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 Manon, a bold young woman who is not afraid to fight for her passion and her environmental values.
Here is her story.
[Follow her on Instagram: @nonmayewww]
HELLO MANON, COULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN A FEW WORDS?
Hey, my name is Manon Fernet, i'm a 27 years old girl living in Biarritz, and passionate about surfing.
WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SURFING TODAY?
More than just a sport, surfing has become a true passion in my daily life. Sunny, rainy, stormy days, when the forecast is bad, at least I need to check the waves. (just in case)
COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THE MEMORIES YOU HAVE OF YOUR FIRST WAVE(S)?
My very first time was in Hendaye. I had rented a board with some friends, and of course, it was a thankless surf session! I tried, again and again, until I caught the first one. Yes, I remember that I felt like a rockstar in a whitewash take off!
WHAT WERE YOUR MOTIVATIONS FOR STARTING SURFING?
My friends! At the beginning, there was no way for me to surf by myself. Surfing was the perfect way to learn a new sport in idyllic settings, while sharing good times with all my buddies.
DID YOU HAVE ANY FEARS OR A-PRIORI ABOUT SURFING?
Drink the cup!?
The ocean can be so scary. You have to be super careful when you decide to go for it!
I used to be really afraid of it. But then, the more I improved in surfing, the more I learnt to control my fears.
WHAT DID PUSH YOU FROM DREAM TO ACTION, WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE STEP TO CATCH YOUR FIRST WAVE?
The curiosity. I wanted to know how it feels like to slide on water!
DID YOU HAVE ANY DISCOURAGING MOMENTS? WHAT MAKES YOU KEEP THE FAITH TO CONTINUE TO TRAIN AND PROGRESS IN THESE MOMENTS?
Of course, and it still happens! There are days with, and days without! A lot of factors can impact your surf session, depending on the forecasts, your mood, people around you or even just if you try a new spot...
But even after a bad session, there's a lesson to be learn.
WHAT DOES SURFING BRING TO YOUR DAILY LIFE? DOES SURFING PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
Whereas it was just sharing great moments all together first, it became essential to my life. The feeling it provides you, the fact that you just leave your worries at the shore. It's only you, your board, and the ocean. Nothing else.
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)?
Well, unfortunately, it happened few times... But I prefer to remember the other million surf sessions were everything went perfectly.
I don't pay attention on those who have a bad spirit. To me, surf is nothing but positive. Girls, don't let anyone put any pressure on you. Enjoy the moment, that's all.
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS IN SURFING?
So many, actually! haha
I love our frenchie team, as Pauline Ado, Justine Dupont and Maud Lecar. They are excellent surfers, and they contribute in many ways in the protection of our ocean.
Well, I must say, Stephanie Gilmore is my number one.
IN WHAT WAYS, AND WHY, ARE YOU TRYING TO BRING SURFING TO THE FOREFRONT TODAY?
Firstly because it's my passion so I love to talk about it. But also because I'm involve in an amazing project: The TRSHBG. It's the new must have for ocean lovers.
I'm part of a surfers team that have created a sophisticated wearable bag made of recycled materials and adapted for daily surfsession.
Our mission is to highlight this movement to make every surfer and every diver an ocean cleaner.
www.trshbg.com / Instagram: trshbg_tbag / Facebook: trshbg.tbag
WHO WOULD YOU DREAM OF SEEING AT YOUR PLACE TO TELL ABOUT HER FIRST WAVE?
Stephanie Gilmore (did I mention i'm a fan?)
WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONVEY TO YOUNG AND LESS YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THEIR FIRST WAVE?
Ladies, don't be shy. Believe in yourself and think about the fact that you have two arms and two feet and you can do whatever you want with it, just like guys.
If you want to share your story with us, send it to us at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org