in the water and on the beach with hugs, words of encouragement and phenomenal sportsmanship. Yes, it is competitive, however all while being extremely supportive and respectful at the same time.

Anything you will like to share with us?

​I'd like to thank Akela Surf for continuing to support us throughout the years. You guys are part of our success as we could not do what we do without our sponsors, so a big Mahalo to you guys!

Thanks Sam!