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Not All Fun and Waves: UF’s Jenna Curtis

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Name: Jenna Curtis  

Major:  Environmental Science

Hometown: North Redington Beach, FL


Jenna Curtis is the president of Wahines of the Waves, an all-girls board sports club, where there is a focus on surfing, wakeboarding, skateboarding and longboarding. As a self described DO-er in life with a devotion to making things happen, she’s been able to be a leader while having fun and only breaking the rules when necessary.



Her Campus: What’s the purpose of Wahines of the Waves?

Jenna Curtis: “Wahines of the Waves (WOW) [main] purpose is to bring together all girls at UF who have a passion for extreme [board] sports and teach those who are willing to learn. These extreme sports are all male-dominated and can be very intimidating to get involved with. Women don’t always get the respect that they deserve in sports. WOW is a support group of girls always pushing each other to be better, on and off the board. All Wahines have various interests and backgrounds, but we can easily come together because we all share a love for our sports.”


HC: How did you become involved?

JC: “My freshman year I attended Recstravaganza at Southwest Rec and I was looking to join the club volleyball or softball team, when the UF Surf Club banner caught my eye. I was super confused how there was a surf club in Gainesville! Then while walking to that table, I saw the UF Wakeboard Club and stopped by there. I loved wakeboarding and never realized there would be a whole club for it in college. There I was also handed a flyer for Wahines of the Waves, formerly known as Sisters of the Sea. Within a year, I became the social chair and then co-Vice President of WOW. I loved the club because the other female wakeboarders were always encouraging, leading me to meet my best friends!”


HC: How has WOW personally impacted you?

JC: “WOW has been the single most influential aspect of college on my life. WOW was the first way that I made friends as a freshman. I had come to college not knowing anyone from back home. It gave me other female athletes to look up to and to push me to get better. Wake and Surf Club were super intimidating because it’s primarily guys and they all shred! Wahines gave me a group that helped me acclimate. When I started holding leadership positions in WOW that’s when the club really started influencing my life.”


HC: How do girls get involved and how many members are there currently in WOW?

JC:  “We have about 60 members today and are always growing! The best way to get involved is to join our Facebook group,Wahines of the Waves. We post all of our events on there as well as coordinate casual meetups to skate or hit the beach. Any girl can join at any point in the semester, just come out to any of our events!”


HC:  What’s the learning process like for beginners?

JC: “These sports are not easy. Beginners have to be ready to fall, that’s how you learn. You have to trust yourself and your body and build that muscle memory. It’s incredible to see the smiles on girls face when they first get up on a wakeboard or catch their first wave or bomb their first hill. I can’t even describe how awesome it feels to experience this for the first time.”


HC: What do you hope the girls who are a part of the group keep with them long after they graduate?

JC: “I think the biggest takeaways from this club are friendship, connections, memories experiences, confidence, and a few scars. All of the Wahines are SO RAD! I hope every Wahine can graduate knowing that they tried something new or greatly improved in their sport and knowing that they can shred out there with the guys fearlessly! WOW hopes to give the confidence to every girl so they never doubt themselves in the world of sports and life in general. We don’t let the boys push us around.”


HC: What kind of events are you involved with on campus and locally?

JC: “We are always supporting the UF Wake Club events including Wakefest and their other competitions. We also love supporting UF Surf Club at Alumni Challenge as well as Learn to Surf. We also host our own events such as Barrels for Boobs. Marley Boerema, my best friend and Vice President, had the idea about starting a surf contest that would benefit breast cancer research and at the 1st Annual Barrels for Boobs we ended up raising over $1300 for the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. We also have Briefcase Push Race coming up this November!”


HC: Do you have any advice for girls who may be afraid to go after anything?

JC: “My advice would be WE FEEL YOU! All of us had to start at one point and it’s scary. But if you never try, you’ll never land that backroll or bomb that hill. And the longer you wait, the more scared you’ll get. So try today! We all sucked at one point. And no one is good at everything. So get out there, give it a shot, wipeout, try again. We’ll be cheering for you the whole time!”


Photo Credits: Jenna Curtis