A member of the Pā‘ia Youth & Cultural Center (PYCC), the young man envisioned an opportunity for his fellow youth center peers and their families to enjoy a day of surf, sun, sand—and some friendly competition. Today, Tumacder’s idea is now an annual event that benefits PYCC and its membership.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, from 8 a.m. until sunset, residents will flock to Pā‘ia Bay to cheer on the contestants of the 14th Annual Beachfest and Bodyboard & Surf Competition.
“It’s a very popular event,” said PYCC Executive Director Susun White. “I’d like to personally thank Marlon Tumacder for organizing the Beachfest for the last 14 years… we couldn’t do it without him.”
Now in its 14th year, the PYCC Beachfest and Bodyboard & Surf Competition is a wildly popular event that draws hundreds of contestants and spectators to Maui’s iconic North Shore—and all for a good cause.
Photo: Jeff Chong
The PYCC Bodyboard & Surf Competition is a family event open to all residents. Contest divisions will include Menehune, Junior Men, Open Men, Women and Drop-Knee.
“There will be tons of great prizes for finalists and special prize giveaways throughout the day,” said PYCC Multimedia Program Specialist Peter Swanzy. “This will be a family-oriented, alcohol- and drug-free event perfect for all ages.”
Thanks to the generous support of several local sponsors, contestants and spectators alike will have an opportunity to take home a variety of fantastic prizes at this year’s competition.
Swanzy said PYCC is still welcoming sponsorships for the event, as well as donations for the center. “We can always use items like surf gear, recreation equipment, electronics,” he said.
According to event coordinators, past events—which have drawn more than 100 contestants and 400 spectators—have enjoyed high-surf warning swells with light Kona winds, creating the best possible conditions for Pā‘ia Bay.
Swanzy and Melekai Jenson, the PYCC Drop-In coordinator, anticipate yet another good turnout at this year’s beachfest. “We have a lot of alumni [adults who were once PYCC members] attend,” said Jenson. “So it’s kind of like a reunion… and an intergenerational experience.”
The cost to enter this year’s PYCC Bodyboard & Surf Competition is $20 for “early bird” registrants or $30 to register on the morning of the event. There is an additional $10 entrance fee to compete in multiple divisions. Registration begins at 7 a.m.
For more than 17 years, PYCC, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has served Maui County youth in an effort to “build community through youth” by adhering to Hawaiian values and principles. The oceanfront youth center, nestled among the kiawe trees lining the beach of Pā‘ia Bay, is a safe haven for hundreds of North Shore youth.
According to the PYCC Website, “Our mission is to provide a safe place emotionally and physically for the youth of Pā‘ia and surrounding communities which offers a variety of social, educational, cultural, vocational, and recreational activities.”
On any given day, you’ll find young men and women engaging in a number of artistic, cultural, educational and recreational activities—just a stone’s throw away from the ebb and flow of the ocean tide. But the PYCC is far more than a playground offering fun and games—members are also provided with invaluable opportunities to become future leaders.
For example, the PYCC recently announced a program-partnership with the nationally recognized Project Venture, a part of the National Indian Youth Leadership Project (NIYLP).
According to its Website, the mission of the NIYLP “is to nurture the potential of Native youth to be contributors to a more positive world through adventure-based learning and service to family, community, and nature.”
While Project Venture was created for Native American communities, the model has been adopted by a variety of cultural groups from various rural and urban backgrounds. By focusing on positive outcomes, programming yields positive results that demonstrate effective, culturally appropriate, community-oriented alternatives to motivating youth to take action within their communities.
Beginning in March, PYCC will launch the Malama Pono Project Venture Program, an experiential outdoor leadership program that will be the first of its kind, said Swanzy.
“That’s what PYCC is all about,” he said. “Empowering youth and creating positive opportunities for generations to come.”