Bella Gone Surfing- Insights from a Pro Surf Instructor

Bella Gone Surfing:  A quick interview with Isabelle Delfosse our all-star surf instructor


At LeaderSurf we are fortunate to have assembled an amazing team.  Isabelle "Bella" Delfosse is a great surf instructor and a super positive influence on our program participants. She is originally from Belgium and has been living and teaching surfing in Nicaragua for the past five years. She lived and taught surfing in Costa Rica prior to her move to Nicaragua.  

Bella is an amazing teacher who brings her positive energy and passion for teaching to her office "the ocean" everyday.  Bella is an inspiration to all of those who she teaches.  Bella teaches people to reach deep inside themselves and to power through.  She understand the connection between surfing and leadership.Her motto "Paddle, Paddle, Paddle" sticks with her students even when they return home from LeaderSurf and are faced with new challenges. Bellas speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and French.

We sat down with Bella to tap into some of her insights:

LeaderSurf:  How did you become a surf instructor?

Bella:  I did my ISA (International Surfing Association) certified ocean safety and surf instructor course in Ireland.  It was important to be to be a credentialed instructor.

LeaderSurf:  What do you see as the most important life lessons that one can learn through learning to surf?

Bella:  Practice is everything and reconnecting with the powerful source that is the ocean.

LeaderSurf:  What is the biggest challenge most people have when learning to surf?

Bella: Fear and overcoming it.

LeaderSurf:  How does fear relate to similar challenges in life?

Bella:  Mmmm tough, I guess if you don't fear you can pretty much learn anything.

LeaderSurf:  Why is teaching super successful people how to surf more difficult than teaching kids?

Bella:  Because they are adults and feel that they already know so much.  They fear incompetence more than kids.

LeaderSurf:  What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Bella:  Getting people stoked, seeing people catch waves and be SO STOKED about it, making people happy.

LeaderSurf:  Do you believe that learning to surf can make someone a better leader and if so why?

Bella:  I need to be a participant in LeaderSurf to be honest, don't feel like I'm a great leader.  I see how the program is impacting the participants and that makes me happy.

LeaderSurf:  If you weren’t teaching surfing what do you think you would be doing?

Bella:  I love my life so I don't really want to do anything else but if I had to, probably working in fashion production, my own brand or working with factories or something like that. It would have to be somewhere I can surf.

LeaderSurf:  What is your Groove?  Something you do special, better or different than others?

Bella:  I found a way to combine my passions into a career.  I love surfing, I love teaching and I love helping people to overcome their fears.  Nicaragua is my happy place.

Not only is Bella a surf instructor but she runs Sirena Surf House a house, school and shop for surfers.  She has a t-shirt line and is a thriving entrepreneur.  Bella is actively involved in the local community in Playa Santana and is runs programs to empower young girls and to teach them how to surf.


A few comments about Bella from past LeaderSurf participants:

"Bella is the best teacher you could ask for - she's positive and encouraging. She knows how to push you and at the same time can judge your level in relation to the rest of the group. The feedback she gave was always simple and easy to follow. I loved having her as my teacher."

- FCB Global, Creative Director

"Fun, supportive, gave specific feedback that made me better each time I got in the water."

- The Motley Fool, Business Unit President

"Bella was very positive and a good communicator, I can still hear 'paddle, paddle, paddle!'"

- Essex Parts, General Manager

"LOVE HER, want to be her, would recommend again and again."

-The Motley Fool, Director Market Retention

You can follow Bella at:

Instragram: bella_gone_surfing