Kika Starts Surfing!


[* 1 -Come surf with Pipa, Jaime and Kika! *]

Kika starts Surfing

Mum, Dad and Joey were all very happy because a new baby was going to join the family in April of 2003. This time it was going to be a little girl!

“A girl, yes,” Mum said. “And a very active one at that. She won’t stop moving in my belly! She must love being in the water!”

Francisca Maria was born, chubby, with no hair and with two deep blue eyes. She was beautiful! Her brother Joey, who was two and a half years older, enjoyed watching the newly arrived child. Yes, until she grew up a little bit and started doing a lot of silly things!

At school, she was playful, funny and loved laughing almost all the time, but when she didn’t want something or when she wanted something she couldn’t have, she started moaning and shouting so loud that she made all the other children cry. Like the teachers used to say, she was a naughty little child! Kika always had a very distinctive personality and always knew what she wanted. She was a teaser and a rascal.

And what about at home? Oh, poor Joey! Francisca liked to steal all of his toys: she climbed up to all the dangerous places, jumped on and off the sofa and threw everything out from the drawers and all the shoes from the car so that her poor Mum could never wear them. She did silly things all the time! Her brother didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry: Kika really had a lot of energy!

Since their parents were surfers, the family used to go to the beach on weekends and holidays. Mum and Dad never insisted that Joey start surfing, but they couldn’t wait for that moment to come. He was almost five years old when he decided that the time was right.

A foam surfboard, sent directly from California on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, was there waiting for this moment to come.

Mum started going to the beach often with the two children so that Joey could start riding his first waves on the shore. She asked Kika to stay in the sand while she pushed her brother on the board. Kika always stayed calm and quiet for five minutes and then started shouting and crying because she wanted to venture further into the water, behind them. Mum had to go get her and put her on her shoulders as she continued pushing Joey in a less comfortable but still manageable way.

Having always watched her brother, it didn’t take long for Kika to also start wanting to surf. She had her first contact with the waves and a surfboard at around three years old: it was during the Easter holidays, when her parents decided to go down South to visit Porto Covo.

A couple of North Americans were also there. They had three children, all who loved to play with Francisca and Joey. Especially Christian, who was twelve and the youngest of the three. They made sandcastles, did somersaults, climbed on each other’s shoulders and played chicken; they dug in the sand and made structures with shells, sticks and stones and walked around the beach, picking up and cleaning away the rubbish. They were very happy, and life was full of fun.

Since they were all good friends and always responsible for each other, when Christian asked Francisca’s mother: “Can I take Kika for a ride with the board?” Pipa answered: “Of course you can!”.

It’s very important that these experiences go well, as it’s easy for a child to become traumatized by the sea.

“Muuuuuuuuum, Francisca is crying!” shouted Joey after a while.

“Oh no, it mustn’t have gone very well. I saw everything!” said Mum, “Christian gave a massive push on the board, which flipped over and landed for a few seconds over her head. I hope this goes well!”

“Mum, Mum! I will never surf again! I don’t like it! I can’t breath!” cried Kika.

just with the bodyboard. She would dive and let the waves carry her, but didn’t want anything to do with surfing.

Before the summer of 2009 – the year of Kika’s first grade, when she was six – she had a new brother, Jaime. She felt like a grownup now, as she was the big sister who was starting school. She also felt stronger and more confident in the water since she had been swimming a lot.

Finally, Kika asked her mother to try catching some waves with the surfboard once again.

Her mother was so happy! She had never insisted because she didn’t want to force anything. She knew that Kika was driven and a hard worker, and that she would enjoy surfing: she had a true talent for sports.

When the parents love an activity and practice it, it’s natural for them to want their children to do the same because they can practice together, thus making it easier to run the family. Pipa, Francisca’s mother, had always thought and dreamed about travelling and sharing the waves with her children in Hawaii, Australia, Peru, or Indonesia.

After a short time pushing and pulling in the water, Kika was already able to go back and forth in the waves. The board she was using was big and rounded on the front in order to give her stability. It was perfect for the small waves, and it had the symbol of a rocket. Actually, it was a rocket itself. Unfortunately, it was her mother’s!

Kika’S first board and the Birthday Party!

A man from California, internationally known for making very good surfboards, came to Portugal to make some for the Portuguese surfers in a factory of a friend of Kika’s parents.

“Francisca’s going to be eight and my friend Timmy is here,” said Dad. “We should use this opportunity to buy her a new board.”

Yes, it was time to have a tailor-made board for Kika. She needed to improve. A board made for her height and weight would allow her to progress much more and to fully enjoy this sport, since it was now officially part of her life.

On April 30th, 2011 it was time to sing “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to Kika!”

“Happy Birthday, little princess! Here you go, this is your present!”

