Author Archives: Laura Werle

Laura Werle is a graduate of the Global Health Master's at Maastricht University, with research interests in gender equality, human rights and subsequent well-being. Beyond her studies, you'll find her catching waves, jotting down thoughts, and speaking up for LGBTQIA+ rights.
Two men walking along the street in front of the Shaka house decorated with palm trees and sunshine

Waves of Well-being: Surfing at the Shaka Surf Club in Kodi Bengre, India

Surfing’s roots are in long-standing cultures in the Pacific Islands, South America, and West Africa. After wave-riding was banned by European Missionaries who deemed it leisurely and “savage,” surfing’s contemporary “revitalisation” took place in Hawaii where it became a notable phenomenon of the 20th century. Nowadays, surfing represents a subculture around an “alternative” sport, a lifestyle, and an art with profound personal and lifestyle implications (Ford & Brown, 2006). Likewise, in India, particularly in the fishing village Kodi Bengre, surfing means much more than simply sliding along a wave. This qualitative study captures how the Shaka Surf Club shapes perceptions of well-being and mental health in surfers and surrounding community members in Kodi Bengre. (read more...)