Carmen & Stef
SRFACE Diaries gives you a peek into the lives of our ambassadors. In every diary entry we post an interview with one of our ambassadors. This week: Carmen & Stef from Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. Pictures by Jan Bijl.
How did you start surfing?
Carmen: I grew up in Wijk aan Zee, a small surf village in the Netherlands. Somehow I never surfed until I turned 16. My high school organized a trip to Mimizan in France. I was so stoked after this week, but still didn’t pick it up when I got back. No money for gear… Once I finished high school at 17, I saved some money to travel to Australia and Indonesia. I figured I would do a gap year, but that one year turned into many. Every summer I would come back to the Netherlands and work for 6 months non-stop. On the beach of course, so I could surf in between shifts. I would spend the next 6 months in Indonesia to surf and enjoy life and nature to the fullest. The surf bug got me and here we are…
Stef: I was always skateboarding in a pool as a kid. A few older guys used to come there too every now and then. They had a real Dogtown and Z-boys style. Me and my friends just knew surfing was the next things to hit the Netherlands. My mom had 2 cousins who were already surfing and one day I asked them if I could tag along. After that first session it was on: I got a Bic 6’7 when I was 14 years old, built a bike trailer for my board and went every day, no matter the weather.
Why do you surf?
Carmen: The simple life. Wake up, check the waves, grab a board, wetsuit or bikini and just go. I like the feeling of playing together with mother nature. Two waves are never the same. You can only control how you respond to the waves, with your body and board. This interplay is a feeling you can’t explain, but every surfer can relate to.
Stef: For the adrenalin you feel with every smooth transition you make, from one turn or trick to the next.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Carmen: I’m a fulltime mom nowadays so my daily schedule has slightly changed :D. Start with a big breakfast with lots of fruit, play in the garden, clean the house a bit, take a nap and we aim to go to the beach or forest every day for a walk and play. If the waves are on, one of us will go for a surf. Usually Stef ;). Since my pregnancy I finally found peace by just watching the waves. Because I have my own business (CURMS), I work whenever Eddie is asleep during the day or at night. We’re never bored!
Stef: I work at Tata Steel as maintenance electrical technician. It’s the big steel factory you pass on the way to Wijk aan Zee. If there are good waves, it usually isn’t a problem to take some time off. On free days we spend time together. We just bought a house that needs quite a bit of work. We built a small summer house in the garden so we could live there while renovating the house in the front. We do everything ourselves with help from friends and family.
Tell us about your best session ever…
Carmen: Sumbawa, 2016. It started like a regular morning, but it became an unforgettable session! Such a good vibe in the water and wave after wave kept coming in. Everybody was so stoked and cheering for each other.
Stef: A rare perfect day at my home break Wijk aan Zee. The picture says it all.
What is your favorite surf destination and why?
Carmen: Indonesia. I’ve spend so much time there, traveled to a lot of different places but still there are so many places to discover. I love the culture, the people, the language, the food, the palm trees. For me it feels like a home away from home.
Stef: Basque Country. Good spirits, waves, pintxos and beers.
What is your favorite board and why, and how did you acquire it?
Carmen: Since I’m a mom and pregnant of our 2nd, I prefer boards with more volume. My friend in Indonesia shaped a board, which I call my momma-board. It’s a 6’4 with a round nose with a pin tail. Super fun as a single fin or thruster when steeper.
Stef: My Vampirate Gravedigger 5’0, got it at the local Noordpier Surfshop.
Name one thing you would give up surfing for
Carmen: Cliché but true: Having kids. But I don’t think we will ever give up surfing. It’s not just a sport or hobby but it’s a way of living and a part of us. This is how we live and we will always feel stoked when we see waves breaking.
Anything you want to add?
Carmen: Keep exploring. There is more out there than the popular spots.
Stef: Do yourself a favor and go on a boat trip to the Maldives with your friends. Thank me later.
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