Francisca’s beautiful green eyes (they had changed colour when she was eighteen months) opened wide in disbelief as she held in her hands her very own board. It was a white board with green lines: a Rising Sun! And what a big surprise! Her parents had managed to keep the secret until the big day.

Thank you! I’m so happy! Can I take it to my party today, Mum?” she asked.

“Of course, dear, it’s for you! It’s your surfboard!”

It was 1:30 p.m., and they had planned that the birthday party would start at 2:30 p.m. on the beach, since Francisca’s mother, Pipa, had started giving surf lessons. They still had to pack the car with the foam surfboards and wetsuits for all ten guests, as well as the food. They decided to take some juices, a bowl full of apples and tangerines and, of course, a cake: a chocolate salami shaped in a number “8” and decorated with smarties. What a simple yet tasty snack!

As soon as they arrived, they started unloading the car.

“Everything can go on the sand, except the cake. I will ask the ladies at the snack bar to keep it until it’s time to sing Happy Birthday,” said Mum.

“Hi, Afonso, look at my new board!”

“Hi, Kika! Wow, you’re so lucky! I’ve been dreaming about having one for a long time, but my parent’s still haven’t bought me one…”

“Hello, hello, hello, hello!” said the group.

The guests had all arrived with a lot of presents, and all the children were anxious to get in the water! Two of them had already tried surfing, but for the other eight it was the first time.

“Kids, I will hand out the wetsuits, but since you are so many, I will split you in two groups. One group will go with Afonso Tavares and the other one with João Izagui, who both have already tried surfing, with four more beginners each. While the first group is out, the rest of you can stay here and make sandcastles. When the first group finishes, you will switch and they will stay here and play with the sand. Oh, there’s going to be a prize for the three best creations! Okay?” said Mum.

“Yeeeeeeeeeees!” answered the children.

All they wanted was to play. They all put on sunscreen and wore their wetsuits. However, as we all know there’s always a distracted one in every group:

“Gustavo, your wetsuit is on backwards! The zip goes in the back!” said Kika.

Everybody burst out laughing, including Gustavo, who couldn’t even take off the wetsuit amidst all the amusement.

With a little help, everything was sorted and off they went towards the shore, carrying their boards two by two: it’s always easier this way!

Meanwhile, little Jaime was there in the middle of the guests having fun, eating sand, playing with the ball, totally unaware of the fact that two years later he would be the one to start riding his first waves

“Let’s warm up, kids, and get our heart rates up. We will start by running and then do some exercises for our joints and flexibility. It’s very important to warm up properly before entering the water,” said Pipa.

“Can we play human football?” asked Pedro, who was always thinking about football in some way or another.

“Ok, let’s do that,” Pipa responded.

Everybody played and did some exercise. They learned how to perform a take-off (how to stand up on a board). The first group then went into the water.

Francisca wet her board and smiled. “Now it’s time to try you out!”

Before beginning to push and pull the other children in the waves, Mum waited for Kika to be behind the swell, in the line-up, ready to catch the first wave. She was very curious.

“Go, Kika!” shouted her friends.

A big wave was coming; it was almost half a meter high! Kika started paddling strongly, she looked left and stood up, always looking at the wave, and managed to drop into it and ride it until the end.

“Amazing!” she shouted. “It’s so easy to catch the waves and the speed with this board, Mum!”

“Now all you need is just to strengthen those arms so you can duck dive (pushing the board underwater, nose first, in order to avoid going backwards or being rolled up in the wave) and easily pass through the breaking point. You will start catching more waves and improve much faster!” suggested Pipa.

The other grommets started being pushed in the water and all of them, who had listened to the explanations, managed to stand up on the board. All of them except for… Gustavo!

Kika had to go back to the beach. Her mother had asked her to go back and explain to the others how to take off. It’s very important to pay attention to all life’s teachings: everything will be much easier this way!

While riding the waves, all the children were laughing and shouting with excitement. The parents, who had stayed there, were very proud and smiled seeing all that happiness in the water.

Meanwhile in the sand, the building carried on: you could already find a mermaid, a castle, a car, a starfish and a pineapple. They were all pretty nice! João Pedro’s parents were in charge of watching over the sand creations, so that little Jaime or the dogs wouldn’t destroy them. It wouldn’t have been very nice after all that hard work.

It was now time for the other five to get in the water. After a fast warm up, the second group rushed towards the shore full

of excitement. Kika never stopped catching waves and enjoying her moment, and between one wave and the other she helped her mother by pushing and encouraging her friends.

The sand constructions of the group of surfers who had just left the water were a surfing board, a pair of sunglasses, a shell, a tennis shoe and a whale.

“It’s going to be a tough choice,” João Pedro’s mum thought to herself. They were all so nice!

