- WSL / Tony Heff

When World Champions paddle out, people pay attention. And when they speak, people listen. Which is why John John Florence, C.J. Hobgood and Shaun Tomson are lending their support to Boys To Men Mentoring and their 100 Wave Challenge.

The three World Champs, along with Damien Hobgood, Josh Kerr and hundreds of other surfers around the U.S., are all committing some of their time to rallying for a brighter future for at-risk boys.

"In my community I was fortunate to grow up around older surfers who were positive role models, good guys who kept me on the right course in the water and out," wrote Florence on Instagram. "I'm so grateful for all of them. I wish every kid had access to the same kind of guidance. That's why I'm so impressed with Boys to Men Mentoring and their simple, straightforward mission. They provide young men with the steady support they need to get on the right track and stay there. And they do an awesome job of it."

Founded in San Diego in 1996, prior to the pandemic, Boys to Men served over 800 boys with the support of 35 school and community partners across the county.

"Kids without fathers in their homes are nine times more likely not to finish high school, ten times more likely to abuse drugs, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison," explains Tomson, the '77 World Champ. "Boys To Men has a plan to create mentors for these young boys…and us surfers are getting together to make a difference."

The 100 Wave Challenge, now celebrating its 11th year, is a fundraiser in which surfers commit to paddling out and riding 100 waves.

In a normal year, the challenge takes place on one day and is basically a massive beach party. Unfortunately, things are anything but normal in 2020, and this year organizers opted to keep things local and let small crews form teams and have their own challenge at their own beaches. Teams will have until November 22nd to catch their 100 waves. Funds raised will go towards relaunching a safe version of the in-school and open community programs in the fall.

Florence will be continuing to keep his followers updated on his progress via his Instagram Stories. And you can track what other teams are doing by following the hashtag #100wavechallenge.

"Today, Hawaii is home to one of the biggest chapters. In the days ahead, I'll be taking part in this year's 100 Wave Challenge to raise money for this amazing 501C3 Organization," adds Florence. "You can support my effort by clicking the link in my bio. I'm going to pick two supporters and send them each one of my surfboards. Let's help some kids that need it!"

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