Interview Sharpy Photos Alex Lesbats
Talented French surfer and artist Maud le Car has just released a new short film Welcome Madame (watch the exclusive premiere at the bottom of the post). To celebrate the launch of her new film we caught up with Maud for a chat about surfing, life and her art.
Maud, where did you grow up and how did you get in to surfing?
I’m from St Martin island in the French Caribbean and I started surfing there when I was 12. It’s up the top of Caribbean chain near Puerto Rico, it’s only a tiny island but we’ve got a couple of spots.
Do you know everyone on the island?
Ha. Not every one. But it is a small island so I know a lot of people. It’s my home after all.
Does it get good surf?
The islands only 7 x 14km but there are a few spots. It’s ok. It’s good for beginners and practising for the WQS. It goes off in winter on hurricane swells. There are a lot of islands around us so we need a big swell to get it pumping as we get half the size of the more exposed islands. But it does get good.
How has surfing inspired your art?
Travelling helps a lot. Seeing different countries, cultures and art. I love going to exhibitions and checking out street art wherever I go. So surfing helps me experience all that and get inspired. And of course in the water the natural beauty of the world and being in the environment that I love inspires everything I do.
Do you exhibit your own art?
I did one last week to help my mum promote her company. It’s a hard thing to fit in when I’m training and doing the tour so I’ve not had much time this year. I’ve done some boards and some other pieces but not enough for a fresh exhibition. I’m working on it this winter when I’ve got more time. It happens in its own time. I’m a perfectionist so I don’t let people see what I’m doing until it’s really ready. It can take ages. So when I spend thirty hours on a board and then I snap it. People make fun of me. It’s not quite the same on the wall when it’s snapped…
What’s the rest of the year hold?
I’m taking some time to be home to plan next year and get everything in it’s place. Training and working on all aspects of fitness and surfing as it’s so hard on the road to get a routine. Now I can get a schedule and train and get stronger for next season. You can’t train hard when you’re at contests as you need to keep your energy for the event so the off season is the best for that. I’m looking forward to surfing some bigger waves here this winter. Do some step offs with the crew. My boyfriend Joan Duru (QS surfer that’s about to qualify) is from here so it works pretty well. Just be great to get some good, solid waves not small QS mush.
If you’re travelling on tour and he’s chasing qualification around the world do you get to see each other much?
Haha! It’s hard. At the start of the year we didn’t see each other for three and a half months. When the comps are together we can travel together so that’s cool. But a lot of the time we are travelling apart. Depends on the events. But it’s good for the balance of being a couple to spend time apart. Especially when it can be such a pressured environment at the comps.
Lastly what were you doing with Lamborghini?
An advert! It’s super exciting. I was really surprised they picked me. But I’m not allowed to drive it. I’m a super bad driver. Took me five times to pass my test. So they’re all, ‘There’s no way you’re driving the car.’ Can you imagine around Hossegor with all the kerbs everywhere to hit and the speedbumps? It’ll look cool. It’s just good I’m not driving. I’m happy in my truck. It’s been a big production. Very strange to deal with when I’m used to working with small surf crews.
“To me a wave is like a virgin canvas where you can draw the curves and the lines that you decide.” Often the link between the two is more tightly woven than what you may think. When skills match artistic vision the outcome is easily appreciated. Film maker Vincent Kardasik joined Maud Le Car for a few sessions around Hossegor, France this autumn. Watch Maud’s new film Welcome Madame.