History In the Making!
History in the making is happening in Sri Lanka! With our Sri Lanka base pioneered in Arugam Bay by Tiffany and Cody Carothers, they’ve been integral to bringing surfing to the community, especially to women. An exciting step forward in breaking down cultural barriers took place when the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka (SFSL) officially registered the Arugam Bay Girls Surf Club as the first female surf club in Sri Lanka. Tiffany Carothers has played a vital role in bringing the sport of surfing to the women she’s spent years building relationships with while living in Sri Lanka. As STN bases continue to establish around the globe, we truly believe that surfing is more than a sport and serves as a tool for positive change, no matter the location on the map.
STN Sri Lanka base leader Tiffany shared how seeing “villages that stick heavily to customs and culture, can make it difficult to push past the boundaries and barriers of what women should and shouldn’t do.” Even more difficult is how her friends “loved surfing and felt the drive to do it, but also wanted to protect their family’s name.” Through the years, Tiffany has been consistent and persistent in building steady relationships with not only the women, but also the families. Bringing surfing to the female community of Sri Lanka has not been an easy ride, however. Things began to shift in opportunities for female surfing when Tiffany helped the first Girls Make Waves event kick off in 2015 with nearly thirty girls aged 15-30 years. Tiffany remembers the day and how “Jeeps full of ladies headed to the surf spot at Elephant Rock. For the first time ever, some girls stepped into the water. For others, it was their first time to fully immerse themselves in the ocean. With the fear of water and heartbreak that the tsunami left behind, these girls pushed past barriers they never thought would happen…Most girls stood on a surfboard for their very first time that day. Many of them caught long, fun rides. But the smiles on their faces and laughter and joy that day were irreplaceable.” In the last three years Tiffany has found the worth in commitment her and Cody have to loving the community well. “It has not been an easy road to push through some of the socio-economic issues that come with empowering women in overcoming the stigma that comes with a male dominant sport. Yet, now three years later, with the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka becoming established and the desire for Sri Lanka to have a women’s surf team to represent them nationally and internationally, a new movement has come about.”
We’re celebrating with them as more history was made, when the Arugam Bay Girls Surf Club became the first registered female surf club in Sri Lanka on October 22, 2018. We’re excited for the positive change taking place in the community of Arugam Bay! Follow along with the girls on Facebook or on Instagram!