Océane Lucas | 2018 World Waveski Open Women’s division
Océane Lucas, family and friends right after her victory in Spain
The yellow light is flashing, tensions are rising and there’s an air of excitement pulsating on the beach as two women enter the water for the final of the 2018 World Waveski Open Women’s division. Thirty five minutes later there will be one victor, Oceane Lucas. Who is she?
Let’s look at the meteoric rise of 24 year old French woman, Oceane Lucas by taking a peak into what she did to become a world champion and the path she has travelled.
Oceane was destined to be a sporting champion of some sort. Being born into a family where both parents, Gerard and Pascale were waveski surfers, there was bound to be an influence. It wasn’t until approximately three years ago, however, that Oceane began seriously riding a waveski.
She had first been ‘popped’ on a waveski at the age of 2 but preferred dry land sports such as horse riding, dance and judo in her early years. At the same time, living so close to the beach in Vendee, located on the mid coast of France, she also spent much of her teenage years kayaking and windsurfing with her younger sister Olympe.
Playing with waveskis since very early…
She still wasn’t particularly interested in waveski and her famous waveski surfing father wasn’t keen on pushing her, choosing instead to ‘wait and see’. However as the story goes, a dusty old waveski made by her father beckoned and eventually, to her surprise, she tried it and experienced a sense of speed and joy surfing down the face of her first wave.
The rest as they say is history, but I wouldn’t be doing Oceane justice if we didn’t also note the last three years which have also seen Oceane spend countless hours in the gym, doing stretching and yoga, weight training, meditation and visualisation. And living only 500 metres from the nearest surf break, as well as being a full time kayak and surf instructor, it has been easy for her to clock up those critical ‘water time’ hours.
Regardless of whether it is a local event or an international championship, Oceane’s preparation for each is the same. She states that, while some athletes worry about who is in their heat, she is more focussed on her own performance. She studies the surf break and takes note of how the waves are forming and breaking and then visualises riding the wave and putting together the manoeuvres that will link up to achieving the highest score.
Virgile Humbert (flying) and Océane Lucas @ Indonesia
A major critical attribute of her success is self belief. She also surrounds herself with people who motivate and support her. Being mentored and coached by both her partner, world champion waveski surfer Virgile Humbert, and her father, Gerard has enabled her to push the boundaries, face her fears and blossom into a finely-tuned athlete. The recent release of the very successful Waveski movie ‘Take a Seat’ showcased Oceane’s surfing some of the most hollow and fast waves in the Mentawis.
Oceane is very humble about her success and is eternally grateful to her predecessors who have paved the way for women to participate in waveski. While she is now developing her own style, she has been inspired by the smooth top to bottom, rail to rail surfing of world champions Caroline Angibaud and Olivia Braziou and the radical manoeuvres of Lisa Ryan.
Her vision is to take waveski surfing to another level and encourage and promote more women to surf. She believes the acknowledgement of women in the recent World Titles with respect to equal prize money and age division awards is enabling women to feel supported and encouraged. She is hungry to continue her success and cannot wait to surf the magic waves in Peru – location of the next World Waveski Titles in 2020.
One of the things she would like to see is more photography and videos of women waveski surfing which will help inspire the new generation of waveski surfers. She plans to organise more surf travel trips for women to showcase to the world what women can do.
Her fresh faced approach, happy disposition and athleticism are very inspiring and this is reflected in an instagram following of more than a thousand as well as many other supporters.
The French Waveski Federation and community has enabled Oceane to follow a journey that is exciting and fulfilling. Her talent hasn’t gone unnoticed and she is sponsored by KS Waveskis and Double Dutch Paddles and a number of other local organisations and companies.
With youth on her side we can expect to see the name of Oceane Lucas coming up in waveski conversations for many years to come.
The siren blasts twice, signalling the end of the women’s final, Oceane is swept up in the arms of her family and friends and chaired up the beach very proudly carrying the French flag. In her words, ‘a dream come true!’
Thank you Oceane for this interview and we wish you the best of success in life and waveski surfing.
Océane Lucas facebook page | CLICK HERE
Some more photos…