NewsPatrick Gudauskas

Less Than 10 Days to Go For South African Surfboard Drive

Back on September 1 the Positive Vibe Warriors -- the foundation started by the Gudauskas tribe -- launched their latest activation. They're calling it the "Can't Steal Our Vibe" surfboard drive for South Africa. The drive to collect boards runs until September 30 and we caught up with Dane Gudauskas at the Hurley Pro at Trestles to find out more about their organization. These are positive people from the surfing community doing good work and it's an effort everyone can get behind, mainly getting kids off the streets and into the water. Here's some background from Dane:

How it all started

Positive Vibe Warriors is a foundation that my brothers [Patrick and Tanner] and myself started a couple years back. Basically the foundation assists communities with youth water safety programs. We do Stoke-O-Rama events, which are for youth and their communities, starting with ages 12 and under all the way down to eight and under. Those events serve as fundraising events to provide for the youth water safety program of that area. So, we've had a lot of fun working up and down California, also in San Clemente, obviously. We also had the chance to do one event in Makaha, which was amazing. We worked with Na Kama Kai organization with Duane DeSoto, so that was really fun. Then, too, we just pull off these wildcard kind of board drives. We did one in Jamaica a couple years ago after seeing the need there for surfing equipment. Their drive and love for surfing was so pure that we wanted to make a difference any way we could.

Tanner Gudauskas keeps his chances of qualification alive by winning his Round Three heat at the VANS World Cup of Surfing at Sunst Beach, Hawaii today. Tanner G, flashing that infectious Gudauskas grin. WSL / Kelly Cestari

The South African "Can't Steal Our Vibe" surfboard drive

We came up with the board drive concept after coming back from Jamaica and now here we are in 2017. We're doing our second board drive for South Africa, for the kids of South Africa, alongside the Waves for Change and Surfers Not Street Children organizations in Durban, so it's a really exciting time. For us, I think having the opportunity to travel most of our lives and getting to connect with people all over the world and making great friends has just been an amazing experience for us. It's just our way of saying thanks to everyone and giving everyone the best opportunity they can to pursue their dreams and goals. I think surfing is such a great creative outlet. You're seeing it with Jamaica, the kids down there are so empowered with this whole process. We are just supporting them any way we can. So, yeah, Pat and Tanner came back from South Africa this year, which we've visited many times. But after hanging out with Michael February and his family down there and seeing the need and the love for surfing, it really inspired us to go, 'What can we do to give back to this community?' That's how that one came about.

Patrick Gudauskas of USA was eliminated in Heat 4 of the Quarterfinals at The VANS US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA, USA. Pat G finished 5th at the 2017 US Open of Surfing, and now sits No. 11 on the Qualifying Series rankings. WSL / Sean Rowland

Feeling inspired

You go to these special places in developing nations and ... I mean, in Jamaica for example, there was no access to surfboards. They were riding boards that had virtually been put back together 10 or 15 times. The kids were ripping and they just ... That's all they know. They want to go out there and do their best. When we left and came back with the boards, it was like they couldn't hold back their excitement and enthusiasm. Seeing them, checking in all the time, and seeing how their communities come together, man it's a light bulb that goes off in their head. They're going, 'I can do it....' Hopefully they feel empowered to go out there and challenge themselves to pursue their dreams.

Tanner Gudauskas during Round Four. Tanner finished 3rd at the 2016 Hurley Pro Trestles, surfing as a wildcard entry. WSL / Sean Rowland

How you can get involved

We have a couple different drop off locations for the South Africa Can't Steal Our Vibe surfboard drive. You can check in with us on Instagram, @PositiveVibeWarriors, and online at the foundation website, www.positivevibewarriors.com. You can see a list of the donation drop off spots. Right now in San Diego, we've got Surf Ride in Solana Beach. Up here in San Clemente, we got the Jack's Surfboards outlet on Del Mar Street. Basically, any Jack's Surf Shop up and down California, they have a couple different locations all the way through Los Angeles. In Santa Monica, the WSL headquarters came on board, huge support for that. Then, if you're in the San Francisco Bay area, we've got Proof Lab surf shop on board.

We'll take just about any type of board, bodyboard, longboard, surfboard, soft top. Basically, we're hoping for it to be water tight. We figured that most people have a board in their garage that they haven't ridden in a couple years or maybe they could sell it and get a couple bucks off it. But, to give it back to someone who's got the opportunity to maybe make a great positive difference in their life, it's a cool thing. We're super thankful for everyone who's donated and contributed to the cause. Check us out on social media or online at www.positivevibewarriors.com and we'll let you know how to get involved.

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