Darci – A Free Soul With a Passion
Darci Liu is considered China's first female 'pro' surfer who helped pioneer the sport in her country. We´re so happy to get a chat with her about how´s everything started and her love and passion for the ocean environment.
FIRSTLY, DARCI, PLEASE TELL US LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOURSELF.
My Name is Darci Liu Dan , I’m 31 years old , I’m a surfer, a diver , and an ocean lover. Currently I am living in the southern part of China, Hainan Island where I am teaching surfing, I am organising promotional events of surf culture and also for environmental conservation activities. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the people here living on a tropical island, where I get to ride warm waves and drink fresh coconut water all year around. Someone who grew up almost 1000 kilometers away from the ocean, I am now living a life of sharing this lifestyle with other people.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.
Free spirit, adventurer, passionate.
TRADITIONALLY CHINA ISN´T KNOWN FOR IT´S SURF, SO WHY DID YOU START SURFING?
As a very active person, I always enjoy the ability to be able to learn new things, so when I moved to Sanya in 2007, and learned how to surf here, from that point on I was just hooked.
WHERE´S YOUR LOCAL BEACH AND WHAT´S IT LIKE THERE?
My local beach is Houhai Beach , the bay is about 2km long, beautiful white sandy beach and clean warm water. It’s an excellent beginner surf spot with a nice long bay. Houhai Beach has a few surf peaks with sandy bottoms, a left side point break, but the left point only works from the end of October-March. I can pretty much surf all year around here.
HOW HAS SURFING CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Surfing is the main key component in my life which has opened so many different doors for me! It’s lead all kind of different opportunities to me during this life journey. But what I feel has truly changed my life the most, is the people! The people I’ve met and the things they do has been inspiring me every single day which is what lead me to where I’m today.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR GREATEST SURFING SUCCESSES?
Well, being China’s very first professional competitive surfer in the countries history I do consider to be a great success so far! For me though, more importantly is through surfing the connection I have with the ocean is definitely the biggest success!
YOU´RE NOT ONLY INTO SURFING BUT ALSO INTO CONSERVATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT. TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR ENGAGEMENT AGAINST OCEAN POLLUTION.
As a surfer and diver I’m deeply in love with our ocean, but being China’s first professional surfer and only promoting surfing as a sport in our country was not enough for me! Especially now, surfing is going to be in the Olympics, so our governments is putting a lot of work into promoting surfing in China. For me being a surfer is not just about riding the waves nor winning a contest, it’s the whole surfing life style, and that is what changed me into someone who cares and respects our environment with so much passion. Giving back to our environment plays very big part in surf culture and being China’s surf role model I feel like I have to be that person to deliver this important message to the future generations. So, I frequently organise beach clean ups, give talks and organise work shops about ocean conservation. I also travel to other countries to work with tv production companies to make conservation educational videos through surfing and diving. Currently I’m working on getting the local bars and restaurants here in Houhai to stop using plastic straws as they are a huge part of ocean pollution. These are just the things I do to raise awareness and encourage people to care more about our Environment.
WHAT´S BEING DONE AROUND THE BEACHES IN CHINA?
Way over developed and too many buildings! The man-made island in the oceans have killed our coral reefs. To me this is why we need more surfers and ocean lovers who eventually, not just hope, but to help the development stop at some point.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO RESTORE AND MAINTAIN OCEAN HEALTH?
Well, to me if we can all try our best to change our lifestyle as a whole, try to go vegan once a week, try our best not to use plastic items. Ultimately, passing and sharing this message to more people which I hope will help motivate more people to do the same.
HOW COULD "BEACHCUTIES" READERS, INSPIRED BY YOUR ENGAGEMENT, HELP TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE BOTH LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY?
We all know, now a days the environment problem is effecting our own life, I’m sure beachcuties readers are mostly ocean lovers like myself, who loves beautiful beaches and a clean ocean. No one wants to see dirty beach, for that reason I started an Instagram account called “ take away from the sea” to encourage people when they go visit a beach, instead of spending time collecting shells and corals to use this time to pick up trash on that beach followed by taking pictures of their actions and share those photos to encourage others.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU AND HOW DO YOU KEEP SO OPTIMISTIC AND POSITIVE?
A lot of people in my life who are doing great things for our world have inspired me. But, simply being grateful, focusing on the things you have instead what you don’t have, that will definitely keep you on the positive track.
WHAT GIVES YOU THE BIGGEST SMILE?
Being in the water, surfing, diving with marine life, that will always put a huge smile on my face for sure.
WHAT PLANS HAVE YOU GOT FOR THE FUTURE?
I got a free soul, so I got no plan... hahaha!!!
Please follow her Instagram @darsea_liu and @take__away_from_the_sea
Tap the link to her website www.darciliu.com