CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL SURFING DAY WITH TANIKA HOFFMAN
What does surfing mean to you?
Surfing is something I am extremely passionate about. It’s a beautiful sport… It’s calming, exhilarating and powerful all at the same time. It always leaves me satisfied and wanting to go back for more each day. Surfing never fails to open my eyes to how incredible mother nature is, and I think that plays a huge role in my passion for the sport…I get to share the ocean with beautiful creatures and feel to the pure power of Mother Nature daily.
What was so special about this session?
Today I got to surf bigger, more powerful waves, which is always an incredible reminder of how we should respect the ocean and our sport. The ocean is powerful, unpredictable and forever changing…yet at the end of each session, big/small, rain or shine, I’m left with a huge smile, happy heart and sense of accomplishment.
How deep is the connection you feel with the ocean?
I can’t imagine life without the blessing of the ocean. It makes me who I am. The ocean has been part of me for as long as I can remember, even before I started surfing, I have always been fascinated by the rhythm of the ocean, and it’s ability to clear my mind.
Do you remember the first board you ever rode or bought?
So clearly. The first board I ever rode was a giant yellow rental…I got pushed into my first wave, stood up and never forgot the feeling. I got my own board later that year from my parents for my 9th birthday. For months I had been talking about how I wished for a board with all the blues of the ocean and a dolphin on it, and that’s exactly what I got…I loved that board and to this day I still have it.
If you could choose 3 places anywhere in the world to surf, where would it be?
I am from South Africa and am yet to explore many other African countries….which is something I have always wanted to do. I have heard of perfect, remote sandbars in places like Gabon and perfect left reefs in the Comoros Islands. I find the untouched beauty of African countries incredible and I am always looking to escape the crowds.
The Philippines is also a dream destination of mine. It looks incredibly beautiful and being from Cape Town, where the water is cold year round, I love tropical get aways and bikini surfs.
Madagascar is another country I would love to visit…just because I love exploring new places and experiencing different cultures.
What place do women have in competitive surfing?
Exactly the same as men. We work hard to improve our surfing and progress, and it recent years I think this has become extremely noticeable. Women’s competitive surfing at the moment is incredible, powerful and inspirational to watch. We are serious athletes, and I believe we are respected for what we bring to the sport.