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 meet Lucy, a very inspiring young woman who bravely took on blogging to share her journey through learning how to surf.
Here is her story.
HELLO LUCY, COULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN A FEW WORDS?
My name is Lucie Lepers, I am 21 years old and I am from Provence in the South of France. I am currently studying for my Master’s Degree at EDHEC (a French top-tier business school) in Nice on Luxury Marketing and I have just created my blog lucybutterfly.com this year. I'm passionate about fashion and more and more about surfing.
WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SURFING TODAY?
Surfing takes up a good part of my time today. I'm currently in Morocco with some friends so I surf almost every day. Moreover, I wanted to share my adventure as a beginner surfer by creating my blog in which I share my universe and my travels.
COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THE MEMORIES YOU HAVE OF YOUR FIRST WAVE(S)?
It's quite simple, I was going alone to my very first surfing lesson in St-Cyr-sur-Mer (Southern France), I was very excited at the idea of finally learning how to "surf". Once in the water, the instructor pushed me on a nice wave and there very quickly I made my first take off and I was so excited! I discovered for the first time the exceptional feeling you get after taking a wave. It was a real personal satisfaction!
WHAT WERE YOUR MOTIVATIONS FOR STARTING SURFING?
I started surfing in January 2019 in the Mediterranean Sea. I dreamed of surfing since I was very young. When I was little, I spent my holidays with my family on the Ile d’Oléron and I saw young people of my age surfing. From that moment on I always told myself that one day or another I would learn how to ride a board. An I had the opportunity when I moved to St-Cyr-sur-Mer in 2019 where there was actually a surf club! Since then, I've been traveling to surf!
DID YOU HAVE ANY FEARS OR A-PRIORI ABOUT SURFING?
Not really… At the beginning I was very apprehensive about others judging me in the water. But today I tell myself that all the surfers have been there so there is no real shame to be a beginner.
WHAT DID PUSH YOU FROM DREAM TO ACTION, WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE STEP TO CATCH YOUR FIRST WAVE?
A new year was starting (2019), I had just moved from Lille to St-Cyr-sur-mer and I wanted to set myself a new sporting goal. One morning, I gathered up my courage and I stepped into a surf club to finally realize my childhood dream.
DID YOU HAVE ANY DISCOURAGING MOMENTS? WHAT MAKES YOU KEEP THE FAITH TO CONTINUE TO TRAIN AND PROGRESS IN THESE MOMENTS?
Yes definitely, sometimes after a session I can be totally discouraged or even traumatized after a difficult and dangerous session. But every time I force myself to go back into the water with my surfing friends to persevere and fight against this obstacle. Surfing is a wonderful sport to learn how to surpass yourself. You learn not to give up, it's a permanent fight against yourself and the ocean.
WHAT DOES SURFING BRING TO YOUR DAILY LIFE? DOES SURFING PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
Surfing has changed my lifestyle today. I've been able to meet wonderful people, make unforgettable surf trips to Sri Lanka, Bali and lately Morocco. Surfing brings new personal and professional projects. It's so exciting! Above all, surfing soothes me, I learn to know myself better and to control my emotions... It's a very fascinating sport.
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 don't have a specific or different relationship with male surfers. It's by having a specific relationship with men that the gender inequality is further reinforced. On the other hand, in the water I sometimes feel apprehensive about my surfing level compared to both male and female good surfers. But I am proud to be a beginner surfer and to share a session with male surfers with a higher level. It's an excellent exercise to improve and to work on self-esteem. Honestly without calling me a feminist, I feel brave and proud when I'm on my own at the peak surrounded by other surfers.
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS IN SURFING?
I'm new to surfing so I don't know all surfers. On the other hand, I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram, especially through the accounts of @josie_prendergast, @lex.weinstein, @marinalons, @mikeyfebruary... But the truth is, while I surf, my models are my friends and more particularly my amazing girlfriends @alice___david, @juliette_illustration and @margauxsoulie. I spend most of my surf sessions and surf trips with them so they inspire me and help me to progress. They surf very well so I feel very lucky to be with them in the water.
WHO WOULD YOU DREAM OF SEEING AT YOUR PLACE TO TELL ABOUT HER FIRST WAVE?
I’d say Margot Robbie, I would like to know her story as an Australian surfer.
WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONVEY TO YOUNG AND LESS YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THEIR FIRST WAVE?
I’d like to tell them that the key is to listen to themselves, and achieve what can really make them happy. So if surfing is their dream, they should go for it and take their first surf lesson. You have to put aside apprehension and fear. Surfing is such a rejuvenating, soothing and rewarding sport...
If you want to share your story with us, send it to us at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org