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Kicking off my 2018 surfing season

My belated Xmas gift: a SEN NO SEN wetsuit

One of the things on my to-do lists when we moved to the beach was to take up surfing.

At first, it was hugely challenging on various accounts.
A part of me was very proud to start surfing at 40+ because I’m a firm believer that anyone of us can start anything we want, anytime, without caring about the age thing.

However, the reality was a bit harder to process.
First, I was the only woman over 40+ at my club to surf (and when I say 40+, I’m actually closer to 50) so often I ended up surfing with teens age 12-17…
It was fine, they were all really sweet and they didn’t really care about me but I had a few lonely moments when I was wondering what on earth I was doing there or what was I trying to prove to myself…
Yet I kept going.

Second, the physical struggle was real.
After ten years running my own business, working long hours and not paying attention to what I was eating, I was overweight, overstressed and really over the person I had become.

For some reasons, I had never made the link between the fit bodies surfers have and the demanding physical abilities this sport requires (duh!).
With insight, it made total sense. Surfing is physically demanding but I never really asked myself the question. Needless to say that I got it after my first sessions…my whole body ached… legs, arms, abs, butts, everything was hurting and I slept like a baby.

I started surfing in May 2016. By May 2017, more women & men in their 30s and 40s had joined the club so it was a nice group of adults at weekends and I knew by then, that surfing would be part of my new life for years to come.

The one thing that I didn’t manage to do was surfing in winter time like Mila does.

I have tried to, believe me, but between the water being so freaking cold and the temperatures outside, it was too much for me.
This year, I’m hoping to make my surfing season longer by starting in April instead of May and hopefully surf until November/December which is why I’m so excited by the belated Xmas gift!

It’s not the latest Isabel Marant‘s Nasko studded leather shoulder bag although I wouldn’t mind receiving it for my birthday on Friday but my new wetsuit still makes me very happy.

So when is the right time to get your own surfing gear?

I think we are often eager to get own gear when we start but I would recommend you wait a bit. First, to see if you’re going to stick to surfing (wetsuits can be pricey and low-entry prices are not comfortable) and to do a bit of research.

At the beginning, we just want to look cool but one year down the line, there are a few more things that were important to me:

  • Being comfortable (i.e. with a suit that wouldn’t force me to curse like hell each time I put it on)
  • Being warm in the water because there is nothing more than a joy killer than being cold
  • and looking good but as there is no such thing as a slimming wetsuit, it’s still a work in progress :-)

Which wetsuit did I go for?

I have been hesitating for months between several brands and came Christmas, I was still doing some research so  I told Steve that I’d rather wait a bit longer…I mean it’s not like I would have gone surfing in January anyway ;-)
In the end, I decided to go for a 4.3 mm women wetsuit in limestone from local brand SEN NO SEN.
Sen no Sen produces quality wetsuits but until recently the price of their wetsuits was quite high.
However, they’ve recently managed to increase their production which led to a lower cost price per wetsuit and better prices for customers. So as soon as I saw this on their instagram, I went to try a few in their shop in Arcachon.

Steve got one too and we’re getting one made for Mila as they are stopping the kids line and she will soon outgrow her wetsuit.

So we’re off trying our gear this Easter weekend and I hope there won’t be 6-m waves like last weekend!

For those interested in surfing, could you let me know if you would like more in-depth articles like “how to choose a wetsuit” etc…thanks

PS: I received a few messages about the rug in our home, so here is the link from the shop I got it from.
Mine is no longer available but they still have very similar ones at 50% OFF! You can also get my Compagnie de Provence scented candle from here.

PS 2: If you enjoy seeing feel-good pictures on your Instagram feed, come and follow my surfing account @peoplefromthesea


Filed under: Surfing


Founder of Award-Winning Concept Store BODIE and FOU (now closed) & Photographer, UK's Top 10 Design blog, mum of one cool surfer, 23 years in London, now living by the beach in France, married to a kiwi.


  1. Oui plus de sujets comme ça !! je suis aussi une 40+… mon rêve absolu est de surfer j’espère essayer le surf cet été ce post m’encourage beaucoup ! Comme je n’y connais rien, tout conseil en matière d’équipement (adultes et enfants je vais y mettre mes filles !) m’intéresse merci 😊

  2. Nathalie says

    Am enjoying reading your blog! Am French and married to an English guy and spent 11 years in London but now back to the South of France! I would like to start surfing with my teenager son… would you recommend somewhere in Portugal ? Which club did Mila belong to when she went to Morocco? Thanks in advance !

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