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Thwe Thwe Soe: Road to SEA Games 2019

Thwe Thwe Soe catching waves in Ngwe Saung beach. (Photo; Htun Photography)

Surfing was first introduced in 2015 at the Ngwe Saung Yacht Club & Resort where the Myanmar Wave Rider Cup was hosted with over 30 athletes from 10 countries participated. Since then, the sport has been growing gradually with more local surfers from Bugwe Village joining the ranks of the team. A great milestone was achieved this year as Surf Association of Myanmar was established and recognized by the Ministry of Sports as well as the International Surfing Association, the world governing authority for surfing.  

Surf Association of Myanmar (SAM) has organized the first Surf & SUP National Championships on May 2019 with 6 international countries registered and over 40 participants took part. Two members from SAM has attended an International Judging and Officiating Course in June to gain certification to qualify as sublevel judges for the competitions. Presently, the National team with 7 athletes and a Hungarian coach is training at a camp in Balangan, Bali, Indonesia – starting from 31st July to 28th September 2019. The athletes have also informed that they will be continuing their practice at Ngwe Saung beach from 1st October to participate in the 30th SEA Games that will be held in the Philippines this December. 

Thwe Thwe Soe, or Nida according to her friends, the only female athlete on the National team and the most experienced surfer will be taking part in the biggest international competition in her vocation. Since 2015, she has surfed at 7 beaches in California, 9 beaches in Indonesia and Ngwe Saung beach in Myanmar being the most current spot before she finally competes in the SEA GAMES. Min Ye Kyaw gets in touch with her to discuss about the preparations and métier for the upcoming event.

Born and raised in Yangon, Nida has always loved sports since a very young age. She used to run around her house as fast as she could just to see how many laps she can do before her body almost collapsed. Not a ‘less stress, more success’ player, she paddles her limits in the ocean.

Thwe Thwe Soe at Ngwe Saung beach. (Photo: Phone Kyaw Moe Myint)

“The first time I surfed, I cried. I was completely clueless about how it works. I totally sucked,” she giggled.

Bulletproof, she urged herself to catch her first wave and when she did, she was Hooked on a Feeling! An Adrenaline rush through her veins, as her body realizes its size compared to the colossal ocean.

With a smile, she admits, “I’m thrilled that we, human beings, can do this.” 

Thwe Thwe Soe (Photo: Phone Kyaw Moe Myint)

Nida has officially joined the National team on May 2019 after the National Surf Competition. With her first board, Second hand 5ʼ6” Super Brand Fish board, she has also practiced with her friend Robby, recently hired as a coach of the National team, around 5-7 hours almost every day for two months in California, and now, Bali.

Every day, they would push each other in and out of the water along with two coaches and team manager who film their records. In the evenings they would go over the clips again to see where can they improve. 

“The boys push me out of my comfort zone. They push me to surf bigger waves that I normally would not if I was by myself. Being the oldest ones in the team with the most experience, I cannot be a wuss in front of them,” she talked about preparations for the SEA GAMES.

“All of us look like Blackie Chan now,” she added and laughed.

Grabbing a Super deluxe Baja fish burrito and a large ice cold coke after surfing would refill her energy, yet she misses her favorite spot in Latigo Beach, Malibu, CA where she used to see the beautiful sunset with her friend after a long day.

Sunset in Bali. (Photo: Phone Kyaw Moe Myint)

“The sky turns pink and so does the water, you look around and it’s so beautiful you have to pinch yourself to see if this is real,” Nida recalls.

Her advice, to those who would love to pursue their dream of surfing, is to meditate which also helps her a lot to stay calm in every situation. Hence the ocean can be a scary place sometimes, and it is not always sunshine and rainbows in surfing. So in advance, she pointed out a few tips; respect the ocean, find the waves that are suitable for your level just in case to avoid unnecessary encounters and most importantly, learn to have fun whereas surfing is not supposed to be an extensive sport.

“Yes, try-hard, be competitive, stay positive, and never forget to surf with style,” she agreed.

Watch the clip below to see their trainings in Bali, right now.

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