"With TWLOHA, we’re trying to do something that feels really different and really important. I’m taking a chance on them and they’re taking a chance on me, but it’s because we believe we have the chance to build something pretty special.”
– CJ Hobgood
In 2011, CJ Hobgood fell off tour for the first time in 12 years. He was invited to compete at Trestles but didn't go. He went to the Azores and won. He went to France and hurt his knee on his first wave. He spent the next month watching webcasts and, in his words, "falling back in love with surfing." He went to Hawaii and requalified.
C.J. is excited to be back on tour in 2012 and we're excited to go with him on that journey. TWLOHA is thrilled to be CJ's main sponsor, thrilled that he will be bringing our message of hope and help to surfers around the world. And on the simple note of surfing, we're proud to release this video of CJ doing his thing, just a few days ago in Central America: http://vimeo.com/36104323
We're big fans of comebacks. It's at the heart of our message. TWLOHA is a few things at once - we're a charity as well as a brand – but those things happened by accident. This started with a story. It was a story about starting over, and an attempt to help one friend in her battle with addiction and depression. We were blown away by the response - messages from people across the planet telling us that the story we were telling was also their story.
Over the last five years, we've learned that millions of people struggle with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. And we've learned that most of those people feel like they're not allowed to talk about it. As people we all experience pain. We lose things, and we run into some really big questions in this life. The true purpose of this press release is to say that it's okay to be honest.
We believe that people need other people. We believe it's okay to ask for help. We believe that great help exists, and we say that on behalf of the thousands of people all over the world who are finding hope and help, people sitting across from a counselor for the first time, people calling crisis hotlines, people stepping into treatment.
We've seen amazing doors open over the last five years. From our favorite bands supporting us to our favorite magazines telling our story to winning awards on national television. But for me personally, surfing is home. It's where I grew up and it's still my favorite thing. The heart of the matter is this: Over the last five years, we've seen people literally choose to stay alive. We've seen people find sobriety. "Hope Goes Surfing" is simply about seeing those things happen in the surf community. CJ is going to play a big part in that and it's our hope that you might come with us as well.
To Write Love on Her Arms began in Florida in 2006 as an attempt to tell a story and a way to help a friend. Today, it is a globally recognized non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. The TWLOHA team has responded to 170,000 messages from 100 countries, in addition to giving more than $1,000,000 to treatment and recovery.