On the Sunshine Coast— no— on the whole East Coast, plus parts of the Western Australian coast; surfing would have to be one of the most popular activities out there. And why not? It’s healthy, it’s very cool and it’s free. All you need is a surfboard that matches your ability and oh, perhaps a lesson or two. I recently met Bohdi at the Wanderlust Sunshine Coast Festival, who was the designated surfing instructor for the event. His lesson called Surfing101 was booked out every day, so clearly the love of surfing was being shared. But unlike many other instructors, Bohdi is more than just a stereotypical surfer dude just out to make some spare cash in between catching waves at his favourite break. I asked Bodhi a few questions about how he became a surfing instructor, but it soon became apparent he was passionate not just about surfing, but also helping young Australians manage their stress whilst at school.
What did you teach at Wanderlust Sunshine Coast 2015?
I started my Wanderlust experience with teaching surfing as part of the Blissology Immersion led by Eoin Finn on the Wednesday. I then went into teaching Surfing 101 sessions each day, including breath and movement on the beach, plus Surfing with Soul alongside Donavon Frankenreiter.
How did you become a surfing instructor?
I grew up on the coast in a small surfing town called Gisborne in New Zealand and you could say I lived in the ocean. After 10 years of competitive surfing, I just wanted to share the buzz of surfing as far and wide as I could. So far this has taken me to Mentawai’s, Maldives, and France. During this time, my love of surfing has only deepened.
I hear you and your partner, Kat, have started a self-help technique to assist stressed-out school kids called #BreatheProject. Can you tell me about this?
Kat and I are launching the Breathe Project crowd funding campaign this December, and our mission is to embed 3 minutes of correct breathing in Australian public schools. We believe it’s time to strip health and wellbeing back to the basics, and we have one simple technique that really works. Starting in 2016, we are hitting public schools all over Australia, targeting not only senior high school students, but also their teacher’s as well. Breathe Project will also be popping up with free community breath workshops, AcroYoga and surf adventures to bring awareness to the power of breath—that one thing we all have but don’t use correctly.
What key points on learning to surf can share with us?
The number one would have to be this – get a big board and get yourself immersed in the ocean daily. The better you become at reading the ocean, the greater and easier your surfing experience will be. I see too many beginners wanting to jump onto small boards and waste all of their energy just trying to catch a wave. No one can surf without catching a wave.
So bigger is better?
It would seem it is. When learning to surf, bigger boards are more stable and buoyant, allowing the surfer to paddle and stand up without worrying about speed and direction.
What’s THE UPSIDE to being Bodhi?
*Laughs* THE UPSIDE would be waking up each day with a desire to come alive and prioritising this beyond anything else. It’s focusing on building my ideal life, seeing that anything is possible, and 100% believing we can all do anything we want to. The other UPSIDE is having the angel eyes of Kat (my lady) looking straight into my soul every morning and having this life to co-create and share.
Ask yourself this—what makes you come alive? Are you doing it every day? That is THE UPSIDE.