One UF student left behind his clothes and his worries about tan lines when he headed to the Lake Como Nudist Resort near Tampa for a nude volleyball tournament at the beginning of Spring Break.
Daniel Phillips, the founder of Naturist Gators, a group representing college-age nudists in Gainesville, participated in the 9th annual Super Bowl South Volleyball Tournament, held from March 4 to March 7.
Phillips was the only member of Naturist Gators who attended the tournament, so he joined up with the Pennsylvania-based Tiki Tomba volleyball team, which won the tournament’s novice division.
Phillips said the win was unexpected because it was the first time the team practiced volleyball together.
Through Naturist Gators, Phillips does more than attend volleyball tournaments.
He hopes to educate others about a naturist lifestyle and wants to fix misconceptions about nudists.
“We are not exhibitionists,” he said. “We only get naked where it is legal and socially acceptable.”
Eli Porr, a member of the Tiki Tomba team and a communications senior at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, was raised in a nudist colony.
He remembers playing volleyball, both with and without clothing, since he could walk.
Despite the nature of the game, players are allowed to wear clothing, he said.
Porr has seen women wear sports bras and shorts and men wear hats and shoes.
For Audra Kern, an English and communications major at East Stroudsburg University and a member of the Tiki-Tomba team, the tournament was her first experience playing naked volleyball in Florida.
She said volleyball is a good sport for nudists because it is mostly a noncontact sport.
Older generations of nudists are trying to encourage young adults to play naked volleyball, she said.
“The culture’s dying out a bit, so they’d like to see younger kids play,” she said.
The Naturist Gators are working to organize other nudist events.
Rachel Cohen, a UF marketing senior, said she has mixed feeling about participating in a nude event.
“A UF event would probably be uncomfortable for me, but if I were helping the community, I would be more inclined to join in and strip down.”