Part 1 of 4 in a series of surfer interviews from Can’t Steal Our Vibe.

Michael February

What was the most impactful moment for you personally while filming CSOV?

For me personally it was special that the Gudauskas brothers, who I traveled with and knew for a while before, could come and meet the people and kids from W4C that I have been a part of for a long time. I knew before the trip that it would be such a good and positive thing because both sides contribute so much to different communities across the world and when I was there witnessing it all come together with the brothers and the children from W4C, I just felt super humbled and lucky to be a part of it. 

What’s your fondest memory from the CSOV trip to South Africa?

I always love seeing people’s reactions when they visit Cape Town or South Africa, it is such a different and interesting place, so I really enjoyed showing the guys and crew around and the Day of Stoke was a highlight for me too, because I feel like it was a celebration of what everyone has worked towards: the boards, the logistics, all the effort from the team, our families and communities. It was amazing to witness! 

Being from South Africa and being a part of Waves For Change you already knew the kids in the film. Can you shed insight into their stories?

Through being a part of the W4C family for a few years and spending lots of time with the kids and instructors there I have heard a lot of stories, all very different, but all very touching. These kids live in a totally different reality to what I grew up in and their stories all show this. Most kids suffer many, many traumatic experiences, such as violence, death, drugs, and this can have such a negative impact on their lives and futures. It is truly so sad, but through all the stories I have heard, the one that shines, for me, above everything else is the fact that W4C offers a bit of hope, which makes me hopeful that the kids will be ok and they can take what they learn through the program home, which is awesome! 

What is it about surfing that is so magical to everyone who sees it?

I think the amazing part of it is that it all happens in the ocean, which is such a major element and natural force in itself, so everyone takes something different from their experience in the water, which makes it very unique I think. 

What was your initial reaction when you saw all of the boards collected? 

I was in awe that such a crazy amount of boards were donated from so many different individuals, and that no matter what level of surfer you are, you know the value of a surfboard; it all was very special. The board drive will definitely be an ongoing thing, I hear the G brothers are already working on the next one, so I am stoked! It really makes such a huge difference in struggling communities. I hope to be a part of many more in the future! 

What impact has Waves for Change made on your life? On the lives of the children of South Africa?

Ever since going to Waves for Change and spending my first day with the kids and seeing their stoke I just felt so blessed that I could spend my life in the water and even make a career out of it. Seeing how happy it makes the kids takes me back to the realization that surfing in its purest form is so unique and special that when you do it, all you can feel is lucky and happy. I have taken this realization with me, through my professional career. In terms of the children, like I said before, the program really touches so many children’s lives. They have been given hope, they have been given a chance to imagine something different and better for their lives. It is not easy to achieve this, as most of the South African youth live in such harsh and disheartening conditions, but surfing and the W4C therapy program offers them a chance to cope with their circumstances, through giving them real tools. It is just so great overall! 

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to give children the gift of surfing?

It all starts with a surfboard and a little bit of time. If you can take even 5 minutes to help a struggling kid in the water or take a friend surfing for the first time, it could be the start of something amazing! I mean, that’s how we all started. 

2

The “Can’t Steal Our Vibe” documentary film follows a grassroots initiative unifying two cultures worlds apart through a common love of wave riding. 

The mission of the Positive Vibe Warrior Foundation is to inspire individuals to make a positive impact within their communities. In 2017, professional surfers PVW co-founders Patrick, Dane and Tanner Gudauskas along with South African pro, Michael February, hosted a surfboard drive to benefit the Waves For Change organization in Cape Town, South Africa. Their goal was to provide surf equipment to the youngsters coming out of the poorest townships in the region and provide a positive outlet for them to overcome the adversities of poverty, violence and abuse. 

Over the coming days, we’ll be featuring interviews with each surfer about this life changing experience.

“You give someone a surfboard, it can change their life forever.” – Dane Gudauskas, Positive Vibe Warrior Foundation Co-Founder

Tag along on an adventure from San Clemente, California to Cape Town as the G-Boys and Michael February immerse themselves into the vibrant culture of South Africa in hopes of sparking the next generation of young surfers. 

Artist, Designer & Stylist, Samantha Matemadombo. 

Sam is a Zimbabwean student at a design college in Johannesburg, South Africa. Despite her young age, her designs have been featured in music videos and international magazines, including Essence Online. Her style is pan-African, Afro-futurist, Afropunk and puts a high-fashion twist on traditional African styles. She is unapologetically Black and Africa, and on a personal level, she is the funnest, most welcoming, most insane-in-a-good-way girl you will ever meet. She has an air about her that when you walk down the street with her, every other person comes up to her and tells her she is gorgeous. I love this chick and her style & she deserves to be internationally famous.

Follow my good friend Sam on Instagram @samienette. Her design, her look, her personality – she deserves to be famous.

Cape Town was on the verge of running out of water. The South African city of 3.7 million people had suffered years of drought. But after nearly running dry earlier this year, the reservoirs are now rising thanks to rain, conservation efforts, and engineering fixes.

The city’s largest reservoir—Theewaterskloof—holds 40 percent of Cape Town’s water storage capacity, so it’s a good barometer for the amount of water available. Natural-color images, captured by Landsat 8, show the change in water levels at Theewaterskloof between July 22, 2017, and July 9, 2018.

Read more HERE.

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