Andy Kovszun

Where did your love for the ocean start?

I grew up on a really small Island in the Caribbean called St Martin, so I’ve always been surrounded by water from a very young age. I would go to the beach every day after school and my parents always walked the beach every afternoon – it’s always been such a fundamental part of my upbringing. Water has and always will be around for me. I don’t think I could ever live away from it. I am very much an ocean person, but to answer your question about where my love has come from; I think you are born with it.

When did you start surfing?

I have always loved the idea of being a surfer girl. From a young age I was so influence by blue crush and all those early 90s Roxy pictures and the surf culture that was so prominent when I was a teenager. My parents were very protective when I was little, so I would body board a lot as a kid but I never really got fully into surfing until I moved to Australia much later. When I was 17 and living in France my first boyfriend was a surfer (surprise, surprise), so I was sort of introduced to that world then, but it wasn’t until I was 21 and loving in Sydney that I really prioritised my surfing and started to go every day. I was definitely a late bloomer, but I think a lot of us are and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.

How does surfing make you feel?

Honestly, It makes me so, so happy and It also makes me very, very present. I know this is probably an answer that comes up a lot when you ask this question but when you’re surfing everything else seems to stop. You are focused on the waves and everything that comes along with it. Duck diving, paddling, surfing itself. I feel like I can zone out of everything else in my life and all I’m worried about is then and there. I think in the end, this is why a lot of people find their way to the ocean too.

What is your favourite thing about being in an all girl lineup

Everything! I only surf with girls! The encouragement and inspiration I get is beyond anything else. I used to be so scared of waves like this (here in the Mentawais) and I remember the first time I came to Indonesia on a trip I was TERRIFIED. I remember going out a bit shaky, but when I saw a few of the other girls drop into a few beautiful waves (and when I got onto mine) the support and noise that comes from the rest of the girls was so empowering. How could I be scared? It’s just enough to keep going. You feel so supported and it doesn’t matter if you fall or if you miss it, in the ocean you’re all equal and everyone respects you no matter what level you’re at – it’s just about being out there together.

What do you hope to see in the future of female surfing?

Boys underestimate girls in the water, that’s a fact, so I would love to see a level of recognition in the water that girls can surf too. Why is there still such a big stigma lingering that surfing is just for boys? We can go on surf trips too, we can paddle for big waves or small ones and we can shred them or surf them gracefully. I think female surfing has come such a long way in the last few years, and even though I know there is still more progress to be made it’s amazing to see so many females getting in the water regardless of their age, ability or gender.

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