The Women On Waves Story
The Women on Waves or WOW is well known throughout Santa Cruz County as a great local women's surf contest. It is an amateur event that showcases the talent and athleticism of local women in Santa Cruz County. These women come from all walks of life and all ages from nine to seventy! Their enthusiasm for the sport of surfing is truly uplifting and a testament to the strength of our community.
Started in 1996 by guys from the West Wind Surf Club, WOW was a unique event that gave the women of Santa Cruz County a chance to surf and benefit the local community. WOW continued to grow over the years with the support of Toni Castro and the Capitola Chamber of Commerce. In 2006, Sally Smith, founder of the Paradise Surf Shop, kept the Women on Waves Surf Fest alive. Two years after the last WOW, Sally has started a new chapter in her life, passing the Paradise Surf Shop torch to Anna Macken and the WOW Surf Fest to the Mermaid Series, which organizes all women events. Sally remains a crucial member to the WOW committee, however she hopes to be out on the waves rather than behind scenes at this year's Women on Waves Surf Fest.
For the past 11 years this event has raised over $45,000 for the Santa Cruz Community. Proceeds will go to WomenCARE, a non-profit that supports women with cancer and their families; Women's Crisis Support - Defensa de Mujeres, a non-profit that helps women and children subjected to domestic violence and the Barry Hamby Cabrillo College Scholarship which helps three students each semester cover the cost of tuition.