With a worldwide mission to inspire new participants to experience the feeling of gliding across the water, the first-ever Southern Hemisphere #PassTheHandle day launched on December 11, 2016.
Founded three years ago, #PassTheHandle started big and has grown exponentially. For the first time since its inception, the initiative specifically focused on watersports enthusiasts and boaters below the equator.
WSIA Executive Director, Kevin Michael, manages the #PassTheHandle project from WSIA headquarters, but gives credit to the founders. “From the beginning in 2014, Zane Schwenk and Shaun Murray had a huge vision for #PassTheHandle, which definitely wasn’t limited to the United States alone. Since our July event is only practical for half of the world, December 11 was our first attempt at making #PassTheHandle a true worldwide initiative. Word of mouth and social media sharing will be key for growth in the Southern Hemisphere.”
As an awareness-driven concept, #PassTheHandle largely relies on social media channels in spreading the word and encouraging participation. Compelling, high-quality content is paramount for the success and growth of #PassTheHandle. With the help of Wakeboarding, Waterski and Boating, the first Southern Hemisphere #PassTheHandle day reached hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.
With towed water sports on the rise, with thriving communities of boaters in key markets, it was crucial for #PassTheHandle to target the Australasia and Southern Cone regions. Attaining more than 1.1 million impressions, 200 thousand video plays, and 1,500 hours delivered, #PassTheHandle created both awareness and participation below the equator on December 11 and beyond. This initiative will be an ongoing effort and is projected to grow with each year’s push.
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“I’ve taught a few people to wakeboard, and it really is SO fun to see someone fall in love with the sport! Life’s stress just disappears when you strap on that board!” – Christy L.
“Best feeling is to teach someone else to have a go and see them enjoy themselves out behind a boat.” – Matthew R.
“Shaun Murray’s #PassTheHandle video was the best advice for teaching my son! He was so afraid, but floating on the surfboard changed his water experience completely.” – Robert H.