The University of Florida women’s surf club, Wahines of the Waves, struck a blow against breast cancer this month when they hosted the 3rd annual Barrels for Boobs fundraiser at Marineland, Florida. The surf competition was held earlier this month and raised $4,400 for the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. According to Jenna Curtis, the Wahines of the Waves’ president, the funds raised during this year’s Barrels for Boobs event nearly quadrupled what was raised last year. Jenna attributes much of the event’s success to social media and states that social networking brought in 71 contestants, a lot of sponsors, and a barrage of spectators from throughout the state.
The competition included categories for women, men, and beginners, with divisions in longboard, shortboard, tandem, and the crowd favorite Weirdest Thing You Can Surf event. And some serious east coast talent showed up to support the cause. Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) champion Piper Austin snagged her win in the women’s longboard division, while Maddie Franz, ESA and NSSA competitor, won in the women’s shortboard event. JonJon Kaidy, a member of the University of North Florida Surf Team and previous NSSA competitor, took his win in the men’s longboard competition.
After the competition, the winners were awarded the Wahines of the Waves’ coveted pineapple award. Yep, the winners received actual pineapples, which Jenna says are very valuable to club members. She explains that the pineapples are often ceremoniously thrown off a cliff or chopped up, in hopes that they will improve surf conditions.
The most notable accomplishments, however, were the funds raised in support of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. Though much progress has been made in early detection and treatment of breast cancer, the disease remains the most common cancer diagnosis for women in America and ranks as one of the leading causes of death for women worldwide. Statistically, approximately 12% of women will develop breast cancer over the course of their life, and if not caught in time, it could be fatal. It is for this very reason the ladies from the University of Florida started hosting the local event. In addition to the fundraising, the club also wanted to help build awareness and educate women on the importance of conducting monthly breast self-exams and visiting their doctor for annual check ups.
Note: You can still make your own donation to the Barrels for Boobs event here, or contribute directly to the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. You can also learn more about Wahines of the Waves Surf Club here.