It started because the women wanted their turn. It’s continued because it has become something even bigger.
Women Learn to Surf week is back at Schlitterbahn this week, with the New Braunfels location celebrating the third annual event Friday starting at 8 a.m.
Selected women will be able to go to Schlitterbahn and learn how to surf the Boogie Bahn from world-renowned surfing champions and mother-daughter duo Cathy and Morgan Seabert.
“What’s kept it going has really been the response of the individuals who come out,” said Winter Prosapio, corporate director of communications for Schlitterbahn. “Every event we’ve gone to there’s been one or two or five or seven people — women — who have said to me, ‘I would never have done this if you hadn’t done this event, and I love this, I want to do it from now on, I want to keep coming out.’”
With such a large positive response from women who participated in the event, Schlitterbahn decided to grow it, Prosapio said.
“The first year we only had it in New Braunfels and Galveston,” Prosapio said. “We asked if all the other parks wanted to do it and they said yes, so then we were like, ‘Well we can’t do that all in one day,’ so we set up a week of it.”
Other participating locations this week were South Padre on Monday, Corpus Christi on Tuesday and Galveston on Wednesday.
One of the best parts about the events are seeing young girls feel empowered to try a new skill, Prosapio said.
“The ones who are the most inspiring are the little girls,” Prosapio said. “Little, like 7-year-olds that say, ‘You know what, if you think you’re not going to try it, you need to try it because it’s good,’ — I’m just like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ so that’s what really has kept this going.”
Adult women have also expressed feeling more confident in surfing the Boogie Bahn after the event, Prosapio said.
“I just talked to somebody who said, ‘I’m going to get a season pass because this is so much fun, I want to do it everyday after work,’” Prosapio said.
Women Learn to Surf events are a fun, safe environment for women to learn a new skill while surrounded by the support of other women, Prosapio said.
“When you’re in this very supportive environment, you do learn and you stretch and you do a little bit more,” she said.
This year, the event participants will also get a free rash guard for the first time ever, Prosapio said.
“When we give them the rash guard, it says ‘wave master’ on it, so you’re going to get one of those. It says on the back, ‘Boogie bahn instructor,’ and I said, ‘This means you have to pay it forward, you have to teach another girl, another woman how to do this.’”
Women interested in participating should find their local park’s Facebook page and comment on the related post for a chance to win a spot.
For more information on the event, visit www.facebook.com/schlitterbahnnewbraunfels/.