SRFACE Diaries

Caroline Camoin & Tom Lasset

Written by Sieuwe

Hey! Tell us About yourselves

Hi everyone! We are Tom & Caroline, a  french Mediterranean couple living in the Southwest. We are both in love with the ocean, nature, and our simple way of life.

How did you start surfing?

Tom: I already had a desire to surf since I was 5 years old. My parents did not understand it at all, us coming from La Londe les Maures, a town on the shores of the Mediterranean. Most people there practice windsurfing as waves are rare. I actually started surfing at the age of 12 during my summer vacation in Mimizan. I met Nicolas Capdeville there at his surf school. He taught me to surf, passed on his passion to me and I haven’t stopped since.

Caroline: I started much later at the age of 24. At the end of my physio studies in Marseille. That was when I met Tom. He was the one who put me on a board for the first time and I was hooked. He communicated and passed on his passion to me. I have always loved board and ‘sliding’ sports (skiing, skateboarding, etc.) but I had never had the opportunity to try surfing. In the Mediterranean it is much less widespread than in les Landes, there is no surfing association at school. Most people do not even know that there are waves.

Why do you surf?

Tom: I have always loved water, sports, and nature. Surfing is the perfect mix of all these things. Each wave is different, you never get bored. The infinite playground that is the ocean provides a great sense of freedom. When I’m in the water, I forget everything. I become an overexcited child again while chasing waves, whatever the conditions.

Caroline: I surf all year round, as often as possible. I’m always in search of that feeling of fulfilment that you get after a good session. I try not to lose contact with the ocean. Even if the waves are awful, I try to get in the water. I just love sport, nature, and never regret a surf session.

What does your typical day look like?

We’re both very early risers which is pretty handy for catching offshore waves before work. With our profession of physiotherapists, we’re able to adapt our schedule according to the conditions and the tides without a problem. Whenever waves pop up, we’ll race to have a surf between or after work. It’s the best way to sustain a good day of work, I am very sure of that!

Who or what inspires you?

If we had to provide a common inspiration we’d certainly choose ‘Lost in the swell’. A small group of Breton surfer-explorers with a good sense of humor, an ecological approach, and completely crazy adventures.

Apart from surfing, what do you do to relax?

Caroline: I find my balance on my exercise mat. Yoga, sophrology, reinforcement… it depends on my condition but at least 3 times a week. Preferably between 20 minutes and 1 hour per session.

Tom: When I’m not surfing I like to compose music. It’s a good way to express myself differently and release my emotions. I have some tracks on Spotify under the name ‘Wax and wildness‘. Moreover, like many surfers, we have been practicing golf recently. The environment is super calm and it’s quite relaxing.

Do you have any advice for people who want to build their life around freedom and surfing?

Caroline: I’d like to start by saying that I think you can start surfing at any time in your life. You have to be persevering, especially at the start. It also helps to have a fairly flexible job and family because once the sport has you, it’s over. Surfing becomes the main priority.

Tom: Try to keep a good mentality and understand the surf culture and the locals of the regions or countries you visit. It’s the best way to open the doors to surfing paradise haha.

What is your favorite board and why?

Tom: We’ve been working in collaboration with Nicolas Hervo, the shaper of ‘Manipura surfboards‘ in La Ciotat from beginnings on. He’s a good friend and also the most often smiling man on the planet. My favorite board is a 5’9 ‘Alpha’ model, round pin tail. It is perfect for carves and barrels, I use it almost all the time!

Caroline: My 5’7 Beta Manipura surfboard for sure. It’s my everyday board and my favorite because one that allows me to progress in practicing radical maneuvers. I am not an excellent competitive surfer but the board has a lot of feeling and always gives me a lot of satisfaction.

What is your favorite surfing destination?

We have always looked for destinations that are less frequently visited or not well known by surfers. We prefer to surf with a few people on a good wave than to be out there with a 100 on a world class wave. In the Mediterranean you always have to look for the right spot, taking in account the wind, ride for hours, and crisscross hills and fields to find the right wave. We love exploration.

Two years ago before the Covid we went with friends to a small island near Sumatra. Three weeks of perfect surfing in warm water almost alone. The perfect surf trip.

Caroline: I think my best memories are of long Peruvian lefts. You can ride the same wave for more than a minute. I discovered then that we also use our legs in surfing haha.

Which surf movie impressed you the most?

Tom: ‘View from the blue moon’ by John John Florence and friends. It is a call to travel and fraternity. The level of surfing is incredible and the images are just beautiful.

Caroline: I love anything with Stéphanie Gilmore. Fluid, fast, committed, all that super relaxed and with an incredible style. She has everything, I love watching her surf.

What would you do if you weren’t surfing?

Caroline: Teaching pilates. And I would have focused more on my work if I wasn’t surfing.

Tom: I think I would have tried to be a musician. In fact, I started music before surfing.

Name something that the world could use more of nowadays?

With what is happening at the moment, peace would be very welcome.

Would you rather have infinite paddle power and speed or night vision to surf at night?

Caroline: Unlimited paddle power and speed, I leave the ocean to its inhabitants at night.

Tom: I would go for the night vision. Being able to surf alone on perfect swell days is the dream!

One last thing you would like to share with us?

You will never see anyone more excited and motivated than a Mediterranean surfer.

Behind the lens: @mysurfshots, @hollow_chaser & Jan Bijl

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