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 Maud, locked down in her house in Southwestern France. She's one of the most talented pro-surfer of France... and is among the best surfers of world (let's face it).
Here is her story.
[Follow her on Instagram: @maudlecar]
HI MAUD, COULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN A FEW WORDS?
My name is Maud le Car, I started surfing on the island of Saint-Martin when I was 12 years old, and I've been a professional surfer for 10 years!
WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SURFING TODAY?
Surfing is clearly the passion of my life, I'm completely passionate about it and moreover it's my job! I feel very lucky to surf every day and to be near the ocean.
COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THE MEMORIES YOU HAVE OF YOUR FIRST WAVE(S)?
Definitely, I remember it very clearly. It was in St. Martin, at the Gallion Club. In Saint Martin there are only 2 spots, and a surf club.
It was my mother who brought us with my brother to discover and test surfing. And my first wave... I remember my teacher Jean-Seb pushing me on it and I got up right away. I immediately loved the sensations.
I probably used a foam board, very long, like a mini Malibu if I remember well!
WHAT WERE YOUR MOTIVATIONS FOR STARTING SURFING?
When I started, I had no idea what surfing was (really no idea at all) even though I was already 12 years old.
My brother and I were already doing a lot of windsurfing, wakeboarding... And my mother was doing a lot of waterskiing and we were initiated to this sport thanks to her. We really loved it and we were pretty good at it! That's where my mother got the idea to make us try surfing and we loved it right away.
However, we didn't really have a precise idea of how to do it: the teacher had to introduce us to the basics! Especially since the spot is 10 minutes away by boat, in the middle of the ocean.
My parents still live there, and it's a real pleasure to go back there every winter and surf where it all started. If I want to be transparent, the waves are not amazing over there, but it's just magic.
DID YOU HAVE ANY FEARS OR A-PRIORI ABOUT SURFING?
No really no fears or preconceptions. To be honest I'm terrible at sports, except for water sports! It's really the kind of sport I like to do.
WHAT DID PUSH YOU FROM DREAM TO ACTION, WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE STEP TO CATCH YOUR FIRST WAVE?
It's going to sound a bit cliché but as soon as I took my first wave, I totally loved the feeling of it. That was the real trigger, a real crush.
I very quickly told my mother (and she still reminds me of it today, gently laughing at me) "I want to be a pro, I want to be a pro! ". And that was it from the beginning: from my first session I wanted to go back surfing every day.
DID YOU HAVE ANY DISCOURAGING MOMENTS? WHAT MAKES YOU KEEP THE FAITH TO CONTINUE TO TRAIN AND PROGRESS IN THESE MOMENTS?
Like everyone else, I have had moments of discouragement. And it's true that in surfing it can be even more frequent.
In competition it's hyper random: you can beat everyone, or be beaten by everyone. There is a big chance factor, the ocean is not always with you.
What really keeps me going is the happiness that surfing and the ocean give me, far beyond the competitions. I just believe in what I do because I love what I do!
WHAT DOES SURFING BRING TO YOUR DAILY LIFE? DOES SURFING PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
Totally, surfing brings me a crazy balance in my life, motivation too. Surfing makes me really happy.
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)?
Men's mentality has evolved a lot and positively: it's going much better than before!
Before, when you were a girl in a swimsuit, guys didn't find you very credible, even if you surfed well. Now, I think we have a lot less problems, we've been able to make our place.
It's a bit like the "they know how to surf, it's alright" and so we have as much legitimacy as they do to be on the bombs when we have the prio! Mentalities have evolved and in the right direction!
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS IN SURFING?
WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO BRING SURFING IN THE FOREFRONT TODAY (social media?)?
I find that it can bring a lot to someone's life, it's a real passion that brings us closer to nature, to the ocean. Surfing allows us to be more aware of our environment, of what surrounds us and how lucky we are.
WHO WOULD YOU DREAM OF SEEING AT YOUR PLACE TO TELL ABOUT HER FIRST WAVE?
Justine Dupont, I'd love to know how it all started!
WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONVEY TO YOUNG AND LESS YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THEIR FIRST WAVE?
I would tell them to really get on with it! Follow your instincts and at least try, without fear or prejudice 😊 I wish you to be as passionate as I am and that it will make your lives better!
If you want to share your story with us, send it to us at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org