Surf Stories: 'I am in love with this lifestyle'

Name: Markéta

Age: 27

Where from: Czech Republic

Place of residence: Huanchaco, Peru

Years surfing: a year and a half

Favorite board: Fish! I’ve got a Milk (Peruvian brand) surf board. It’s 5’7″, 32 litres, extremely fun to ride. It’s really helping me get deeper in my turns, and honestly I don’t feel like riding any other board anymore. Fish is the best. 

Instagram: @marketilla

The beginning

Surfing was something I dreamt of since I was a child. I saw it as something effortlessly cool, as a truly happy way of life full of freedom and adventure. And I felt like I wanted that for me too. So when I was a teenager, I decided that I would live by the ocean when I grew up. In my early twenties I started traveling a lot which was when I experienced surfing for the first time and I absolutely loved it. I finally got closer to living the dream when I was 26, living in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I got my first surf board, and spent almost half a year learning to surf by myself. Right after that the destiny brought me to Huanchaco, Peru. It’s a place where the waves never stop and so I’ve been surfing every day ever since I got here. I am in love with this lifestyle, it’s a dream come true for me.

Surf philosophy

When I first started surfing, I had no idea how much effect it can have on the way I view life. At one point I got really frustrated with my surfing. I felt like I was stagnating and I stopped enjoying it which was the moment that changed the meaning of surfing for me completely. I realized I had no control over my emotions and I was fixating on the negative too much. Ever since I had this realization, surfing has been helping me get out of my head and be present in the moment. It has taught me to stay calm when something goes wrong, to accept the things I can’t change, and to take responsibility for the way I feel. Now I can finally acknowledge that I am and always will be the one who chooses whether I feel good or bad. It’s all in my hands and in my head.

Wipeout Time

There was this one time my friend invited me to go surfing with his friends a spot I’ve never heard of before. It’s important to say that all of them were men who have been surfing since they were kids, whereas I was a newbie who had only been surfing for 8 months at that time. 

Well, we got to the spot and all looked great. It wasn’t until we got out there that we realized the waves were 9ft (3m). Somehow I wasn’t afraid and I was waiting to see if I could catch something. But suddenly this huge set came in and it broke right where I was. I managed to ditch my board and tried to dive under but it only took me into a really agressive washing mashine, and I got a tripple portion of it. With the third one it got critical. I ran out of breath and I was desperately trying to reach the surface. There were a few seconds that I thought ‘this is it, I’m going to die here’ but luckily the water spitted me out and I was finally safe. 

I don’t know if it was the adrenaline pumping in my blood but I felt no fear. I paddled back to the lineup and we laughed about it with my friends. The fear actually came to me with time and until now I’m still scared to surf waves that are bigger than me. But there was one positive outcome. One of the guys was really impressed with my survival skills and we’ve been dating ever since. 🙂

Surf vs. everyday life

Soon after I started surfing I was able to name everything it meant to me. It wasn’t only a sport to me but a whole new lifestyle, life philosophy, and a way to connect with the nature. But I didn’t know yet it could also become a subject of my work. 

We are currently in the process of launching an online platform (this website) that was originally my boyfriend’s idea but we’ve joined our forces and started shaping and creating it from scratch together. It’s called ‘The Unknown Surfer’  as a tribute to all of us who live for surfing but are not pros. There are several attractions to the website, such as live surfcams, ‘see you surf’ photo gallery, blog, and e-shop. A really important part of our project is what we called ‘surf and help’ which is our way of giving back – to the community and individuals.

My little dream come true within our project will be surf retreats held here in Huanchaco, Peru, but that’s something that now solely depends on how the international tourism evolves after the pandemic. We are still in the development phase but we’re extremely excited to give life to something new, something ours, that we’re passionate about.

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