Our Story

Hello!

I’m Raph McGowan,

I’m an avid adventurer-turned-inventor and the creator of the bakslap, an applicator that makes it easy for you to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.

It was the tragic loss of my beautiful sister Tess to melanoma skin cancer on her back, that inspired me to create the bakslap.

 

I’m passionate about keeping Tess’s memory alive and determined to prevent other families from experiencing such a devastating loss. Tess’s legacy drives my team and I to reduce skin cancer rates globally.

The bakslap story began in 2011 after setting off with a couple of mates to cycle 6800km across the USA on the Transamerica Trail. It was to be the adventure of a lifetime and we’d encounter plenty of unknowns.

On day 62, we were pedalling through Kansas, when I received a life-changing call from dad, telling me my 30-year-old sister Tess had been diagnosed with melanoma. Tess had just celebrated her first wedding anniversary, and was and pregnant with her first child. The prognosis wasn’t good, and after four days of limited contact with my family, I decided to fly home.

On June 22, 2012, after her long and difficult battle against melanoma, our beloved Tess passed away at just age 31. Somehow, throughout her ordeal, she remained the same beautiful, loving and caring soul she’d always been. Nothing was more important to her than family, and being little Mabel’s mum meant everything to her.

 

It was confronting and heart-wrenching seeing Tess’ decline as she bravely battled her illness, but it motivated me to learn more about melanoma, and hopefully do something about it. I began volunteering at the Melanoma Institute Australia, the world’s leading research and treatment organisation.

 

I found out it’s an epidemic facing tens of thousands of Australian families, and countless more around the globe.

In 2014, after volunteering on several event committees, I started organising my own fundraising and awareness initiatives with the endorsement of the Institute. I created a national charity event, ‘Cycling to March’, where I cycled from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney in 24 days.

 

During this adventure, my support team (mum and my sister) and I engaged with thousands of Aussies face-to-face and online. Who told us we inspired them to have their skin checked and to take more conscious steps to protect themselves when outdoors.

Then in 2016, I headed back to beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland. It seemed like the most fitting location to base the business, because as its nickname name suggests, the ‘Sunshine State’ has the highest melanoma rate on the planet. This made the idea of developing the bakslap all the more compelling for my team and I.

 

Our team have found a common reason people have difficulty applying sunscreen to their back, and subsequently get burnt: it’s because this area cannot be completely reached and covered.

Research has found that getting sun burn on your back is the most at-risk place for developing fatal melanoma.

People have also told us that they don’t like getting messy hands. So we created bakslap, to address these issues by allowing you to apply to those hard-to-reach places like the back. As well as keeping your hands free of mess so you can enjoy all your favourite outdoor activities.      

 

So, with all that in mind, and the tragedy of losing Tess always in my heart, we set about developing the bakslap: a simple, effective lotion applicator that you can use anywhere on your body. As well as keeping your hands free of mess so you can enjoy all your favourite outdoor activities.         

 

Stay protected from the harsh Aussie sun, and give yourself a slap on the back with bakslap.

 

Cheers,

Raph McGowan

Hello!

I’m Raph McGowan,

I’m an avid adventurer-turned-inventor and the creator of the bakslap, an applicator that makes it easy for you to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.

It was the tragic loss of my beautiful sister Tess to melanoma skin cancer on her back, that inspired me to create the bakslap.

I’m passionate about keeping Tess’s memory alive and determined to prevent other families from experiencing such a devastating loss. Tess’s legacy drives my team and I to reduce skin cancer rates globally.

The bakslap story began in 2011 after setting off with a couple of mates to cycle 6800km across the USA on the Transamerica Trail. It was to be the adventure of a lifetime and we’d encounter plenty of unknowns.

On day 62, we were pedalling through Kansas, when I received a life-changing call from dad, telling me my 30-year-old sister Tess had been diagnosed with melanoma. Tess had just celebrated her first wedding anniversary, and was and pregnant with her first child. The prognosis wasn’t good, and after four days of limited contact with my family, I decided to fly home.

On June 22, 2012, after her long and difficult battle against melanoma, our beloved Tess passed away at just age 31. Somehow, throughout her ordeal, she remained the same beautiful, loving and caring soul she’d always been. Nothing was more important to her than family, and being little Mabel’s mum meant everything to her.

It was confronting and heart-wrenching seeing Tess’ decline as she bravely battled her illness, but it motivated me to learn more about melanoma, and hopefully do something about it. I began volunteering at the Melanoma Institute Australia, the world’s leading research and treatment organisation.

I found out it’s an epidemic facing tens of thousands of Australian families, and countless more around the globe.

