SRFACE Diaries

Loes Stenveld

Written by Sieuwe

Hey there! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi! My name is Loes Stenveld, a happy island girl living on Terschelling, the Netherlands. I am the owner of surf school & shop@surfvillage_terschelling, so I get to spend my days sharing the stoke in the water and hanging out at our shop. I love being outside in nature, preferably I take the whole winter off to explore new places. Also, I really like cooking and making use of everything that my veggie garden has to offer.

How did you start surfing?

I didn’t grow up living close to the ocean so instead I used to go out windsurfing on a lake. My mom drove me and my brother there on windy days. When I got older, I went to a surf camp in France and that’s where it all started. I was instantly charmed by just being out there with my board, my thoughts, and nothing else… So I sold my windsurf equipment and bought a surfboard and a ticket to South Africa, easy as that.

Why do you surf?

It connects me with nature. Being in the ocean, tuning in with the rhythm of the waves, nothing else to think about but the next wave and having a good time with friends. I live on the Dutch island of Terschelling. The surf isn’t super consistent but the line up is completely empty. When I am in the water, I’m in awe of my surroundings every time. It just makes me super happy.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

After waking up, I pick some fresh herbs from our garden to make a cup of tea and prepare a big bowl of fruits with oats. After that, it’s time for a cold shower. My boyfriend Jens built us one outside. Sometimes I can’t wait to hop under it! On other occasions I really need a kick in the butt to go. During breakfast we make a plan for the day. In the high season one of us runs the surfschool, while the other covers the surf shop. During winter we usually have five months off, we can do whatever we feel like and do it wherever we want.

Who or what inspires you?

It’s not just one thing or person that usually inspires me. It can be a sentence I read in a book, something I see in a documentary, or little things I notice in nature. I also love listening to older, more experienced people’s stories about their life.

What do you do to relax?

Now that we have our own garden, I really enjoy working in it. Spending time in nature calms me down. I also enjoy yoga, meditation, drawing, or just a simple cup of coffee while sitting in the sun.

Do you have a tip for people who want to build a life around freedom and surfing?

Remember: We are capable of doing anything we want. We can create so much when we really want it. We no longer live in a world in which you need to work for the same company your whole life… and we definitely don’t live to work! Start working less hours, set up your own business or get a seasonal job. Whatever makes you happy!

What is your favorite surfboard?

My twin fin. A friend gave it to me as the board was too small for him. The board has had some repairs, and I guess it used to be red instead of the faded pink color that it is now. But I love it! It’s super fast, light, and playful. This winter in Mexico, a 75 year old man came up to me, super stoked, and said he used to own a similar one years ago and it was his fastest board he rode in his life. He regretted ever selling it.

What is your favorite surf destination and why?

I surfed some different places around the world, but I think Indonesia is still my number one. The waves are consistent, the food is amazing, I can surf in a bikini and the cost of living is really low.

If you’re not surfing you are…?

In summertime, teaching surf at my surf school (Surfvillage) and sharing the stoke with people who are new to the sport. We organize SUP tours on the Wadden Sea. When the wind drops it’s the most peaceful place in the world. I also like cooking, especially with our own grown vegetables or wild plants. It feels so much healthier, better for the body and the mind.

What is your favorite surf movie and why?

A while ago I watched Undone from Laura Enever. That girl is badass! She isn’t afraid to fight for her dreams.

Name one thing the world could use more of now…

Love. Love for each other, because in this fast and egocentric world we can use more kindness. Also, love for the earth we live on. For the soil we use and the ocean we play in.

Would you rather have unlimited paddle power and speed, or night vision so you could surf at night?

Hard question! But I would choose unlimited paddle power and speed. I prefer surfing with the sun on my face, being surrounded by dark waters sounds a little scary haha. Sharing waves with friends, and still paddling faster than everyone else!

Anything you’d like to share with our readers?

Please be kind to yourself and our beautiful planet.

Behind the lens: @jensgross, @nielsgross, @alexhamstra, @surfvillage_terschelling

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