The popularity of women’s surfing has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years. While the ladies who paddle out and do incredible things carry the torch, much of that progress is also owed to the determination of key figures within the industry. One of the most notable of these figures, Maritxu Darrigrand, has recently been named the “President of the Board of Directors” for the Keep A Breast Foundation’s European arm. This new role, while being a prestigious honor, will also require that Darrigrand continue to set and achieve ambitious goals.
The Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB) aims to educate young people throughout the world about breast health. This largely happens through a combination of education and support provided by the non-profit. Keep A Breast organizes arts and media events, as well as concerts and other gatherings to promote the education and practice of good breast health. KAB were the ones behind the campaign “I Love Boobies,” which had a cult like following by way of bracelets with the campaign’s name on them.
Darrigrand, who grew up in Africa and moved to Biarritz at age 16, won a surfing national championship in 1979. From there, she went on to aid the proliferation of surfing throughout Europe. Darrigrand secured locations for surf films to be premiered and later transitioned into the more corporate side of the industry. Arguably her most famous role was as the director of marketing for Roxy when the company first launched in 1990.
With such a diverse and in-depth portfolio of work, it is no surprise that Keep A Breast, whose founder has roots in the skateboard and action sports industries, has chosen Darrigrand for the position. She is a true inspiration for young female surfers, as well as for any others who have ever faced adversity and have had to push through barriers to achieve success.
She noted of her decision to take up such an important role, “When I saw my first Keep A Breast Cast exhibition at ISPO in Munich in 2003, I knew immediately this was something special and unique that I wanted Roxy to be a part of.”
She see’s the Foundation as “a perfect combination of art, education and inspiration” and once her friend and pioneering female surfer Rell Sunn was diagnosed with breast cancer, Darrigrand knew she wanted to get involved. Her and Sunn were good friends, and Darrigrand says she spent time with Sunn in Hawaii during her fight with breast cancer.
After being involved with KAB in the past, Darrigrand reunited with KAB founders at an anniversary celebration in Bordeaux, and the rest is history.
“Personally I’m passionate about the direction of Keep A Breast’s Non Toxic Revolution,” she says. “I have been a vegetarian for 40 years and I believe toxin education and prevention are crucial to creating healthier lifestyles…More generally, I want to bring my knowledge, contacts and vision as a global leader in the actions sports industry to the Keep A Breast Foundation. I hope to grow its presence and enable Keep A Breast Europe to become an even more sustainable organization.”
Darrigrand and KAB are a match made in heaven. And it will definitely help to inspire and educate for a brighter future.