Sne Makhubu - dryrobe® Ambassador
From Durban, South Africa, Sne is one promising young surfer who is inspiring female surfers in South Africa and across the world. Introduced to surfing a decade ago, Sne has achieved some impressive accomplishments as a professional surfer competing on the WSL Women’s Qualifying Series and the Women’s Junior Tour.
Outside her competitive career, Sne is a hugely admired ambassador for Surfers Not Street Children - a nonprofit organisation dedicated to getting children in South Africa and Mozambique off the streets by introducing them to a safe environment and helping them to discover the joys of surfing. The organistaion helps the kids on their programs to transfer their values and skills gained from surfing into adult life and steering them away from street life.
We were stoked to catch up with Sne when she visited the UK alongside fellow dryrobe® ambassador Mini Cho and Surfers Not Street Children founder Tom Hewitt on their latest visit. We talked with Sne to find out more about her progression in the sport, where she’s been visiting on her awesome travels and her future surfing aspirations!
I started surfing 10 years ago. I started with the program because my dad is a Lifeguard at the beach and one of the coaches approached the lifeguards and told them to bring their children to the beach so that they can learn how to surf.
I live in a township in Durban, you know, townships aren’t really the best places to grow up in because there's a lot of gangs and violence, and there's also drug abuse. It's toxic and it's not healthy. My dad wanted me to not be exposed to that and to have something else in mind, something to look forward to doing every day and not be distracted.
So he sent me to the beach and then one of the coaches, Sandlie, taught me how to surf there and I've been with the program ever since.
Last year you travelled to the UK, visiting areas including the South West coast and Scotland! How was it cold water surfing?
I mean, the coldest water I’ve ever been in prior to this was in Cape Town. And so I kind of had a clue, but then it was way colder than that. It was fun. The longest surf that I had was like three hours in Scotland, which was surprising!
In 2018, you went to Jeffreys Bay in South Africa with Surfers Not Street Children. What was the experience like and did you meet any surfing inspirations?
Oh, yes! It was my first time going to like a WSL event. So I was really excited. I met Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Caroline Marks. I was like a big fan! It was good. And obviously, I was with the other girls as well from the GIRLS SURF TOO program and it was really eye-opening.
They ran a special event for underprivileged kids at the contest and they surfed with us. It was so fun because they were just pushing us into waves and it was a great environment to be in. And, also the other girls who are younger than me, they had the privilege of surfing with these amazing athletes, and I'm sure they also were inspired to carry on surfing and maybe reach that level or maybe better their lives.
Where have been your favourite places to surf and what do you love about them?
That’s a tricky question, I mean, there are so many good spots! But, I love surfing on my own break, mainly because there are just so many waves. And if it's too crowded, because it's a coastline and it's divided by piers, so if it's crowded there, you can just go to the other side of the pier, so I like surfing ‘Wedge’ the most because it's just so quiet there and not that many people go there.
When you're not in the sea, what is your favourite thing to do?
I read - I've been reading the book Grit - about getting to your goals and stuff and how to reach them and to be a better person. So I've been really aspiring to do that to myself and to reach my goals as well. I've also been doing a lot of CrossFit, just for fitness and plus it's fun - and I like feeling strong!
What are your surfing aspirations?
Just to continue getting better and my goal at the moment is to possibly qualify for the challenger series and just to be a better competitor.
What have you got coming up this next year and what are you looking forward to the most?
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Photos by N and M Dro-tography