The Power of Surfing
Surfragette’s Marta Tomasini had no idea just how much a surf trip to Morocco would change her life.
When I first learnt how to surf, I didn’t realise the effect it would have on improving my whole life. I’ve never been a water girl – the ocean scared me – but on a surf trip to Morocco I learnt to respect the water and how to ride the waves, which gave me a strength I didn’t know I had.
I’ve always been introvert, but not that kind of shy girl you see sitting in a corner at a party. I was more the sort of girl who can talk to one friend at a time, but who won’t be able to say a word in a group of people. As a grown up, I learnt that many people have
mistaken my character as a snooty or cold. Instead I was just insecure.
When I took up surfing, something changed. The fact that I was doing something outside of my comfort zone and facing my fear of deep water gave me strength. I started feeling powerful and exhilarated. I could tame the giants and push my limits further and further to bigger and bigger waves. And with the change in my attitude, I found that other people’s attitude to me started to change as well.
In the water I feel like I belong to this group of fearless people who are constantly facing challenging conditions to chase perfect waves. When I catch a good wave I feel the adrenaline – this exhilaration, something we call stoke, makes me understand that if I can surf I can do anything. What is a party full of people compared to conquering the roaring ocean? When I paddle out I am strong and free to be whoever I want to be, and the insecure girl blossoms into a friendly surfer who is cheering her friends in the line-up when they catch a good wave.
While the ocean is a place of intimacy and meditation, it is also a social square where you exchange experiences with other surfers and have the chance to meet beautiful people. Surfing is able to breakdown barriers and preconceptions, gathering people from different backgrounds who share the same passion.
Now I try to always bring these precious lessons back to dry land. When I feel insecure or simply inadequate, I think that maybe the people surrounding me are feeling the same. This way I open up to people and the world opens up to me. We are not perfect, and we are all different. But we are here, every day, challenging ourselves to reach that feeling of strength and freedom that surfing gives us – belonging to the same ocean.
“In e water I feel like I belong t is group of fearless people wh are constantly facing cha enging conditions.”