From Stab issue 58: French pro surfer gal Maud Le Car ain’t so bad to look at…
Words by Elliot Struck
Photos by Jason Ierace
Hair and make up by Sina Velke @ DLM
Breezing around the Caribbean on a white sloop, surfing deserted waves and drinking local-made rum is the kinda thing most’d be happy doing for their entire lives. And, it’s a life that Maud Le Car could easily have had.
Y’see, Maud grew up on the French half of an island called San Maarten. It’s the sorta place where diving into the water feels like drinking crisp white wine after eating a burning curry. But, while Maud talks fondly of island lifestyle and her perfect childhood, there was one thing missing from it. Maud wanted the thrill of battle, the glory of winning, the drama of losing. She wanted competition.
At 19, Maud hovers just beyond the last edge of adolescence, but right outta high school she made a very adult decision. Her desire to be a professional surfer led Maud to move to the Landes Coast of France. Now she wakes up to Hossegor every morning, wanders down the cold sand and paddles a choppy little four-beat crawl into a not-so-crowded beachie. Then she comes in and trains with her friends. That’s the life she chose and the one she loves. But what Maud doesn’t like is the cold French water. And, coming from an island with average water temp of 26 degrees year-round, can y’blame her?
Maud fires off her English with what sounds like curiosity. Under a thick French overdub, every sentence rises to finish with an upwards inflection, but not in the bemused Playboy Bunny way. The overall effect is delightful and the breeziness of her voice is indicative of a Caribbean lifestyle. French genes and a Caribbean upbringing have given Maud magic in her pink palms and a bronze forehead that bursts into gold lovelocks. A perfectly toned figure, howevs, is owed to hours in the bath-like water of the islands, during surfs over the bow of her parents’ boat. Her silhouette rises and falls much like the purple mountains that sprinkle the San Maarten skyline, naturally and softly.
It was a mixture of all these charming qualities that first enchanted your pals at Stab and, ultimately, led to a (admittedly kicker-centric) photo shoot. While her photograph was taken, Maud was not self-conscious. She flashed bright eyes at the camera, re-moulded her figure, then flashed again.
When she ain’t taking apart a Caribbean reef or French beachie, or having her photo taken, what does Maud do? The link may be a stretch, but her passions don’t lie too far from those of her Volcom teammate, Ozzie Wright’s – Maud likes to paint. She don’t have a favourite artist, is without a particular style and can’t describe what she’s into. All she knows is what she likes and what she don’t like. “I like to go to galleries and look at the work of many different artists, not just one, and I love to be inspired by all of it,” she says. “It’s, like, I paint or create when I have time and have some ideas. I just want to express myself, really.” Maud’s creations consist mostly of pop art that make bold statements like ‘Life is too short, live in excess.’ It’s rare that one of her new boards hits the soup before she’s added some sort of visual flair to it, usually with a Posca and avant-garde message.
Right now, Maud digs watching Coco Ho and Sally Fitz (both of whom are responsible for style elements of Maud’s own surfing) and says women’s surfing is the best it’s ever been. She loves the newfound progressive nature and, during World Tour events, you’ll mostly find her glued to a webcast.
And, speaking of the tour, where d’you suppose Maud Le Carr, the gal who left warmth and tropical perfection for cold beachies and competition, wants to be this time next year? – Elliot Struck