Vilassini Sundar

Location: Chennai, India

Years Surfing: learned in 2013 and started competing in 2015

Fave Board: Chilli Boards

Instagram: @vilassini_sundar

Who got you started surfing? In India the sport surfing wasn’t that popular a decade ago. My mom had read about it in a Tamil Magazine about boys surfing in Kovalam, Tamil Nadu and she told me about it which fascinated me. Later they had hosted a surf event and I got the contant of the surf boys from that village and later learned to surf.

Vilassini Sundar in black and white wearing nike

What is your philosophy on surfing? In India there aren’t great numbers of girls surfing, but the sport is gradually growing. Girls here are much concerned and worried about getting tanned in the sun. But there are few other girls who really have fun with surfing. In 10 years from now, the Indian girl surfers and the next generation will definitely break the barriers and inequalities faced in society. I am also currently working and supporting the other girls to take up surfing.

Best wipeout story? In 2015 I got caught in a close out wave and got pulled towards the rocks, my leg got hit by the rocks and got fractured. It was one of the scariest experiences.

Most memorable surf moment? Becoming the national champion in 2017 and I also made it to the finals in Asian Surfing Series RAST, were some of the best moments so far.

Surf goals? I wanna surf and live in Goldcoast. Also I want to become the national surf champion as much as possible in the next 10 years.

What do you love/hate about surf culture as it pertains to female surfers? It is still taboo in the Tamil Nadu coastal village where girls are not allowed by the family to get into the ocean, though the girls are really interested in surfing. The village community thinks and culture followed by people.

Who are your surf heroes and why? My hero is Bethany Hamilton. I love her, she is crazy, brave, courageous and legend living on earth. She inspires me every single day.

How has your surfing life in the water affected the rest of your life on land? Surfing has changed my life, has taught me how to be patient and never give up. It also made myself much more connected to life around me because of the connection I get from mother ocean.