The coming months have historic potential for women’s surfing. A major obstacle has been cleared, and there’s a sense of freedom that hasn’t existed before. Such is the everlasting shine of equality. When the World Surf League announced in September that equal prize money will be awarded to men and women in the upcoming Mavericks contest, it wasn’t a triumph solely in the big-wave realm. The WSL will distribute equal prize winnings in all of its tours, including the conventional pro circuit that travels the globe each year. “When I heard the news, it immediately brought tears to my eyes,” said Australia’s Layne Beachley, who won six straight women’s world titles (1998-2003).