The time came for everybody to leave the water: time for a fast shower, then to take off the wetsuits and put them to dry on the handrail. They all had some juice or water to drink and also ate some fruit, the healthiest snack that children could ever have!

“Should we find out who won the sandcastle contest?” asked Vasco.

“Yes! Yes!” answered the group.

Afonso’s mother, who had been taking photos of the surfing class, also photographed some of the art pieces. The children had made them with so much enthusiasm and dedication.

It’s always difficult to choose a winner, especially when the competitors are very good. Yet, a decision had to be made. It’s very important in life to learn how to win and to lose: as we all know, victory tastes great, while defeat tastes bitter, but when we see things from another perspective and live our lives in a positive way, we can be happy for other people’s victories and learn from our defeats. Everything is easier this way.

The judges were chosen from the outside and they were people who didn’t know the contestants. It was the fairest method. These people were: a couple who was walking on the avenue by the beach, who really loved the invitation, and two brothers who were playing in the sand. They had to write their votes on the piece of paper that they had received earlier with the name of the art piece and a series of numbers, from 1 to 10.

Once that was done, it was time to sing Happy Birthday! Someone went to get the “number 8” cake and all the voices of the children started to rise with enthusiasm, singing “Happy Birthday to Kika!”

Kika was so embarrassed but so happy that she couldn’t stop smiling.

There was applause, lots of hugging and kissing, and finally, the tasty treat arrived. We all deserve one sometimes!

“Mmmm, it’s delicious! Can we have some more?” asked João Pedro, who liked to bite off more than what he could chew and who was the most gluttonous. Maybe that’s why he had the biggest belly in the group!

Once that was done, it was time to sing Happy Birthday! Someone went to get the “number 8” cake and all the voices of the children started to rise with enthusiasm, singing “Happy Birthday to Kika!”

Kika was so embarrassed but so happy that she couldn’t stop smiling.

There was applause, lots of hugging and kissing, and finally, the tasty treat arrived. We all deserve one sometimes!

“Mmmm, it’s delicious! Can we have some more?” asked João Pedro, who liked to bite off more than what he could chew and who was the most gluttonous. Maybe that’s why he had the biggest belly in the group!

“Let’s give away the prizes!” said Mum.

Carolina ended up in the third place with her mermaid, and she received a rash guard to put under her wetsuit. The second place went to João Izagui and to his pineapple, and he received a wallet where he could start saving some money in order to buy his first board.

Finally, the first and winning place went to Gustavo for his tennis shoe: he received a film about surfing that told the story of two young surfers, one who was ten and the other who was twelve, who travelled the world catching waves on five continents and interacting with the local cultures.

Everybody was happy and clapping their hands loudly. Including Gustavo! Besides being distracted and having an artistic side, he loved sliding on the waves and the film was the perfect present for him: it would help him focus more on a sport that, starting from that day, was going to be an important part of his life!


By João Aranha

President of the Portuguese Surf Federation

When we surf we don’t think about others. We focus on a unique present during which time stops and we think about our own personal reality.

Yet, in these funny stories the paradigm changes: we think beyond the well-known self-centered side of this sport and we focus on transmitting its legacy to the people we love, to the people who look up to us.

In this way, our life becomes not just our own, but theirs as well: we live through them and share our surfing experience with them.

Reading these stories, I couldn’t help thinking about my son – who today is almost five years old – and picture the day when he will finally ask me to surf. Maybe Filipa will be his teacher, since I don’t think I’ll be any good at giving classes.

For now, I will read him these stories at bedtime so that he can live Pipa’s, Jaime and Kika’s adventures.

Collection :

Come surf with Pipa, Jaime and Kika!


1 – Kika Starts Surfing!


Author and Editor: Filipa Leandro

Illustrator: Sofia Oliveira

The collection Come surf with Pipa, Jaime and Kika are inspired by the life of a family of surfers. Through their adventures, the intention is to transmit values, teach about surf and pass some cultural knowledge.

It’s a children and youth’s collection!

Lisbon, November 2015


[email protected]

Copyright 2015 – All Rights Reserved by the Author.

Kika Starts Surfing!

Kika, is a very sweet girl ... who decided to be a surfer ....! Once inside her mother´s belly ... it looked like she already loved water, because wouldn’t stop moving around. Had her first contact with surfing when she was 3 years old. Was 8, when she received her first board, wile she was preparing herself to go to the beach, the place that chosed to do her birthday party with friends from school, where they shared waves, made constructions contest in the sand, between bites of pieces of fruit and a slice of a delicious cake, chocolate salami !

  • ISBN: 9781310719950
  • Author: Filipa Leandro
  • Published: 2016-02-23 11:40:08
  • Words: 2972
Kika Starts Surfing! Kika Starts Surfing!