She

Surfs

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Female Surfers around the world share their stories  on how they began surfing and how it changed  their lives. 

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Kat 

Hoskins

IT'S TIME TO REWRITE THAT NARRATIVE AND START

ENABLING WOMEN TO BELIEVE THEY CAN SHRED AS HARD AS THE GUYS AND NOT BY ADOPTING ANY EXTRA AGGRESSION, BUT BY

EMBRACING OUR FEMININE STRENGTH.

Q.> When did you start surfing?

A.> I started surfing when I was 22, just in the final year of my Art  degree. 
 

Q.> Who or what inspired you to start surfing?
A.> I had been surfing occasionally before, but it wasn't until I  met my partner that he really gave me the confidence I needed  to commit to buying a board and a wetsuit and just getting  out there as often as I could.

I had always wanted to start but for whatever reason I just  needed a push to really begin. I guess I've learnt now not to wait  in for life to give me a reason, but just to take the first step, which  is always the hardest for me.

It's easy to look at people doing  something and say 'oh I wish I could do that'. Well, you can. 
 

Q.> Did it change your life in some way? 
A.> It's pretty much reshaped my life as I knew it before, which  sounds drastic but it's true. I knew that I always wanted to travel  but now it has become the driving force behind leaving my  country and exploring the world. I could only see myself living by  the ocean now, wherever I am. Which I guess is a massive  reshaping of my previously land-dwelling life. 

 

Q.> What have you discovered through surfing? 

A.> A huge factor which stopped me from learning to surf was  fear and anxiety. It was really hard to start with as I would spend  the entire time worrying about the ocean and what might  happen to me. It took me a good year of surfing to finally let that  go.

Every surf would force me to overcome all the thoughts of  anxiety in my head. Some people practice meditation or yoga,  but for me I found that through surfing I've really learnt to deal  with my anxiety. I'm definitely a more confident and capable  person now. That's the great thing about surfing, it can really  transform your mental state.

It continues to help me now as I  progress and surf in bigger  conditions, it becomes the same challenge. You think that  it might be too big for you, or that you wouldn't be able to  handle it. But you just get out there, and when you do get  smashed around, you just get back on your  board and keep  paddling. 

"IT'S EASY TO LOOK AT PEOPLE   DOING SOMETHING AND SAY  

 'OH I  WISH I COULD DO THAT' 

WELL, YOU CAN."

Q.>What does it mean to be a female surfer?
A.> I think it's pretty well known that surfing is a hugely male  dominated sport. The challenging nature of surfing can mean  that females can be made to feel that they're not strong or  powerful enough to handle the conditions of the ocean.

Those  stereotypes are rife throughout the surf industry, it's no  secret  that female surfers in competition always end up with  heats  during the worst conditions and only until recently,  received  much less in prize money. -You only have to watch an  advert by  any of the well known surf brands to notice that the  female surfer  always seem to be prancing around on the beach  in bikinis or  sitting on long boards laughing while the dudes are  totally  shredding waves.

It really grinds my gears that these surf brands are not  empowering women and just trying to peddle incredibly sub- par and impractical wetsuits and bikinis. It's time to rewrite that  narrative and start enabling women to believe they can  shred as  hard as the guys, and not through adopting any extra  aggression, but by embracing our feminine strength. And also,  let's have a surfing brand that focuses on quality and practicality  in its equipment rather than fashion and colourful patterns. 

Q.> How often would you surf in your ideal life? Why?

A.> Everyday! It's fun, it's awesome exercise and it keeps life in  perspective. When you feel a bit frazzled you get out into the  cold ocean and reset.
 

Q.> Do you imagine yourself surfing when you're 70?

A.> 100%. Use it or lose it - I wanna stay healthy and happy as  long as I can. And who else is going to teach my grandchildren  how to surf! 

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