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Tash Mentasti

Tash Mentasti

Sapmok supports powerful women behind the scenes who dedicate their lives to sustainable change. We have chosen these Goddesses Of Today to celebrate Women’s Day and all our goddess’ magnificent achievements. Tash Mentasti is our third Goddess from this series. She is a @wavesforchange Surf Trainer, @isasurfing Course Presenter, 2022 SA Jnr Surf Team Coach, @wsl Commentator and 2021 SA Surfing Champion. You will learn a little more about her by reading her answers below.

1. What inspired/lead you to surf?

My dad inspired me to surf. We have always had a great relationship and when I was 11 years old I very clearly remember wondering what he does on a Saturday morning after working long hours during the week. He would come home to the family for Saturday/Sunday lunch being sunburnt, smiling and stoked! I clearly suffered from FOMO and wanted to be a part of it all. In the early 90’s girls surfing was almost non-existent in South Africa, so with two daughters my dad never thought his girls would take up the sport he loved so much. In order for me to get involved – it meant waking up at 4:30am on the weekend to get on the road and find perfect waves at sunrise on the South coast of Kwazulu-Natal. Fond memories that I hold close to my heart.

2. What would you say to someone who has never been surfing?

You have to give it a try, at least once! The ocean heals and the beach is free for us all to use. To have a relationship with the ocean is a sense of freedom like no other. So I would recommend finding a good surf school and take a few beginner surf lessons with a certified coach who will be able to create a safe and supportive space to learn.

Photo Credit: Kim Bouchier

3. How many countries have you visited to surf? Which beach was your favourite?

I must be honest, I haven’t ever counted all the countries I have been too but off the top of my head – about 20 different countries, probably a bit more. 

4. What is the most enlightening thing surfing has taught you?

To be present – a form of meditation for me really.

5. What would you say to other women to inspire them to go surfing?

You are never too old to start surfing! During lockdown I had a 52 year old mom of four reach out to me to take her surfing – she is now an avid surfer who is in the water often and enjoys the natural form of exercise, stress relief and time she gets to herself. Being connected to the ocean has so many healing properties, you just need to overcome the fear and give it a try.

6. What is your honest opinion about your Sapmoks?

I LOVE my Sapmoks – they are incredibly comfortable and being locally made using ethical leather just makes my heart so happy. I have a pair of black Allrounder boots which I tested this winter and I was able to use them from beach to bush during my travels without getting wet socks (which was always an issue in my life). The low-cut dusty pinks are my go to when in Cape Town and I literally get a compliment multiple times a day when I wear them. 

If you enjoyed this interview, stay tuned for the other Goddesses Of Today posts!

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Written and interviewed by Annabelle Cloete