SRFACE Diaries gives you a peek into the lives of our ambassadors. Because we all surf but have so much more that makes us interesting human beings. This week: Baptiste Seite from Marlais, France.
How did you start surfing?
I started surfing at 12, after playing football for many years. I was passionate about football, it was very important to me. At the age of 10 I started having trouble running and was diagnosed with a growth disease in both knees. Following that diagnosis, the doctor asked me what I thought about water sport. I really liked going to the beach in the summer, swimming, skimboarding and bodyboarding so I wanted to try surfing. My parents bought me a board and from that moment on I never let it go.
Why do you surf?
I surf because it’s a sport that suits me. I’m on my own a lot and I often need quietness. Surfing allows me to recharge my batteries. I like the fact of being ‘one’ with the elements and no sessions are alike, it’s always different and after 13 years of practice I find as much pleasure in it as I did in my very first session.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I get up quite early and check the weather forecast right away to see what I can do with my day. If there are waves, I try to surf as much as possible, if there are no waves I really like to go fishing and go to the forest to pick mushrooms depending on the season and my likes. Then, when I’ve done all that, it’s time to go home to eat, look at the forecast for the next day and go to bed. What a life right?
Who or what inspires you?
I’m very inspired by Jean Marc Le Hir, a longtime friend who taught me a lot. He’s kind of my mentor and also the one who spends time with me during my sessions to take pictures from the water or from the beach. He looks a lot like me even though we are almost 30 years apart: He is very passionate about the ocean, water sports, and nature in general and he is always motivated to go out and likes the simple things in life. He is truly an example for me.
What do you do to relax?
To relax I go surfing, fishing or walking in the forest. I like to be alone or with friends who share the same passions, in silence listening and watching nature without the sound of cars, far from the crowds.
What is your favourite surfboard?
My magic board is one of my newest boards, a Lost Mayhem model Quiver Killer in epoxy. It’s an ideal board for the waves in Bretonnes and I’ve never had such a fun and efficient board.
Do you have a tip for people who want to build a life around freedom and surfing?
The best way to be free is to find a job or work that allows it. Work that leaves time because freedom is having time for yourself. That’s why I’m happy as a surfing instructor, not because I surf but rather because it’s a job that gives me enough time to develop personally. Another piece of advice: Go live near the sea or the ocean. If you manage to have both, it’s the winning combo to be free and surf almost whenever you want.
What is your favorite surf destination?
My favorite destination is Mexico. I’ve been there twice and I’ve not been disappointed. The waves are incredible, the people are welcoming and the landscapes are beautiful. I also really like Indonesia and closer to home Portugal.
If you’re not surfing you are…?
If I’m not surfing, I fish, I walk or I do surf lessons. It’s very rare that I don’t surf, it takes up so much time that I don’t have much time to do anything else.
What is your favourite surf movie?
My favorite surf film is Barravel by Ronan Gladu because it features the best surfers from Breton in incredible waves with a genius soundtrack. It’s THE film to see when you’re from Breton and a surfer.
Name one thing the world could use more of now
The world needs to return to simpler things. It is in the simple things in life that we find the most pleasure.
Would you rather have unlimited paddle power and speed, or night vision so you could surf at night?
I have already surfed several times at night with the help of big lights that were strapped on my back (‘black swan surfing’). I found it great but at night it’s much scarier. Not at all like in broad daylight! I was not that comfortable so I’d rather choose unlimited paddle power :D.
Anything you’d like to share with our readers?
If you want to see more, I have a Youtube channel on which I share my travels and you can find me on Instagram as well.
Behind the lens: JeanMarcLeHir & @pierrelgphotographies
The ultimate wetsuit for every surfer