By Nineth Rachma
Indonesia’s First Competitive Longboard Female Surfer.
When others keep themselves out of the sun, she’s out there dancing her way onto the waves, embracing the thrilling rides that for most other girls ( and guys ) are foreign and terrifying.
From a concrete jungle life to an island life
If you’ve ever been to Batubolong beach, you might have seen from afar a girl simply dancing and cross-stepping her sparkling beautiful tanned legs gracefully on her pink longboard with a contagious smile on her face – it’s most likely Flora, the longboard’s dancing goddess.
Flora Christin Butarbutar was born in a small town near Medan, North Sumatra. The 26 year old young beauty decided to end her life in Jakarta’s concrete jungle in 2014, leaving her career as a Human Resources leader – she was the youngest member in her team at one of the biggest logistics company – to start traveling. The free spirited Flora decided to pack her backpack and headed off for two months of traveling that ended up becoming two years. She traveled South East Asia and Sri Lanka and explored pretty much the entire Indonesian archipelago from the West to the East (Sumatera to Papua). Flora learned about who she really is and what she wants in life through her two years of traveling; she discovered her true happy self and loving life attitude by doing and being different from the majority.
The pink longboard and a contagious smile
Moving to the Island of the Gods in February 2016 to find a job, Flora ended up falling in love with surfing. She rented a board at the beach for months until she finally owned her own first board – a secondhand longboard from a local on which she learned her first cross step and nose ride. She’s gotten better each day and the ocean quickly became her second home where she danced and laughed freely on that board of hers until FLKLR came along this year and shaped her a brand new board and she has been riding for them ever since.
When asked about whether or not pink is her favorite color, she said ” Pink is not my favorite color but I was like, why not pink? ”In fact her pink longboard – a 9’2” MarMar singlefin has become her signature, “what is Flora without her pink board?”, she added. The board features a flat nose and a bit of rocker on the tail. “It’s a noseriding board and it has flowery cloth under the glass on the nose with a big white fin” she explained. The fact that she can do dance moves on her longboard was one of the reasons why she enjoyed it more than short boards, beside it’s easier to surf on compared to shorter boards and she added “I feel like a lady when I’m on it”.
She has since became one of the most photographed surfer girls on the island, but who can blame her? With her smiles and graceful dance moves on that pink longboard of hers – she’s undeniably and naturally photogenic.
Flora goes international
Having recently made her way into the Asian longboard competition in Japan, Flora is beyond grateful for the support of her sponsors in her debut in an international level contest as the first competitive Indonesian female longboard surfer, and to have competed and given her best amongst some of the best professional female longboard surfers – Flora felt amazing and aims to perform better next time – “I’m a surfer girl now” she added proudly.
We can all tell now by the way she gracefully dances on her longboard with a smile on her face, she certainly belongs in the ocean.
Comfortable in her own skin
When asked about how she became the free spirited – open minded girl she is today who is way ahead of the stereotypes of Indonesian women, Flora said that despite her conservative upbringing – it’s the culture she’ll forever respect – it will never stop her from being out in the ocean as her form of gratitude in the abundance of Indonesia’s most beautiful beaches, “it’s silly not to” she said. And there she rides waves after waves, deciding to be herself with no fears of being judged by others. Having lived in three different cities already, Flora has experienced more than most Indonesian females have at her age. She clearly has mastered the art of being comfortable in her own beautiful tanned skin.
Amongst many other things, according to Flora, surfing has taught her how to be patient and confident, how to be wise in choosing the right waves and how to be tough when that big set just breaks on top of her head.
She’s bombarded by messages and adorations from the people she’s met and inspired on a daily basis, and while she’s an inspiration for many – both in real life and through her social media stories, she also has inspirations of her own such as Korri Han and Kassia, the Pro surfers she’s met while out in the water.
Flora who has a dream about running her own surf retreat for girls and also has a message to younger generations and those who want to learn surfing : “For you, be out there, do it as much as you can. Make sure to follow the rules, we all want to be a good surfer but safety should always be our priority. Give a smile when you are out there, because the best surfer is the one who has the most fun”.