In 2014, after volunteering on several event committees, I started organising my own fundraising and awareness initiatives with the endorsement of the Institute. I created a national charity event, ‘Cycling to March’, where I cycled from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney in 24 days.

During this adventure, my support team (mum and my sister) and I engaged with thousands of Aussies face-to-face and online. Who told us we inspired them to have their skin checked and to take more conscious steps to protect themselves when outdoors.

Then in 2016, I headed back to beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland. It seemed like the most fitting location to base the business, because as its nickname name suggests, the ‘Sunshine State’ has the highest melanoma rate on the planet. This made the idea of developing the bakslap all the more compelling for my team and I.

Our team have found a common reason people have difficulty applying sunscreen to their back, and subsequently get burnt: it’s because this area cannot be completely reached and covered.

Research has found that getting sun burn on your back is the most at-risk place for developing fatal melanoma.

People have also told us that they don’t like getting messy hands. So we created bakslap, to address these issues by allowing you to apply to those hard-to-reach places like the back. As well as keeping your hands free of mess so you can enjoy all your favourite outdoor activities.      

 

So, with all that in mind, and the tragedy of losing Tess always in my heart, we set about developing the bakslap: a simple, effective lotion applicator that you can use anywhere on your body. As well as keeping your hands free of mess so you can enjoy all your favourite outdoor activities.         

 

Stay protected from the harsh Aussie sun, and give yourself a slap on the back with bakslap.

 

Cheers,

Raph McGowan

Hello!

I’m Raph McGowan,

I’m an avid adventurer-turned-inventor and the creator of the bakslap, an applicator that makes it easy for you to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.

It was the tragic loss of my beautiful sister Tess to melanoma skin cancer on her back, that inspired me to create the bakslap.

Raph and Tess

I’m passionate about keeping Tess’s memory alive and determined to prevent other families from experiencing such a devastating loss. Tess’s legacy drives my team and I to reduce skin cancer rates globally.

The bakslap story began in 2011 after setting off with a couple of mates to cycle 6800km across the USA on the Transamerica Trail. It was to be the adventure of a lifetime and we’d encounter plenty of unknowns.

On day 62, we were pedalling through Kansas, when I received a life-changing call from dad, telling me my 30-year-old sister Tess had been diagnosed with melanoma. Tess had just celebrated her first wedding anniversary, and was and pregnant with her first child. The prognosis wasn’t good, and after four days of limited contact with my family, I decided to fly home.

On June 22, 2012, after her long and difficult battle against melanoma, our beloved Tess passed away at just age 31. Somehow, throughout her ordeal, she remained the same beautiful, loving and caring soul she’d always been. Nothing was more important to her than family, and being little Mabel’s mum meant everything to her.

It was confronting and heart-wrenching seeing Tess’ decline as she bravely battled her illness, but it motivated me to learn more about melanoma, and hopefully do something about it. I began volunteering at the Melanoma Institute Australia, the world’s leading research and treatment organisation.

I found out it’s an epidemic facing tens of thousands of Australian families, and countless more around the globe.

In 2014, after volunteering on several event committees, I started organising my own fundraising and awareness initiatives with the endorsement of the Institute. I created a national charity event, ‘Cycling to March’, where I cycled from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney in 24 days.

National charity event - ‘Cycling to March’

During this adventure, my support team (mum and my sister) and I engaged with thousands of Aussies face-to-face and online. Who told us we inspired them to have their skin checked and to take more conscious steps to protect themselves when outdoors.

Then in 2016, I headed back to beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland. It seemed like the most fitting location to base the business, because as its nickname name suggests, the ‘Sunshine State’ has the highest melanoma rate on the planet. This made the idea of developing the bakslap all the more compelling for my team and I.

Our team have found a common reason people have difficulty applying sunscreen to their back, and subsequently get burnt: it’s because this area cannot be completely reached and covered.

Research has found that getting sun burn on your back is the most at-risk place for developing fatal melanoma.

People have also told us that they don’t like getting messy hands. So we created bakslap, to address these issues by allowing you to apply to those hard-to-reach places like the back. As well as keeping your hands free of mess so you can enjoy all your favourite outdoor activities.

So, with all that in mind, and the tragedy of losing Tess always in my heart, we set about developing the bakslap: a simple, effective lotion applicator that you can use anywhere on your body. As well as keeping your hands free of mess so you can enjoy all your favourite outdoor activities.

Stay protected from the harsh Aussie sun, and give yourself a slap on the back with bakslap.

 

Cheers,

Raph McGowan

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