By: Joe Cardoso
We all wish we could just pick a place to live pack up and go whatever happens next we would enjoy the ride and live with the results. Our latest dream chaser knew what she wanted to do made a plan and is living her best life. If we took a poll a ton of people from the New England area want to move to a tropical paradise and let the chips fall where they may. She began as a child studying Yoga in Lenox, Massachusetts before she really got into it and moved to Bali and then South Africa. As if that isn’t impressive enough she also surfs! Get to know Nadia Redel.
JC: Surfing isn’t just a sport it’s a lifestyle, how did you get into it?
NR: Surfing was always something I wanted to try. I grew up in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, hours from the ocean. Despite growing up in the country I was fascinated by the ocean. I tried surfing a couple times growing up but I didn’t get into it until I was backpacking in South Africa. I was living in a small surf town called Mossel Bay, and I was surrounded by the surf culture. I worked at a backpackers and had tons of down time to paddle out. I remember being super scared of the great white sharks, and telling myself not to fall because I didn’t know what was lurking under the waves! That helped teach me not to fall!
JC: The same can be said for Yoga how were you introduced to it and what was that first class like?
NR: Yoga and I have a cool relationship, again I dabbled with it growing up but didn’t find passion for it until I was traveling in Bali. Bali is an awesome place for both surfing and yoga, locals and tourists eat, sleep and breath it. I would wake up early and ride my scooter to Balagan beach were a Russian lady taught a popup class on the grass over looking the surf. This was when I first started enjoying yoga. I would watch the waves, breath slowly and stretch-out my sore muscles. The first class I ever took , I remember disliking it a lot! My mind couldn’t relax, my body was stiff and the hour crept by slowly!! However, now that I continue to practice I realize that this is the magic of yoga, you are always adapting, learning and progressing. No two classes are the same and it is fun to see your practice transform and to try challenging poses.
JC: What style of surfing do you prefer? Long board or short board and why?
NR: For my first 2 years of surfing my go to board was a 7/6 minimal that was shaped for me when I first started in South Africa, it had a pulled in tail so it would turn like a dream and cruise down the wave. However, I always knew that I wanted to short board, doing tricks, ripping down peaky waves and getting barreled is why I wanted to start surfing in the first place! I’m now riding an eggbeater 6/3 its a fun transition board.
JC: Being female did you feel any added pressure to prove yourself on the waves at all?
NR: Yes, YES YES….did I say yes? I was just in Sumatra and most of the surf tourism was male surfers, who surfed well. It is always a constant battle to prove yourself. It is easy to let others get inside your head and for me, when I allow this to happen, is when I start surfing poorly. If you can’t keep up, you’ll get dropped in on. In the beginning I had guys dropping in on me often, and it was unbelievably frustrating. This is part of my motivation to become a solid girl surfer, I want to change this mindset and help change the stereotype of girl surfers!
JC: If someone was just starting out in both areas yoga and surfing what advice would you give them?
NR: In Indonesian they say “coba lagi “ which means “ try again”, that is my mantra when I start something new. I would recommend not giving up on either. Both surfing and yoga are super challenging and believe me, you’ll want to give up. You might not find the “stoke” on day one or even day 30, but if you keep practicing, eventually you’ll get to a place where you can’t imagine your life without it. I would also highly recommend trying yoga and surfing around the same time. Both activities complement each other and it will help you get through the beginner funk way more quickly. When in doubt remember,“coba lagi”.
JC: World Class Surf looks AMAZING! How did you start it and how EPIC has the experience been so far?
NR: World-Class Surf has been an incredible journey and I am so excited to see it continue to grow. If you travel you can understand what I call “post travel depression” or PTD. It is when you get back from an amazing adventure and you find yourself sucked back into your old routine. It was during a stage of PTD that World-Class Surf was born. I was living in Venice California, I had just gotten back from a year long backpack journey that took me and my partner Mac, around the world. We had TONS of wild adventures, I learned to surf and was getting deeper into my yoga practice. Then reality hit us, we got back to the states, got an apartment and started to work 9-5 to cover our rent and bills. Every day was the same, and all we wanted to do was get back onto the open road an keep exploring. That is when we came up with the idea of WCS. We knew if we felt like this others did also. We wanted to create a place where like minded travelers could have access to amazing surf trips, some in remote parts of the world and others in luxury hotels.
