Butterfly Effect Gets Women on the Water
This year’s Butterfly Effect (BE) Maui event was huge! Over 400 women participated and paddled Maui’s North Shore in extreme conditions. The winds were howling, boards were being blown and flipped over along the beach, shorebreak was crunching, and the waters were choppy.
I expected the women—or ‘Butterflies’—to turn away at Baldwin Beach and say, ‘no way,’ to the downwinder, but they jumped right onboard with the encouragement of one another and accomplished the three-mile downwinder—which is something that not many people can say they’ve done in their lifetime. Being ‘Mama Butterfly’ to all the Butterfly Effect participants, I was concerned for the safety of all and was a worried wreck throughout the entire morning. But then, everyone started to arrive at Kanaha Beach with huge smiles strewn across their faces, laughing about their crazy experiences of being pounded by waves.
It was amazing. I thought I would’ve seen some fear, and maybe even tears in the participants’ eyes, but to my surprise, they all felt so accomplished, were full of confidence, and ready to paddle again.
We had a fun surprise for the girls as they arrived at Kanaha after completing the downwinder, with World Champion Kai Lenny and friends greeting and congratulating the participants on the difficult downwinder. Lenny and crew handed out leis and Sporting Club of the Pacific pineapple chlorophyll waters as the Butterflies came up the beach. We also had Life Foods provide health wraps for lunch, with Kombucha drinks, and held a Malama Maui Nui beach cleanup throughout the entire day. Participants also had the opportunity to get windsurf and kitesurf tips from pros, and enjoyed live music by Mishka.
This year we introduced a new feature to BE Maui, a ‘Paddle and Plant’ giveback mission with Plant A Wish. The Butterfly Effect sponsored a native tree to represent each participant, and each BE participant wrote a wish for the world during the event. Sunday, April 27th, we went out to Kula (in central Maui) to help plant the participants’ trees and planted all their wishes under a young Koa tree. I’m so excited to see this tree continue to grow year after year, along with the Butterfly Effect movement. —Tatiana Howard, BE Founder