Indians who thought surfing was just a dream from the movies can now revaluate their career opportunities because Tanvi Jagadish is now India’s first surfer to represent the country in SUP (Stand up Paddling) racing and SUP surfing in ISA world championship. This goes to show that no dream is so far-fetched that it cannot be achieved.
Early dreamer days
Tanvi started surfing when she was around 10 years old when her grandfather took her to the surf ashram. Enamoured by her brother’s love and appreciation for surfing, she began to surf despite having a breathing problem as well as not knowing how to swim. Miraculously, her breathing problem was cured because of surfing and staying in the salt water. However, the extraordinary aspect of it was that she learnt how to surf without knowing how to swim and without her parents’ consent as she knew they would object. She then learnt how to Surf and Stand Up Paddle at Mantra Surf Club.
Tanvi and her parents underwent a lot of pressure from society, focusing mostly on the fact that she was an “Indian girl”, who would get tanned and her hair was getting spoilt. When questioned on whether such a mentality brought her down, Tanvi replied saying, “I don’t know why they were getting so worried. It is probably because of my progress and more so that a girl is growing so well in the society, surpassing all set limits.” Understanding the norms and culture, she then explained to her parents how much she enjoyed the sport and that trust is the most important factor.
I don’t know why they were getting so worried. It is probably because of my progress and more so that a girl is growing so well in the society, surpassing all set limits.”
Struggles and Growth
Surfing is still an unidentified sport in India because of which when Tanvi, our resident surfer, had to represent India; she faced massive financial struggles because of the lack of sponsors. Despite this, her team Mantra Surf Club and supporters raised funds for her to represent India in Fiji ISA world championship and she did exceptionally well being the youngest athlete in the 200 people from 26 countries. To her, this serves as a lesson where, she says, “Never give up. If you have the willpower, you will get everything you deserve and more.”
She has also started giving free SUP courses at Mantra Surf Club and is willing to teach anyone interested in learning. If you’re one of them, you can contact her on the email id: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Never give up. If you have the willpower, you will get everything you deserve and more.”
Initial aspirations to current opportunities
Like many people, Tanvi too had various dream jobs, varying from a mechanical engineer to a doctor to a paediatrician. Although, her views changed drastically as she grew and decided to represent India in surfing and stand up paddling. She is now India’s first surfer to be officially sponsored by a surf board brand named Starboard (world’s fastest racing board) and Vans (Surf and Skate).
Her first international win in SUP racing and the sport itself got her motivated to encourage more people especially girls and the youth of India to take up the water sport. She even spreads awareness about the beauty of the ocean and its rampant pollution. Her dream is to be represented by Redbull and Nike as an athlete as she continues to work harder than before.