New Pier in the 90’s and into the early millennium was a far tougher place than it is now. You had to learn fast if you wanted to continue surfing out there, and it was amongst this pressure that our featured wave assassin earned her stripes. She has since gone on to represent her country a number of times in international competitions, and can now be seen working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to ensure that South Africa continues to produce surfing champs, like herself.
Meet this week’s Surf Ninja, Tasha Mentasti…
NAME: Tasha Mentasti
AGE: 33 going on 23
LOCAL SPOT: That’s a tough one since I am a nomad (aka currently homeless), but I would have to say when in KZN it’s the New Pier (grew up surfing there). In the Eastern Cape it’ll be Seals and Supers, and in the Western Cape you will find me out at Long Beach.
BEST THING ABOUT SURFING?
Living in the moment and leaving all your troubles on land. There is also nothing better than sharing the stoke with friends (or strangers) in the water while you’re having an epic session.
WORST THING ABOUT SURFING?
Nothing bad about surfing… seriously! I am super blessed to be a surfer girl! Wouldn’t have it any other way.
TO MAKE A LIVING I..?
Live in a bikini and the beach is my office (laughs). I am a jack-of-all-trades and can’t get stuck in an office for too long, so I travel and get to hang out and meet amazing people. I commentate at a lot of the SSA sanctioned events; assist with organising surfing events around the country; run ISA Level 1 accredited surf instructor courses; do private coaching with various groms; as well as share the stoke of surfing with foreigners visiting Cape Town in the Summer months.
THREE TRACKS THAT HELP YOU SHRED?
Coco Loco – Any of his mixes
Skene Bros – Olmeca House Sessions * YES I LIKE TO DANCE *
Him Self Her – Gone Too Long
BEST SURFER IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW?
Kelly Slater is still my man and Bianca Buitendag is a true inspiration.
DAWNIE OR ARVO SESH?
Dawn patrol in the warm water areas, and afternoon session in the cold water spots – I don’t dig getting nipple rash 😉
WHICH SPOT DO YOU HAVE TO SURF BEFORE YOU DIE?
WHEN YOU ARE NOT SURFING, YOU CAN BE FOUND WHERE?
Commentating at various surf events around the country. Otherwise either in a pilates studio or tanning with a good book. If you’re lucky, you may find me jamming on the dance floor as ‘Tequila Tash’ (she doesn’t get out that often these days).
Hmmm… biggest fear! Ummm, losing my family. But that’s not a fear, but a very big loss. Ok, so my biggest fear would be. . . being unprepared when paddling out to Dungeons. Twigs and Chris Bertish, you guys are going to help me on that one, right?
BEST SURFING MEMORY?
There are so many but one that sticks out for sure is sharing the VERY early morning Supers lineup with just my dad and brother out. The waves were 4-5ft and fun and we were all just hooting and hollering at each other sitting in the barrel for over an hour before the crowds started. Another epic session was in Indo, my best guy friend and I found this insane wave and NO-ONE came out all day! Maybe it was us just on the right island, at the right time, with the right swell direction, but we surfed till we could not handle any more waves and our lips were burnt to a crisp… My life is good!