During our own travels we also felt misguided in some tourism marketing. We have experienced it when you see a picture of a hotel online that looks beachfront only to find out that you are staying up the road and have to walk or drive to the nearest break. We wanted to negate the dishonest marketing schemes by experiencing the venues we list and giving our unbiased personal opinions. We only list venues we personally would want to stay at, which I think our clients appreciate.
JC: Where was the best wave you caught and why was it the best?
NR: As a surfer, thats a tricky question to answer. I obviously love a wave without a crowd but in general Some of my top countries I’ve surfed would have to be Sumatra including the Mentawai Islands. I also really enjoyed Kauai… To be honest they are all good! Waves are like toppings at an ice-cream bar, you might have your favorite but all the toppings are great!
JC: What sort of fitness routine and diet do you follow to stay in top shape?
NR: Surfing is a very demanding sport, you have to be sharp, both mentally and physically. Yoga allows you to become hyper aware of your body and what it needs/ how it feels. I think this is why they compliment each other so well. I try to workout 1 hour 5 times a week. I enjoy doing full body workouts, like power yoga, high intensity training, hiking and beach circuits. The most important thing for me is to keep my body strong yet flexible. In addition to my normal fitness routine, I love training MMA. It is so intense and keeps my body long and lean.
I am a totally health nut and I really enjoy cooking. When I’m not traveling, I follow a manly vegan diet. I eat allot of vegetables, fruits and get protein from foods like lentils and pea protein shakes. I’ve noticed the cleaner I eat the better I preform. Of my favorite pre-surf snacks is a brown rice cracker with almond butter, banana and dates. yum!
JC:Yoga is said to be spiritual has it affected how you live and view things?
NR: Absolutely, I feel like I have a better understanding of what “spiritual” actually means, since diving into my yoga practice. I got into both yoga and surfing at a time in my life when I needed some guidance. My spirituality is most represented by appreciation. I have a deeper appreciation for simple things in my every day life.
JC: Craziest moment so far during this journey for you has been________?
NR: Going to surf Taverna in Fiji with jet ski assist for just one day with a group of my best friends. That was an impromptu surf trip ill never forget. We all got SO many sick waves. It was also my first and only time using a jet ski, the whole experience was rad!
JC: Being a world traveler, I must ask name a food that looked/smelled gross but turned out to be awesome.
NR: The only thing coming to mind is Durian Fruit, but I still think it tastes disgusting.
JC: Where in the world has been the BEST trip so far and why.
NR: Truly hard to say, i’ve had some amazing adventures. One that stands out was the one I just got back from. In March World-Class Surf took a group of friends to Sumatra. Just getting there is an adventure, it takes about 36 hours from LA and includes multiple airplane flights and a 6 hour car ride through the Sumatran jungle and Tiger Reservation. It was so fun to share this epic trip with friends who had never been to Sumatra before. Everyone was vibeing off each others energy, which lead to so many jokes and laughter. The surf was insane, for 10 days we surfed all day somewhere. In-between surfing we’d go by motorbike through the jungle, exploring undiscovered surf breaks. We even went to a local carnival where our whole group was the main attraction. Everyone wanted to take pictures with the group of blonde haired surfers. It felt like we were the group from Endless Summer a bunch of surfers, friends and adventure seekers having the time of their life. Sumatra will always have a place in my heart. It isn’t just the waves that make it so special but the locals and culture that truly make it standout. I can’t wait to head back soon!
JC: What else do you have planned for 2018?
NR: Looking forward to a surf trip the end of August to Sumatra and exploring more of the Californian Coastline this year.
JC: Any close calls with wildlife? Sharks, seals, whales?
NR: I’ve been so fortunate to have had a ton of magical moments with marine life. There is a seal here in Malibu we see often, he’s been given the nick name “Jimmy.”
Anyone else ready to hop on a plane to a surprise destination? I’m heading to Greece how about you? To follow along with her adventures and also book a dream vacation with World Class Surf here are Nadia social media links.
Website: World Class Surf. https://www.worldclasssurftrips.com/