Shaped by the Waves: Nette Klement
From Holland to El Salvador, chasing her passion for surfing.
We met our friend Nette many years ago in Cantabria, in the North of Spain. At that time, she was one of the few (if not almost the only) female surf instructor in the area. Nette always looked committed, calm, funny and, above all, professional when she was giving surf lessons. She is an example of a good teacher. A person who not only teaches you the technical part, but also transmits her passion for the sea and above all the philosophy of this sport and lifestyle.
Nette discovered that she loved teaching other people and combined this passion with two of her favourite sports: snowboarding and surfing. It was in her last year of high school when she learned to surf, but it wasn’t until she travelled to South America at the age of 19 to pursue her early dream: surfing and learning Spanish.
From that moment on, Nette knew that her life would revolve around3 surfing and now she has been living for years in El Salvador, teaching and sharing her passion for surfing, living a simple life, in connection with the sea, with herself. She is now working on her new business @surfingyourfears for a more detailed and personal surf coaching program in El Salvador.
For us Nette is an inspiration. She is the example that if you want to, you can.
Q: What does surfing teach you that you can apply to your life?
A: People who don’t surf have this image of surfers that we’re all chill and good vibes, but let me tell you, that’s not the case most of the time. Surfing can bring out the worst in people, making them extremely selfish. Because why would you not want that one good wave that’s coming through?
So, for me one of the best lessons of surfing is to not let this feeling take over. It’s a constant practice to be your best self in the water, to share with others, to not take things personal, to not get upset when others disrespect you, to help others when needed. If somebody is rude to you, your first reaction is to be rude to them and probably even the people around you. It can teach you to be the bigger person.
It also teaches you patience. Patience with the waves, other people, but most of it, yourself. The learning curve is far from linear, it goes with big ups and downs. Moments you just want to quit, sell your surfboard or burst out in tears. But if you stay patient and you are kind to yourself, you will get moments of pure happiness. You will feel like you can do anything.
It teaches you to never give up. You will get smashed, washed, held under water for just a little too long, you will get humbled by the ocean. To keep pushing, even though you feel way out of your comfort zone. To not always have control, you really have to let go of wanting to control everything. It’s the ocean, controlling you. You can’t change it. You can just enjoy it.
It teaches you to be in the moment. When you’re out there, there is nothing else to think about. You get to leave your problems on shore for a moment.
And all those skills can make you a better person and are useful skills in your life.
Q: Why do you think surfing can help women’s self-esteem, confidence, and strength?
A: I think all of the above helps you feel more connected with yourself and more confident. Surfing can make you realize you’re capable of way more than you thought you were. It challenges you, makes you grow. And once you catch that best wave of your life, it just makes you glow. As if you receive all the energy that had created that wave in the first place.