Inês grew up in Portugal, surrounded by the ocean. Living in such a surf paradise, it was only a matter of time before she discovered the joys of riding the waves. In her free time, Inês can be found in the water with her family and friends exploring new surf techniques or simply enjoying her session. She has a love for her local surfing community, and it’s important to her to continue honing her surfing skills and meet new people.

How did you get into surf?

Even though I grew up near surf beaches (literally five minutes from my house), it wasn’t until around two and a half years back that I started surfing consistently. My family and I started going together whenever there were waves, motivating and celebrating each other’s improvements. It’s been a fun ride!

What do the words Women of the Wave mean to you?

To me, the words Women Of The Wave empower all women to feel confident when in the water. Whether you just want to have a chill session or push yourself out of your comfort zone, these words comfort and motivate all women to feel worthy of making the sea their playground.

What are the three things that you love about surfing?

What I love most about surfing is understanding the wave you get after surfing for a while. How alive and fresh you feel inside the ocean and, of course, the amazing feeling of the ride. Overall the progress, even if slow, is gratifying.

Who is your surf inspiration?

My surf inspiration is everyone who went through traumatising experiences in the water, like shark attacks or severe accidents, and continued surfing! Overcoming such a trauma shows so much strength and courage, which I find inspiring!

What would be your advice to a rookie surfer/ someone who starts out in surf? 

My humble advice is to observe others, look at the sea and watch how the waves break. Ask or look up the rules to avoid getting hurt or hurting others. The better prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have!

What barriers did you experience in surfing? 

Luckily I haven’t really experienced any barriers being a woman surfing. Possibly because I have only surfed around my home, so being local certainly gives me confidence. And most of the time, I go surfing with a group of friends or my family.

How do you think these barriers could be overcome?

Having surfing buddies and following the basic principles of being a polite and positive human being in the moments of confrontations that might occur helps overcome barriers. Apologising if the mistake was yours and letting someone know nicely if they keep repeating errors.

What is your proudest moment that you remember in surfing? 

My proudest moment in surfing was most likely a day when I was catching a lot of great waves, but to be honest, every time after having the set breaking on me, catching my breath, pushing through the tiredness and still paddling out to continue makes me feel proud!

What changes has surfing brought into your life?

Surfing has become an inextricable part of my life. It always makes a productive and exciting bit of my day, filling me with positivity. I’ve met wonderful people through surfing, and it’s for sure something I want to keep doing and improving in!

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Women of the Wave Stories - Inês Damas Lourenço

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