A Surf Gal We Adore: Victoria Vergara
Photos by Grégoire Gyselinck
It's the pursuit that keeps us cantering, tongues flapping, into the sunset. If it comes too easy, interest generally wilts and dies. Elegant French beauty is truly worth perseverance, and that's exactly what's present in Réunion Princess Victoria Vergara. Victoria was in Nicaragua when we were trying to contact her. Every missed call and lapsed email was eventually replied with a, "sorry, it's been pumping xx (smiley face) xx." You could almost feel the tropical salt water dripping off her slender sun-kissed fingers as she battled with her moist touch screen. Victoria's been popping up at every turn of late, and we needed to find out more...
Stab: Tell us a little about yourself…
Victoria: I’m 20 years old and I spend more time in the salt water than your average person. I’ve always got a big smile on my face, and, I love sushi and travelling.
Where are you from? I was born in France, but when I was young my parents took my sister and I around the world to surf and discover new cultures. When I was 14 we moved to Réunion. I live in Hossegor now, partly due to the shark problem back home, but also because it opens up more opportunities for my modelling and surfing.
Who's your surf hero? My Mom, she was the first one in my family to start surfing. She used to ride this yellow single fin, I'll never forget it. She still surfs today and I love sharing sessions with her.
Are you a surfer/model, or a model/surfer? I’ll always be a surfer before a model. My modelling career started when I was 15, with my first major sponsor, Roxy. It wasn’t something I liked at the beginning, I wasn’t confident in front of the camera. I was a tomboy, I never wore make up, always barefoot. An agent from modelling agency Elite scouted me in a supermarket and wanted me to move to Paris to become a model. I said no. My life was at the beach, with my family, my friends, my bikini and my longboard. But things have changed, I became more confident with who I am, and started enjoying modelling. I’m really living my dream, it’s just hard for me to say that I’m a model, it feels more natural to say that I’m a surfer.
Professional female surfers either have to be pretty or on the tour, right? There are two different options for professional female surfers: either being on the WCT or using your lifestyle. As a longboarder there's only one contest for the WSL world title, so it’s hard to promote my career as a competitor. So I’m just exposing my lifestyle, doing the things I like, and sharing it with everyone who cares!
We get heat for sexualising of female pro surfing. We believe we're simply celebrating the beauty of the female form, and the fact that the girls happen to rip is an added bonus... If the surfer girls use what they have aesthetically to forge a career, then why not? I think it’s super cool that things has changed. Every surf brand has created feminine and sexy clothing; showing the world that their surfer girls can still rip in a sexy bikini. Surfing gives you a fit body, the beach as a playground, and a bikini as a uniform. It’s more escapism than sexualising to have amazing, gorgeous ripper girls!
Do you see yourself as a role model to younger girls? I hope so! I’ve always wanted to be. I try to show them though my social media that positivity, hard work, and having fun are the keys in life.
You're in Nicaragua right now, where else have you been in the past year? Yes! Nicaragua's amazing, the waves are really good. I made my first real barrel on a 5’10 single Fin, and I’ve had so much fun. Before that I was in Australia for a month for two contests, where I finished second at the Australian Open. It’s definitely my favorite country to travel, I’m in love with meat pies, the accent, and the koalas. In February I was in Portugal, I went to New York in January for the first time to do some modelling. It was super cold but such an amazing experience. Right after Nicaragua, I'm flying to California for 15 days, bring on the adventures!