Surfer Stephanie Gilmore of Australia

Stephanie Gilmore of Australia surfs at the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach in 2010. A new ad she appears in has sparked controversy. (Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times / August 1, 2010)

A top female professional surfer wants Huntington Beach surf clothing company Roxy to stop using sexy images of its sponsored female surfers and instead focus on their athleticism.

Three-time world champion surfer Cori Schumacher visited Roxy's offices Thursday to deliver more than 20,000 signatures from people who are upset about the company's focus on female surfers' bodies instead of their skills in the water.

"We discussed the petition, the comments from the petition and how Roxy has the ability to be truly something different in the surf industry," she said after the meeting. "The advertising in how the women surfers are presented needs to remain about surfing, centered around surfing. We have these ocean-framed bodies and they need to remain ocean-framed and action-framed."

A spokesman for Roxy's parent, Quiksilver Inc., did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schumacher said she was incensed by a recent "all sex, no surf" Roxy ad that showed Australian surfer Stephanie Gilmore suggestively undressing to promote an upcoming Roxy-sponsored competition.

She met with Danielle Beck, Roxy's vice president of marketing, and Cathey Curtis, senior vice president of marketing, in a closed meeting.

"I have a daughter who really pays attention to this stuff," a mother from Virginia who identified herself as "Isabel M" wrote on the online petition. "I believe in supporting athleticism. I do not want to buy products that encourage girls to become sex objects."

Schumacher launched her campaign through the website change.org and collected signatures from male and female surfers, parents and fans of Roxy products. Several people who signed the online petition left critical comments about Roxy's ads.

After the meeting with the surfing company, Schumacher said she will be keeping an eye on the brand to see if the complaints have been heard.

"I will definitely be paying attention and keep my antennas up," she said. "What will be telling will be the next couple of years worth of campaigns to see whether or not they've gotten the message that nearly 21,000 people sent."

Pfeifer writes for the Los Angeles Times.