Surfing legends, Shaun Tomson, the 1977 world champion, and Damien Hobgood, professional surfer and World Tour team member, will lead a “tribe of bighearted surfers” from sunrise to sunset (6 a.m. to 4 p.m.) paddling solo or in teams. Participants will be sectioned by surf styles, long and short boards, stand-up paddlers, boogie boards and body surfers. Surfers will enjoy breakfast, lunch and exclusive access to the surfer’s lounge, a shaded sanctuary staffed with yoga instructors, massage therapists and refreshing beverages.
"The 100 Wave Challenge is a home-grown surf-a-thon powered by the passion and generosity of San Diego's surfing community," said Boys to Men co-founder Joe Sigurdson. "We’re so pleased with its continued success! Event funding enables Boys to Men to open new chapters quickly and efficiently.”
The annual event, now in its eighth year, will host an impressive lineup of industry leaders, or “wave warriors,” who share a commitment to the mission spearheaded by Boys to Men. The mentoring network aids at-risk, fatherless boys navigate their journey into adulthood. Noted to “break the cycle of violence, gangs, drugs and prison” often rampant in homes lacking an adult male figure, Boys to Men helps these young men “make better choices for themselves.” Boys to Men remains passionately optimistic in finding solutions that produce change.
"Our mentoring programs change lives,” said Craig McClain, the mentoring network’s co-founder and executive director.
An armada of surfers, “surfing for a cause” has helped to grow the event to become the organization’s biggest fundraiser.
“A broad spectrum of leaders from the sports, health-care, entertainment, and media arenas will share their love of surfing while offering high-risk, often fatherless, boys the confidence, determination and life-skills to become the men they want to be,” said Bowman-Styles, the event’s special projects consultant.
Bowman-Styles admitted that while surfing 100 waves in one day (10 hours) poses its challenges, passion held by mentors creating life-changing opportunities for high-risk boys to “realize and achieve their dreams” defies the seemingly impossible.
“The 100 Wave Challenge is our largest yearly fundraiser,” she said. “Surf ambassadors, surfers, surf angels and front-line participants engage in community outreach while enjoying the surfing spirit. Surfing keeps us tied to the ocean’s energy which is the heartbeat and pulse of Boys to Men.”
Everyone is expected to have a blast!
"Who wouldn't want to spend the day surfing and getting spoiled rotten by the Boys to Men crew while changing lives by helping boys become the men they want to be?” added Sigurdson. “Who doesn’t want to make an impact on the lives of these young men? What we do is not rocket science. We consistently show up and offer support, accountability and unconditional love.”
Bowman-Styles described San Diego as the perfect hosting venue.
“The 100 Wave Challenge celebrates everything that makes San Diego special,” she said. “Our incredible surf, beautiful sandy beaches and the chance to meet a family of kindhearted people making San Diego a stronger and brighter community make it all possible."
The San Diego Surf Ladies, San Diego's only all-women surf club, will also join the surfing party.
“Judging from their determination and surfing talent, the San Diego Surf Ladies are poised to meet their fundraising goal of $25,000 and clinch the 100 Wave Surf Challenge prize package – a weekend surfing adventure in Las Gaviotas, Mexico,” added Bowman-Styles.
Boys to Men was launched in 1996 by McClain and Sigurdson. The San Diego based non-profit organization connects fatherless teenage boys with positive male role models through in-school and after-school programs. Posing the question, “Does the young man have a man in his life to look up to?” Boys to Men hosts group circles, surf nights and camping trips. Passionate and optimistic about generating change in the future of these fatherless teens, mentors also facilitate spaces for honest discussion. Program efficacy is based upon mentors with young men who care to better their community.
Serving close to 800 high-risk boys from 28 schools throughout San Diego County – the majority coming from single-parent households with no stable male role models – programming works to improve academic performance through mentoring. To date, the now nationwide organization has mentored over 6,000 boys.
“Our young men are pivotal for our future,” said Bowman-Styles. “Mentors, passionate about establishing a path for their future success, draw from their own experiences. Everyone has a story to share. As adults, we’ve walked through life. We’ve made and learned from our mistakes. To impart such knowledge to a young person is a gift. Boys to Men gives that gift to these young men. Our mission gives these boys a chance to succeed.”
Bowman-Styles encourages everyone to experience the “magic” of Boys to Men.
“It’s great fun watching the surfers ride the waves,” she said. “Boys to Men is a mighty organization striving to maintain its momentum to include more young men who will derive – and thrive – from its benefits.”
Title sponsor Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps will partner with Boys to Men, noting their parallel values and philosophy.
100 WAVE CHALLENGE
Where: Mission Beach, end of San Fernado Place, south of Belmont Park.
When: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday,