Interview: Salini Rengganis – The Surfer Girl

Salini Rengganis, 14 years old, is the next promising junior surfer girl from Pacitan, East Java, Indonesia. Salini has already competed in numerous surfing events dating back to 2006, when she joined her first local “Hidden Point” surf competition. Her favorite motto is “Seek the fellowship of at least one new person each day, regardless of that persons social status.” She’s also talented in writing, acting and modeling. had the chance to interview her while she was in Bali for a contest. Check the interview.

Hi Salini! First of all, could you please tell us a bit about yourself…
Hi! My name is Salini, I’m 13 years old. I’m in my 2nd year of junior high school, and surfing is my hobby. I live in Pacitan.

About your hobby… When did you first find out about surfing? Who taught you how to surf?
I started surfing when I was 5 years old, and my father taught me. Before I began surfing, I used to love running on the beach and watching the waves. I asked my father’s permission and he let me surf.

What about Pacitan, are there any good spots and surfers?

There are many surfers in Pacitan, but not many girls who surf because many are afraid of the waves and their skin becoming darker. That’s not an issue for me because surfing is my hobby. My friends support me though and come to contests and we all hang out. There are many good spots in Pacitan and it’s well known for the power of the waves.

At what point did you know that the surf would be more than just a hobby for you?
The waves are like my best friends. If I haven’t seen waves for 1-2 days, I really miss them.

How do you protect your skin from long hours under the scorching sun and salt water?

To protect my skin from the sun I just wear sunblock, and re-apply if I’m out in the water for a longer period of time.

How do you manage school schedules, tasks at home, surfing, and hanging out with friends?
I’ve created a set schedule between surfing and school. It’s not difficult because my teachers knows that surfing is my profession, they understand about contests and stuff. I don’t have too much time to spend with my friends. I surf, study at night, and rest.

What subjects in school are your favorites?
I like all subjects, there are only a few that are quite difficult, especially physics.

Do you have any favorites surfers?

I really like Bethany Hamilton, Stephanie Gilmore and Coco Ho. Amongst Indonesian surfer girls I like Bonne Gea and Diah Rahayu.

Who is sponsoring you? How did they approach you?
I’m sponsored by Surfer Girl. In 2009 there was the Big Splash contest here, and I happen to come in 3rd place. Then Surfer Girl gave me a contract to be sponsored by them. And until now I’m still working with Surfer Girl. 

Where is your favorite place to hang out and surf?
I really like Bali for surfing and spending time. There are so many spots there, so many waves: I like Seminyak, Nusa Dua, and Halfway (Kuta). I love my home for exploring and spending time thought.

What advice would you give to young women athletes, hoping to compete in a sport dominated by men?
Make friends who want to surf, just don’t be afraid of getting a tan, getting cut by fins or hitting the reef. You must be able to bear the risk and exercise a lot. To be a great surfer, you should be able to defeat the other. And remember to keep the environment clean.

Thanks for your time, Salini! Wish you all the best!


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