Standup Journal sits down with Tatiana Howard,
founder of The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect is a worldwide movement hinged on empowering and inspiring athletic women to grow together as a community and to use their collective drive to give back to local charities, all while encouraging a healthy lifestyle, a vibrant community, and active local involvement. The Butterfly Effect brings women together for non-competitive water sport gatherings in coastal cities all over the world. Since it’s inception in 2007 on Maui, Hawaii The Butterfly Effect has spread its wings and become an International Event.
Founder, water women and professional windsurfer Tatiana Howard dreamed up the idea of a non-competitive event for all women. As a professional windsurfer Tatiana competed often. However, was never a fan of the competitive nature of the sport, the politics and the constant pressure. She wanted to create an event that was “For fun! To get girls together, accomplish something, celebrate health, fitness, and sports, help encourage one another, and push the sport in a fun, unique way that hasn’t been done before.” With the support of fellow windsurfers and women in Maui the event took place for the first time and since then has been shared with thousands of women all over the world.
Who are the Butterflies? The “Butterflies” are the women participants. These women love seeking adventure, challenge, and asserting their femininity during sports. They also have a passion for giving back to the world, expressed through each of the Butterfly Effect’s events. Why Butterflies? Picture windsurf sails cutting through the wind and kites soaring through the sky, these represent the butterfly wings. These butterflies, like women spread a graceful energy to every person they meet. Although, it is more than beautiful wings and graceful energy. Each “butterfly” has their own impact on the world. A small change in thought, words or action can ripple out into the world and cause a greater consequence. That one small change can create something bigger than we can ever imagine. This is The Butterfly Effect!
Standup Journal: What’s the biggest gathering of BE participants so far?
Tatiana: The biggest event was last year on Maui with over 450 women! Each year it has been doubling in size, and I am always shocked with the consistent growth. It is so awesome to see so many women getting involved with water sports, especially stand up paddling. Stand up paddling is such a great sport to get into because it can be done in all sorts of conditions and areas around the world, and women of all levels and abilities can learn and enjoy it together!
Standup Journal: How many will you do in 2015?
Tatiana: We will have a full summer schedule this year! Here is a list of all the upcoming events, and the details can be found on the website: www.betheeffect.com
April 25th – Maui, Hawaii
June 13th – Barcelona, Spain
June 21st – The Butterfly Effect International Day
June 15th -22nd – Algarve, Portugal (Surf/SUP Camp)
July 11th – Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Sept 12th – Lake Tahoe, California
Oct 10th – 17th – Butterfly Boat Trip in Tahiti
Standup Journal: In a Perfect World how many BE events would you like to see happening each year?
Tatiana: In the past years we have an average of 8 events a year, which is a perfect amount for me since I travel to each event, any more would be hard to get to! We have several invites from around the globe, so this year we will be launching the first International Butterfly Effect Day on June 21st so everyone can be involved on the same day. This will be a day where the Butterfly Effect event takes place around the world and will make an actual “butterfly effect” start from a groups of women in the South Pacific islands/New Zealand, then ripple around the globe to women in Australia, China, Russia, Europe, USA, and then to Hawaii! Registration and how to participate on this day will be available online. Each registered participant will receive The Butterfly Effect Aloha Goodie-bag, event day instructions, and portion of net proceeds will benefit Boarding for Breast Cancer Foundation. Women of all ages, levels, sports, are welcome to participate!
Standup Journal: As the founder of this great event, tell us your favorite story that brings out what the Butterfly Effect is all about?
Tatiana: I especially like when we took the event to the snow in 2011 for the first time with Beatrice from Switzerland. We took leis from Maui, did Hula and yoga in our snow boots, and then we did a “downhiller” instead of a “downwinder”. She said it was still a water sport event because “Snow is only frozen water”. Myself coming from Maui was a beginner snowboarder, and the rest of the women participating seemed like pros to me, ripping down the hill with no problem! For all the water sport events, I am usually the one helping out and making sure a less experienced paddler feels safe and confident. So, when the roles were switched and I was the beginner, and I really appreciated the event and how everyone was helping each other:) They were all helping me down the mountain, giving me tips, and making me feel comfortable. This change in my ability level made me have a different view on the event and allowed me to see the benefits of the event in a whole new way. I felt the empowerment and confidence from the supportive community around me and through the non-competitive event of Aloha- The Butterfly Effect!