SRFACE Diaries gives you a peek into the lives of our ambassadors. Because we all surf but have so much more that makes us interesting human beings. This week: Ocean photographer, woodworker and surfer Tim Wendrich from Hamburg, Germany. Images by Tim and Sebastian Keim.
How did you start surfing?
At first I started swimming in a team at the age of 5 and windsurfing at the age of 8. So water, the ocean and waves were always part of my life. In my early twenties I tried to surf waves without a sail for the first time and since then I left my sails in the attic more and more often. It was a relief that I only needed a board and a wetsuit, which suited well to travelling the world as a photo assistant at that time. And what can I say, surfing became one of the most important things in my life very quickly.
Why do you surf?
I just love being in the ocean. No matter how big or (im)perfect the waves are, I just love being out there experiencing nature. For me, surfing is not only about catching waves and riding them. I enjoy watching the surface, experiencing the underwater world and the feeling that there is something so much more powerful than us humans. Of course, it’s one of the best feelings reading and using the power of the ocean to ride on waves, but for me surfing is more a global experience I can’t describe with words than an act of doing sports.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Hmm. Besides brushing my teeth first thing every morning I actually don’t really have typical days in my life so far. My job as a photographer makes every working day unique, cliché as it may sound. I barely shoot in my hometown Hamburg and travel a lot for work. And when I have some time off, I mostly check the European swell charts and hit the road to either shoot in the water or go surfing. But that changes at the moment because due to corona I started a new woodworking business next to my photography. That means walking my dog, having breakfast, using my van for wood transportation, working hours in the workshop, dinner, bed… you know what I mean. And honestly: I love it. So let’s see what the future brings but as everything is somehow connected, like surfing with surf photography, woodwork with frames for my pictures, traveling to take them and so on, I picture myself in a good combination of everything – photo work, woodwork, traveling, ocean, family, doggo. But I can promise that I will not be able to describe a typical day in my life soon. And if I could, I would change that immediately. I just don’t want to spend my time living a life I can describe in a couple of sentences, to be honest.
What is your favorite surf destination?
I don’t really have a favorite destination. I love exploring new places and every time I come back from a trip, I am more than stoked about all the new impressions. If I could, I would probably never visit a place more than 2 or 3 times but rather explore something new. But if I had to choose an outstanding place I really enjoyed surfing, it would be Siargao Island in the Philippines (back when it was not that crowded yet). Blabla… I don’t want to start the crowd discussion but the more people the less interested I am in going somewhere. (Fun fact: I might be the only surf photographer who has never been to Bali and I might never go :-). That’s probably why I prefer colder places more than your typical tropical surf-dream-destinations.
Everyone has a surfboard with a story, what’s yours?
My favorite board is the OK Model by Sharpeye. I bought it in Sao Paulo after one of my first really big jobs overseas. A very successful photographer I assisted once told me to spend the money I would earn with my first big job on something completely for myself without even looking at the price, just as a reminder of the start of my career. He bought himself a used Rolex for over €5000. I bought a surfboard and extended my stay in Brazil with the rest of my money. I’ve learned that there is more than a career in photography in my life and that I have to make a split between a decent career in advertising photography, money and my passion to enjoy the ocean whenever I can. And the funny thing about that story is, that the board which symbolises all of this and my way of living, has a big OK written on it.
What accounts should we follow on Instagram?
Follow @9GAG, have a laugh while you’re on the toilet, put your phone away and go outside with a smile.
Name one thing you would give up surfing
Anything else you want to share?
Don’t take surfing too seriously! Have fun, behave and enjoy the ocean.
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