‘For whatever we lose, it’s ourselves we find in the sea’- E.E.Cummings and the only female Stand Up Paddle Surfer of India – Tapashi Devchoudhury defines this saying.
Meet India’s first Female Stand up Paddler: Tapashi Devchoudhury
Tapashi is that woman who left her comfortable desk job to pursue her true calling- Stand up Paddle Surfing (SUP). Tapashi is from Assam and now she has her paddle board filled house in Mandrem, Goa. Before getting into Paddle surfing, Tapashi used to work in a public sector job. The job started getting static for her but she found a way out to break the monotony.
She was stationed in Orissa & after finding out the details of one surfing school in coastal Orissa, she enrolled herself for her first introductory course. Initially she would go surfing on the beaches of Orissa but when she enrolled herself for the course she would travel overnight every weekend to Konark and then to Vishakhapatnam to practise surfing.
She would reach home on Monday to get back to work. Somewhere in due course she realised that her weekend is what she could live every day. And hence she left the job and took up Stand up Paddle boarding full time.
Born in the hills but she found her true calling in the sea.
For Tapashi the journey from SUP surfing is where she can see herself grow everyday with every wave that she chases. The humble woman that she is reflects in her words here,
“Surfing is a very deep spiritual calling for me. I would never see Surfing, Stand Up Paddling, Yoga, Paddle Yoga any of these as a competition”.
Tapashi has got a very positive outlook towards life. She lives her life the way she wants and enjoys it every single day. As she says,
“There is always going to be this fear today, that fear tomorrow which is going to hold us back from what we really want to do”.
She motivates us to pursue our dreams and not stick to the conventions of a typical 9-5 job kind of a lifestyle.
“Adventure for me is not something that you do once on your holidays. It’s something that you live. There are things that come to you everyday when you follow your heart and the Universe sends you whatever you need.
Check out this Video here in a Tete-a-Tete with Tapashi Herself
About Stand up Paddle Surfing
Stand up Paddle surfing and Stand up Paddle Boarding is an offshoot of Surfing from the Hawaiian Islands.
Stand up Paddle Boarding is where the surfer has an upward stance on the board and uses a paddle to wade in the water. Paddle boarding delivers a full-body workout. Since you stand at your full height, you can enjoy unique views of everything from sea creatures to what’s on the horizon.
In the 1940s there were two surf instructors named Duke Kahanamoku and Leroy and Bobby AhChoy who began stand up paddle boarding as a way to stand on their boards during incoming swells. Thus, the phenomenon known as Beach Board surfing was born. In the 1990s the Hawaiian surf schools started teaching stand up paddle boarding as an alternative way to surf when there is little swell. Since then, this practice became increasingly popular.
A variation of stand up paddle surfing (SUP), combined with yoga, Stand Up Paddle Yoga originated in Rishikesh, India. It involves doing yoga poses on a board. It combines hatha yoga and vinyasa yogaasanas, or poses. Practitioners may practice on the beach sand or in a swimming pool. The practice is usefull to gain the strength and flexibility (anatomy) required to maintain the balance and postures on fluid water such as the ocean or a lake. They can begin by moving through a sequence of yoga postures, while standing on a normal length surfboard or a specially designed stand up paddle board.