MEETING WITH SVETLANA MISHANOVA, ATHLETE, ARTIST IN LOVE WITH BALI
21 October 2021
This wake-surf Russian champion explains to us why she loved so much to spend the two last years in Bali during the pandemic, her passion for surf and her artistic inspirations linked to the ocean.
Since when do you live in Bali?
I have been coming and going for 12 years between Moscow and Bali but thanks to Covid, I was able to stay these last two years without leaving the island. I made a name for myself in wake-surf competition, a discipline practiced on the ocean as well as on rivers, consisting of being pulled by a boat and surf the stem wave once the rudder had been released. I scored some podiums in Europe and in Russia but since 2016, I moved on to different things.
Did you start surfing?
It has been 10 years since I started but I progressed much more during the last two years than during the past eight ones. I currently have the level to do competition but I rather enjoy surfing as a way of life and a pleasure, surf has changed my life. Surfing is a never ending story, once we start we cannot stop and we become addicted to the incredible feeling of sliding on smooth waves.
Your favorite spot in Bali?
Definitely Uluwatu. It’s a diamond among the most renowned worldwide spots. And during Covid, it was a unique occasion to surf without the crowd because this spot really attracts surfers from all over the world. Sometimes, before Covid, it was impossible to make a way for yourself there because way to many people were on the waves. I am very fortunate and have been blessed to be here during that period.
Same goes for your nature gateways?
Yes, I love surf as much as I love waterfalls, I discovered a lot in Bali where there was literally no one, it helps me break my routine to go wonder in nature. I go and go back to share these treasures and sensations with my family and my friends.
We noticed that waterfalls are popular among your Russian compatriots, do you know why?
I do not know about Russians and I don’t understand why you asked me this question. Thinking about it, I never saw any waterfalls in Russia, even if there must be some, far from Moscow where I was born. I can tell you about my personal opinion, I am a real fish, I love water and the liquid element is really incredible, I can say I spent my whole life in water. I practiced swimming at a high level until I was 15 years old and I learned synchronized swimming, waterpolo and diving during boarding school. After that I started wake-surf before discovering surf and it changed my life.
You are an athlete but also an artist?
I started painting around 8 years old and just as for surf, it’s a never ending story for me. We can continue to learn and express ourselves during our whole lives. What I really do like, it’s painting the human body, a figurative tendency in my art that I combine with the aquatic element, the ocean, the sea, rivers, and big water splatters. Surf is also found in my art, I am very pleased to have created a series of paintings on this theme during the Covid period, a time that was blessed for creation, so peaceful. I am very thankful to Bali and for every day that I spend here.
Want to surf in Bali?
This paradise is full of amazing surf spots offering tubular waves. Enjoy your trip on the island of Gods and learn how to surf or for experimented surfers, to improve your take off.
Best surf spots in Bali:
1. Uluwatu - The not to be missed spot
2. Padang Padang - The spot for the kings of surfing
3. Bingin Beach - The tube machine spot
4. Nusa Dua - The accessible spot
5. Balian - The intimate spot
6. Medewi - The local spot