Female surfer rides China's waves

By Deng Zhangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-07-09 07:26:49

Female surfer rides China's waves

As one of China's first professional female surfers, Liu Dan has pioneered a rare trend in a country where many women shy away from the sport, which requires spending a lot of time in the sun. Provided to China Daily

Liu Dan, one of China's first female surfers, tells Deng Zhangyu about getting thrown off her board, the life lessons to be learned in water and why she is passionate about clean oceans.

Female surfer rides China's waves

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Surfer Liu Dan will never forget the day four years ago when she was nearly swallowed by 3-meter waves in the Philippines.

Liu and her board were dumped by the strong waves, her body was thrown around in the rough waters like a rag doll. Underwater, she panicked, fearing death. But seeing a friend surfing nearby gave her the power to regain her calm. She fought the rough ocean for half an hour before she succeeded in swimming to safety.

"I was overwhelmed by negative emotions when the waves overpowered me. After I survived them, I knew I would be brave enough to face any danger," recalls Liu.

"Surfing makes me very happy even though I've been choked by water, hurt by my board and burned by a boat's exhaust pipe," says the 28-year-old. Sometimes surfers travel offshore by boat in search of waves.

Liu is one of China's first female surfers. Surfing is a minority sport in China, especially among women, who traditionally do not like spending too much time in the sun.

For Liu, standing on a surfboard and riding the waves is her greatest joy. She says the challenges she has overcome while surfing have helped to build up her confidence in other areas of her life.

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