They are beginners, professionals, activists, mothers, students... They are all different but they share the same passion: surfing. And they could be you!
It's been a while, but we're very lucky today to know a bit more about Victoria. She was born to have a great love story with the ocean, and now make us dream with her stylish surf performances.
From being a baby swimmer to professional surfer, she's had great experience along the road, surrounded by boys who made her grow in her field. Great to hear such positive stories for the future of a more equal sport and passion
[Follow her on Instagram: @victoriavergara]
HI VICTORIA, COULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN A FEW WORDS?
Hello, my name is Victoria Vergara. I am 24 years old. I am a professional surfer and model. I grew up between the Ile d’Oléron (France), New Caledonia and Reunion Island. I now live in Hossegor when I'm not in a plane.
WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SURFING TODAY
Surfing hasbeen my passion since the first time I got on a board and today I have thechance to make it my profession and be just as passionate about it.
COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THE MEMORIES YOU HAVE OF YOUR FIRST WAVE(S)?
My memories go back to the beach of Vert-Bois in IIe d'Oléron, with my parents. I wore a boy's shorts at the time, which almost made me a full wetsuit, I was 4 years old. They used to make me surf on a bodyboard... I remember that feeling of lightness and gliding that a wave can give.
WHAT WERE YOUR MOTIVATIONS FOR STARTING SURFING?
It was thanks to my parents that I was able to start surfing. At the age of 4, you only want to do what they do.
DID YOU HAVE ANY FEARS OR A-PRIORI ABOUT SURFING?
No none, but at the age I was it's difficult to have any. I was one of the baby swimmers and I always loved the water. As I grew up I learned to swim very quickly and Ieven swam in competitions.
WHAT DID PUSH YOU FROM DREAM TO ACTION, WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE STEP TO CATCH YOUR FIRST WAVE?
The desireto experience that feeling of happiness that my parents shared together and with the ocean.
DID YOU HAVE ANY DISCOURAGING MOMENTS? WHAT MAKES YOU KEEP THE FAITH TO CONTINUE TO TRAIN AND PROGRESS IN THESE MOMENTS?
Yes, a sports career is hard, especially when you start it at a very young age. I was lucky to be surrounded by good coaches who taught me that it is in defeat that you learn the most, grow and become better. I manage to be positive about any situation, more or less quickly, but I think I have within me this fighting strength,which I apply in my personal life as well as in my careers.
WHAT DOES SURFING BRING TO YOUR DAILY LIFE? DOES SURFING PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
Yes, it is for me a moment of freedom, creativity and sharing. I like surfing with the people I love.
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)?
In my evolution as a surfer, boys have always been a major asset; they took me surfing, pushed me to take bigger waves, supported me and protected me from others who didn't accept that a girl in a small jersey could surf better than them.
When I grew up, I wanted to surf like them... But it's when I understood that it was by simply being myself on the board and by stopping wanting to be like the others and especially the boys that I progressed and was able to develop my surfing. I think that women are more graceful, more aesthetic as well and it was to my credit to work on my style.
The mentality of surfers has also evolved and this is important because today weare no longer judged on our bikini but on our technique and performance. They even compete with us on the peak, it's challenging, I like it!
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS IN SURFING?
Rell Sunn,Kassia Meador, Stephanie Gilmore.
WHO WOULD YOU DREAM OF SEEING AT YOUR PLACE TO TELL ABOUT HIS/HER FIRST WAVE?
WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONVEY TO YOUNG AND LESS YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THEIR FIRST WAVE?
To choose a good surfing school, which will provide you with the right material to have fun from your first session. That the first wave is just the beginning of a long love story between you and the ocean :)
If you want to share your story with us, send it to us at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org