The Power of Surf­ing

Surfragette’s Marta To­masini had no idea just how much a surf trip to Morocco would change her life.

Surf Girl - - – Snap Shot – -

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 feel like I be­long t„ is group of fear­less peo­ple wh„ are con­stantly fac­ing cha en­g­ing con­di­tions.”

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