Image courtesy of Suzanne Hart of SHE surfs.
Life has a way of taking us down paths we never thought we could take. If you were to ask Suzanne Hart what her childhood dream job was, chances are it would not have involved surfing. But now, after this member of the “Puberty Blues” generation caught the surf bug on a trip to Hawaii several years ago, spreading the love of surfing to other women has become her passion. “I’m on a bit of a mission,” Suzanne says, “to see if we can’t introduce more women who never thought they would ever be capable of doing this to get out there on a wave.”
Suzanne takes on this mission by leading surf retreats to Bali through her business, SHE surfs. “There are a lot of people doing retreats in Bali, and so I am by no means original in concept,” she explains. “However, I’m different to the style of program that I offer.” And indeed she is. “The challenges are always to find the differentiation between what you do and what everybody else does, just so that you can get that niche and then be true to it, focus on it.”
While many surf retreats are catered toward an audience of free-spirited twenty-somethings, Suzanne’s programmes offer a bit more of a luxurious twist and are founded on the idea that anyone can experience the thrill of surfing, regardless of age, background, or body type. “That massive leap from, ‘Here’s something I’ve just done that I never thought I would be able to do,’ that’s brilliant for me,” she says.
From making the decision to leave a large organisation and start up an events management business, to working each day to make sure each detail is correct, Suzanne faces challenges even in her dream job. So what is it that drives her in her work? “I think that the Golden Rule for me, I always ask myself these two words,” she says, “and those two words are, ‘Why not?’”
Maybe it’s all the surfing wisdom or just an outright passion for what she does, but Suzanne’s attitude is nothing short of inspiring. “It’s like surfing, you know? You get knocked down, you get back up again. And if you don’t keep getting back up again, you’re never really going to know how different it’s going to look the next day or the day after. So you know for me, I just think that life is short and wonderful and amazing, and there are so many opportunities that we can take if we just open our eyes, potentially believe in ourselves.”
Maddie Buresh is a writer and photographer with an unquenchable desire to explore the great outdoors, from the ocean to the mountains. She finds joy in trying new things, living in community, and crafting stories that encourage people to go outside, have adventures, and enjoy this big, beautiful world.