"Surfing is like painting on a blank canvas without lifting the brush, creating smooth lines..."
Kuba, a multiple Polish surfing champion, comes from the town called Orzech. However, he spends most of his time on various coasts. He takes part in international competitions of the World Surf League- WSL. His passion goes beyond local beaches and has taken him even to Iceland. He sometimes swims in water with a temperature of just a few degrees. He is actively involved in the development of this discipline by the Baltic Sea.
Jakub Kuzia & TAMO
How did your surfing adventure begin?
My surfing adventure began with simply sliding on my belly on the waves during holidays at the Polish seaside or abroad. Over time, this simple fun began to take on other forms. I started using a so-called bodyboard, which allowed me to float together with the wave for much longer. A bodyboard is a type of board on which you simply lie down and cannot get up. When I was seven years old we went to the Dominican Republic with my parents and that's where I tried traditional surfing for the first time. Unfortunately, it was a one-time adventure for that moment. At the age of thirteen, I started to become interested in surfing. With the help of my parents, I started training on my own in Poland and abroad. I was self-taught.
What inspires you to swim? Especially in the Baltic Sea, which is demanding not only in terms of wave frequency but also temperature.
I love surfing more than anything, I am inspired by just swimming on a wave, or rather by the feeling that accompanies it. It is very unique and special. I feel that this is a feeling I'll always be looking for. The Baltic Sea is my local backyard, it is unique and very close to me. I just know the area very well. During the summer season I pack my board on my bike and see where the best conditions are. This way I get to know the Baltic coast more and more every time. There is no such thing as a swimming season in the Baltic Sea, but thanks to the storms in the northern hemisphere, it is better to swim during winter.
What does preparation for surfing look like in winter?
I take cold showers and winter swim. This affects my thermal comfort during longer surf sessions and generally adapts me to the cold. So-called 'cold water surfing' is definitely a more extreme version of this sport. I also use a completely different thickness of wetsuit in winter, plus I use a hood, boots and gloves.
Do you think surfing has a big role in design and creation? Does it create a certain style?
Surfing is all about the so-called flow, especially when choosing manoeuvres on a wave. For me, it is like dancing on the water. I do think that surfing choreography has a lot in common with design and creation. Over time, every surfer creates something unique in their movement.
Do you think that surfing is a form of art?
I will never forget the words of my coach: "Surfing is like painting on a blank canvas without lifting the brush, creating smooth lines." Yes, it is definitely a unique type of art. It is not only a sport, but also a form of expression, self-improvement and harmony with nature. Surfing allows you to connect with the waves and your surroundings in a way that is often described as artistic and meditative.
You spend a lot of time in your "home on wheels". Do you really feel at home in your van?
Yes, when I turned 18 I went to Portugal for six months and just lived in my van, it was my house on wheels. When I come by the Baltic Sea to swim, I also drive my van to get there. It's a great comfort, especially when you can make yourself a hot cup of tea right after swimming in winter. At the moment I spend a little less time in it, but I will always feel at home in it.
Surfing is like dancing on water, it is all about creating a unique style.