Surfragette on 4Surf mag // Girls stuff

Thursday, May 14, 2015
Yaaaay I just found the latest issue of 4Surf in the mailbox!!!
4Surf is an Italian surf magazine and website and in every issue I host a section in which I talk about female surfing and basically my surf experience.

The goal of this feature is giving more space to female surfing in Italy and letting other girls know we are many out there and we rip it!!! Most important, it's a place of shared feelings and common experiences.

This time my article deals with letting go of the fear of failure. Here is the translation from the Italian version.
I hope you enjoy it!

When I discovered the surf some years ago, there were just a few girls in the water. The same faces, a smile, nothing else. Now I know you are many more out there, but at that time you could count surfer chicks on the fingers on one hand.

Anyway, I have to admit I didn't really dislike being the only girl in a group of guys. I had a snowboarder past, so I was used to a testosteronic environment.
However, something was missing.
In Italy, being one of the few females in the line-up meant you had to conquer your place there, to deserve it. The glances at your pink wetsuit (that we like so much, btw!!!) and at your long board as for saying you better give up and stay at home "as girls do"... The cut offs because "you gonna miss it anyway" or, worse, "I'll give you this wave, because, poor thing, you're not going to catch one other way".

Since I grew up with two elder brothers, they wouldn't have put me down easily. I decided I'd have won my place in the line-up.
Every surf trip at my local spot was a challenge - against the surfer guys for sure, but against my own limits too. Being good was not enough - being good meant being better than the guys (or than some of them at least!).
I could see fast improvements, but 
I wasn't realizing that little by little I was loosing  something more important: the fun and  being in harmony with nature and my own self.
When I moved to Biarritz, I made friends with some girls who I always went surfing with. Finally some smiling, cheering one another and we just wanted to have fun without risking our lives every time.
And even if that feeling of competition was still there, I started to realize I had nothing to prove, that the only important thing was the relationship between the ocean and me.
I didn't care about maneuvers or the number of waves I caught, but the feeling of sliding on them with my board - and the smile on my face after each session!

I didn't grow up as a mermaid - I had to work on my love/hate relationship with the water and face most of my fears. But during this journey I understood that 
when you let go of your fear of failure, you can fully enjoy what the surf and the ocean can give you.
And now I can say I want to surf with my own style, the wetsuit and the bikini that I like, without thinking about that voice telling what girls do and don't.
And when I am in the water now all the men respect me and cheer me up when I join them in the line-up. But not because I surf like a pro or have a model bum (none of them), but because they see my smile when I paddle out. They know that whatever my level or style of surfing is, I am feeling the same stoke they do.
Pro-surfers, beginners, weekenders or kids with a boogie-board: we're all connected the same way to the passion for surfing.

I hope you liked my article! And if some Italians out there are reading right now, you may want to run buy the latest issue of 4Surf!!! You can find plenty of interesting articles and my monthly feature ;)


Credits // Author // Photography: Marta Tomasini, original article 4Surf

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