“Hope Goes Surfing” is TWLOHA’s campaign to bring a message of hope, help and recovery to the surfing community.
i am a surfer. i am the son of a surfer and so i fell in love with surfing and with the brands that make up the surf industry. In high school, i worked at a local surf shop and then for Quiksilver and then for Hurley, before leaving to work on TWLOHA full-time in the summer of 2006.
Surfing is Home for me in many ways. It shows up when i look back on so many of my favorite memories, my favorite places and days. And it’s how i’ve gotten to know a lot of my favorite people as well. Most of my best friends are surfers. And in a way that’s sort of hard to explain, Surfing has been a friend to me, a place to go to think or not think, to let go, and to be myself. i am a surfer and so i feel like myself when i go surfing.
Recently, to launch “Hope Goes Surfing,” we sent out a press release to the surf media. The release reads hopefully less like a press release and more like a letter… If you’re not a surfer, some of the words will probably be foreign, but the heart of the matter is that we have the unique opportunity, because of history and relationships and where TWLOHA is at now, to bring our message to this specific group of people.
We share our message of hope, help and recovery in creative ways. We do this online, in the context of music via tours and shows and festivals, and on college campuses and high schools across America and beyond. We share it at coffee shops and churches and conferences. This is simply another place, another people, to bring our message to. Our message is for people and so we love to go where people go.
Below is the “Hope Goes Surfing” release and video that went out a few days ago. We wanted to share them here as well. The surfer referenced and in the photo and video below is CJ Hobgood. CJ is one of my best friends. We graduated high school together and he happens to be one of the best surfers in the world, the equivalent of an All-Star in the NBA or Major League Baseball. He competes at the highest level of competition as a professional surfer and because of his talent and history and reputation, he has a unique degree of influence in the surfing world.
“With TWLOHA, we’re trying to do something that feels really different and really important. I’m taking a chance on them and they’re taking a chance on me, but it’s because we believe we have the chance to build something pretty special.” – CJ Hobgood
“This is a whole new formula and way to bring a support mechanism for a sponsored athlete and raise awareness about a charity and its outreach. I’m really happy for CJ and Jamie in putting this plan together. It’s a lot deeper than a sponsorship going back into many years of friendship. Knowing both of these guys, this doesn’t surprise me at all.” – Kelly Slater, 11x Surfing World Champion
C.J. is excited to be back on tour in 2012 and we’re excited to go with him on that journey. TWLOHA is thrilled to be CJ’s main sponsor, thrilled that he will be bringing our message of hope and help to surfers around the world. And on the simple note of surfing, we’re proud to release this video of CJ doing his thing, a couple weeks ago in Central America.
We’re big fans of comebacks. It’s at the heart of our message. TWLOHA is a few things at once – we’re a charity as well as a brand – but those things happened by accident. This started with a story. It was a story about starting over, and an attempt to help one friend in her battle with addiction and depression. We were blown away by the response – messages from people across the planet telling us that the story we were telling was also their story.
Over the last five years, we’ve learned that millions of people struggle with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. And we’ve learned that most of those people feel like they’re not allowed to talk about it. As people we all experience pain. We lose things, and we run into some really big questions in this life. The true purpose of this press release is to say that it’s okay to be honest.
We believe that people need other people. We believe it’s okay to ask for help. We believe that great help exists, and we say that on behalf of the thousands of people all over the world who are finding hope and help, people sitting across from a counselor for the first time, people calling crisis hotlines, people stepping into treatment.
We’ve seen amazing doors open over the last five years. From our favorite bands supporting us to our favorite magazines telling our story to winning awards on national television. But for me personally, surfing is home. It’s where I grew up and it’s still my favorite thing. The heart of the matter is this: We’ve seen people literally choose to stay alive. We’ve seen people find sobriety. “Hope Goes Surfing” is simply about seeing those things happen in the surf community. CJ is going to play a big part in that and it’s our hope that you might come with us as well.
Peace to You.