Bodyboarder Tiffanie Cobb has the Mind, Body & Spirit of the Sea
(TOP PHOTO Rafael Rosado Cortes)
Tiffanie Cobb first came to our attention after we saw the most amazing photo of her in a bodyboarder’s dream barrel. Her big smile and radiating positivity drew us in… Just from that single image we felt empowered. It’s images like these that can bring about change in one’s life. Not just through inspiration but also recognition that women’s sport carries more than just girls performing. It is the recognition that women have a contagious sexiness when they’re doing something they love and doing it damn well.
Tiffanie just turned 24 years old and was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. She grew up an ‘adventurous nerd’ as she puts it. “I’ve always been a very active person, so whatever provided me with a good shot of adrenaline you can bet I would be on it.” It was soccer, rollerblading, rock climbing she was living fast and free.
Living on an island in the Caribbean meant that she’s always had a connection to the ocean spiritually and physically. She’s always felt she was most at home in the ocean and so, following the calling from the big blue, Tiffanie enrolled to study marine biology and now works heavily in ocean conservation in San Juan.
“The ocean has always captivated me with its endless wonders. I was raised near the ocean and would spend most of my days swimming and exploring every aspect of it.” It was only natural for this mermaid to delve deeper into her love with the transition into bodyboarding.
Tiffanie is not a girl who’s been bodyboarding or surfing every day of her life and did not have it integrated into her daily routine from a young age. Rather she has only recently, in the last 2 years mastered the waves with rolls, flips and barrel rides from shories to point breaks.
“My dad used to bodyboard when he was younger and I always wanted to learn how to do it like he did. He taught me the basics when I was little but I never really took it seriously or got into it as a sport. My love of the sport really took off recently when one of my girlfriends asked me to take her out at beach that was near the place I was living. It was her dad’s favorite beach, and she told me would be honored to catch some waves at La Selva in memory of her dad. We paddled out into the line up together and we loved it. I’ve never looked back. I would say this is my first season that I really bodyboarded the whole time. I came back from Indonesia in November wanting to really learn more and surf bigger waves, so I did, I am and I love it.”
Although she’s charging great waves and making light work of her new-found board skills you won’t find this free spirit competing. She says “Right now I’m just a free-rider focused on learning more about the sport. Competing is not my main goal, but I do love bodyboarding and the feeling of happiness and freedom that it gives me. So competing is not out of the question, who knows what life can bring.”
In our campaign to #BRINGBACKTHEBOOGIE in 2015 we are uniting a community of bodyboard girls to show the world the love, fun and ease of the sport. To engage more girls in the waves and create a new movement of boogie chicks.
Tiffanie encompasses every aspect of what the campaign is flourishing in. So what are the fundamentals that girls should know before heading into this new love affair?
“First of all, observing and understanding the waves, winds, currents, and swell. At first you’ve just got to throw yourself into every wave possible (within reason of course). Obviously, I had many many wipe outs before I could ride a wave properly.”
“Once you’re on the road to knowing how to select your wave, posture is extremely important and helps a lot. Once you get it right, you’re good to go!”
The most important thing I have acknowledged is that you never stop learning, you can never totally conquer the ocean so accept that every day is a new challenge.”
“Finally, you really need to learn to be in control of your mind, remaining calm in every situation is a fundamental for any water sport. A little bit of yoga and meditation can be useful in helping you develop this part of your development.”
Picking up a new sport or hobby is not just about the stages of learning, although important, having a group of friends to share the stories, push you outside your comfort zone and laugh with you when you take a heavy wipe out makes it all worth it. Tiffanie bodyboards with a group of friends who she says have helped her to go from strength to strength in the water. She says “They always help me keep myself motivated and trying to push it a little harder to try new things in the sport.”
There may be no competitive aspirations in the pipeline for this Caribbean beauty but she plans to take on the world with her work in marine conservation and surf delicious waves whiles she’s doing it. Inspired by Venezuelan friend Ruth Parra, she hopes to travel the globe visiting Indonesia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Hawaii and her ultimate dream destination of Australia where she says “Not only the waves are perfect, but so is the marine life diversity.”
FOLLOW TIFFANIE ON INSTAGRAM @GYPSEAMOON