"I don’t wait for a good wave; I go for it"
Interview with Shino Matsuda
Riding through powerful waves while performing technical feats, surfing is a challenge against nature itself. Professional surfer Shino Matsuda competes on the world stage, always pushing herself without forgetting to enjoy the unique wonders of her sport. Here she reflects on the importance of both challenging yourself and sharing your happiness with others.
"Surfing allows me to confront myself"
What first attracted you to the world of surfing?
As a sport, surfing is you vs nature. No wave is the same, meaning I can challenge myself in different ways every time. I enjoy pushing myself, and that’s what has always drawn me to surfing.
When competing in waters all over the world, there must be times when you are not at your best. Is maintaining mental stability a challenge?
There is a great difference between surfing with a ‘can do’ mindset and going into the waters with negative feelings. My state of mind is always reflected in my performance, so I have to be sensitive to my feelings. Mindset is everything—surfing taught me that.
Surfing deals with a side of nature that is totally uncontrollable to humans. How do you deal with the uncertainty?
A good wave will never come if you are simply waiting. What is important is to go and look for it yourself. This applies to my daily life: if I want to do something, I act instead of getting stuck in my thoughts. Another great lesson I’ve learned from surfing.
"Happiness multiplies through sharing"
In a way, the sea is your hometown. What are your thoughts on the growing environmental issues affecting our seas and oceans?
I want to be able to surf in clean water and help to preserve the marine ecosystem. These days, I find myself researching issues such as plastic waste in the sea more and more. In my daily life I try to make positive changes, for example, picking up trash on the beach and reducing the use of disposable items.
How has surfing changed since you first began to compete?
When I started surfing, there were very few female surfers. Although I do notice the number increasing, unfortunately surfing is still a male-dominated sport. I hope to become the front-runner in inspiring more girls to surf.
Your stellar performances in worldwide competitions have won you many fans. What does that mean to you?
The support of my family, friends, and fans always helps me to feel reassured. Winning and sharing the joy with these people is what makes me the happiest. I believe that happiness multiplies when shared with others.
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