FIRST WAVES is a format where female surfers, both amateurs and professionals, simply tell us in their own words, about their first relationship with surfing, and how it has changed them.
They are beginners, professionals, activists, mothers, students... They are all different but they share the same passion: surfing. And they could be you!
[Click here to find all their inspirational stories]
Today we contact Lucie, a very fresh and witty girl I met at the Paris Surf & Skateboard Film Festival last year! She's been dreaming of surf watching her friends in Île-de-Ré (great surfing over there) before she took the redeeming plunge of surfing herself.
Here is her story.
[Follow her on Instagram: @l.chigioni]
HI LUCIE, COULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN A FEW WORDS?
I'm 25 years old, after having worked in the audiovisual industry, I finished my studies at the Sorbonne this year and I live between Paris and the Ile de Ré.
WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SURFING TODAY?
It’s growing on me! I started a little while ago after observing friends on their board for over a month. This gave me the desire to get started and develop a project around surfing.
COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THE MEMORIES YOU HAVE OF YOUR FIRST WAVE(S)?
What a strange feeling! I felt absolutely out of control and at the same time I was very happy. I had never felt this lightness before. There was just the glide, as if everything had disappeared around me.
WHAT WERE YOUR MOTIVATIONS FOR STARTING SURFING?
The idea of being able to reconnect with oneself in an exceptional environment
Then while observing my friends I saw in surfing a real choreography in perfect symbiosis with the sea, I had to get into it.
DID YOU HAVE ANY FEARS OR A-PRIORI ABOUT SURFING?
A few, yes ... I'd never practiced a sport that could be considered a community sport before. I was a little bit afraid of not being up to the task and being judged because I didn't start young.
WHAT DID PUSH YOU FROM DREAM TO ACTION, WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE STEP TO CATCH YOUR FIRST WAVE?
The real trigger was when I read Frédéric Schiffter's La Petite Philosophie du Surf. He wrote it even though he had never been on a board before. I felt a bit the same way, I was fascinated, I had to take the plunge and go for it.
DID YOU HAVE ANY DISCOURAGING MOMENTS? WHAT MAKES YOU KEEP THE FAITH TO CONTINUE TO TRAIN AND PROGRESS IN THESE MOMENTS?
With my knee issues it's a bit complicated and unfortunately I don't have the time (yet) to practice as often as I would like.
So during these transitional periods I do stand-up Paddle surfing. An idea which comes from my father, and which allows me to strengthen these fragile areas a little.
WHAT DOES SURFING BRING TO YOUR DAILY LIFE? DOES SURFING PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
Well-being! Just thinking about it makes me feel happy and free. When I can't practice, I work on my surf project and that allows me to escape as much as being on a board.
Surfing gives me a purpose. It keeps me motivated to work, to improve myself and it's exactly the same for my physical fitness. Anything I do on land can help me at sea.
In this period of self-isolation, I have the same dream over and over. I just swim or I surf. It is definitely a sign (aha).
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A WOMAN IN THE WATER TODAY? DO YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT RELATIONSHIP WITH MALE SURFERS? HAS THIS RELATIONSHIP EVOLVED (with your habit, progression)?
I'm too young in this field to make a real "diagnosis". It is true that I was afraid to impose myself sometimes in the middle of a school of male fishes, but it turns out that they were always understanding and gave me good advice.
At the same time I didn't want to impose myself and they didn't see any rivalry in me.
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS IN SURFING?
Likewise, I still have a lot of champions to get to know in this sport, but I remember seeing a documentary about Bethany Hamilton and I was speechless.
To have so much passion, to live through one of the worst traumas in this sport, and to bounce back so powerfully at just 13 years old... One can only have respect and take her as a role model in any field, not only in surfing.
WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO BRING SURFING IN THE FOREFRONT TODAY?
I've always been very sporty and I never thought I would discover surfing so "late", as it would turn out to be more than a sport but a real philosophy, or even belong to a certain community. That's what I'm trying to put forward by sharing my new passion.
Through different means such as supporting the PSSFF - The Paris Surf & Skateboard Film Festival - which has been taking place in Paris for the last four years. That's where I met you ! I worked for the Cannes Film Festival and when I saw the advertisement for the PSSFF, I said to myself "Awesome a film festival for surfing! ». On top of that, my twin brother has been skateboarding for more than 10 years now, and that could also interest him : "One on the asphalt, the other in the water. ».
I went alone, and I keep this habit to force myself out of my comfort zone and discover new talents. Just like you!
Otherwise, I'm working on a project that will take place on the French coast in which you kindly accepted to participate so we won't say any more for the moment, but in any case, I'm looking forward to meeting all your HEXA Surfboard team, Mylène!
WHO WOULD YOU DREAM OF SEEING AT YOUR PLACE TO TELL ABOUT HER FIRST WAVE?
WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONVEY TO YOUNG AND LESS YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THEIR FIRST WAVE?
Go for it! You've got nothing to lose, especially no time to worry about what other people will think.
Trust yourself, if you want to, you can do it. It doesn't matter the level, it's sport, the important matter is to participate.
If you want to share your story with us, send it to us at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org