In our last blog post, we introduced Wahines Of The Waves, a super cool all girls club at the University of Florida, dedicated to empowering and encouraging women to try board sports and excel at them. We chatted with Marley, the club’s President, about WOW and their mission. Not only are they concerned with helping their immediate community, but they also go above and beyond with their annual fundraising event Barrels For Boobs. In its 4th consecutive year, B4B is a multi-event surf contest that raises funds for the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation and Pink Up The Pace. This free event will take place on Saturday April 14th in Marineland, FL.
We talked a bit more with Marley about this event which is dear to the hearts of the Wahines ladies!
EIDON: How did the Barrel For Boobs event come about? And why is breast cancer such an important cause for WOW?
Marley: In the Fall of 2014 WOW had grown to about 50 active members. I was vice president at the time and Jenna Curtis was my co-vice president. I didn’t know Jenna that well, but Dixie Smith, president at the time, had tasked us with finding a cause for WOW to represent, something that would give everyone in the club an opportunity to participate in something that was bigger than all of us. Jenna and I knew we wanted to throw a surf contest, but nearly every weekend in the fall is dedicated to football so the idea ended up on the back burner. Then, during winter break, I got a text from Jenna with the name: “Barrels for Boobs”. I didn’t know Jenna that well yet, but from the moment she sent that text a plan was set into motion and we were an inseparable team. We were either together or constantly stopping what we were doing to call each other and brainstorm.
That year we stumbled through the planning process. We learned how county permits work and went through a long struggle to find insurance that was affordable and would keep us covered. We also took a shot in the dark and began reaching out to companies about the event through the "contact" pages on their websites. After a lot of lost sleep we pulled it off! The event was a huge success and became a tradition that has grown every year since.
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death for women. Nearly 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 in 1,000 men. This terrible disease had affected so many girls in our club and it seemed so important to everyone to try to do something about it.
EIDON: What goes on at the Barrels for Boobs event? What are the competitions?
Marley: During the competition we have music, food trucks, exhibitor booths and a raffle! The event is held on a beautiful beach, with plenty of spots for everyone to lay down a towel and relax in between heats.
The divisions are:
- Women's Longboard
- Men's Longboard
- Women's Shortboard
- Men's Shortboard
- Weirdest Thing You Can Surf
Each division is $25 (Day of registration is $30) and any additional division is $10.
Online registration: https://squareup.com/store/BARRELSforBOOBS/
EIDON: It's the 4th year, which is super exciting! What are some of the goals WOW would like to achieve this year at the event?
Marley: Last year we were able to quadruple the amount we raised! We are planning on continuing that growth this year! We also plan on reaching more people in and around Florida.
The most exciting change is our support of Pink Up The Pace. PUTP is an amazing organization that helps those in need in Saint Augustine and surrounding areas pay for early breast cancer detection as well as breast cancer treatment. I have personally witnessed the support they provide, and it is incredibly noninvasive and caring.
EIDON: There seems to be "Weirdest Thing You Can Surf" contest... Tell us more about that!
Marley: We started the Weirdest Thing You Can Surf contest the very first year we held the contest. That year I watched people surf "magic carpets", other people, a board while sitting on a camping chair and a hollowed out flat screen TV. This division is free and typically ends up being highly competitive. The main rule is no matter what you surf, you have to catch at least one wave to qualify!
EIDON: Any cool surprises coming up in this year's edition you can let our readers know about?
Marley: This year we will be using Live Heats, an online interface so that anyone can keep track of the competition from their phones! We are also going to have a live set from Carrot (a local DJ) as well as an after party/campout under the stars with a performance by Kapowski!
EIDON: For people who can't make it, is there any way for them to support the cause/event?
Marley: Absolutely! People can donate to our event at https://squareup.com/store/BARRELSforBOOBS/item/donation
We’re proud to encourage WOW in their goals as their official sponsor. If you want any additional information about the club and the Barrels For Boobs event, don’t hesitate to check out their website: https://wahinesofthewaves.wixsite.com/wowuf