portrait marie lou
At only 21 years old, Marie-Lou has everything to be a great passionate sportswoman! Alpinefoil rider, she shares with us her freedom of the foil!
- Can you introduce yourself in a few words
My name is Marie-Lou, I am 21 years old and am from the Alpes-De-Haute-Provence (04). Until 2019, I moved between this department and that of Hautes-Alpes (05) and more precisely between the lake of Serre-Ponçon and the beautiful valley of Ubaye famous for these beautiful ski resorts.
I am currently a STAPS student. Last year I was in Chambéry to finish my license. I had to leave the mountains with great regret to devote myself to my master's degree in psychology and mental preparation for sport in Montpellier.
- How did you come up with the idea of foiling ? Since when ?
Daughter of a lake kiter, my parents always brought me to these places of practice. From an early age, I wanted to start playing with a sail too. So I started out playing with a small 6m snowkite sail while my dad was snow kiting or kiting. Then, I finally got the permission to set foot on a twintip. Except that, the twintip in Savines, it doesn't work all the time… And a large part of my PKHA club were already on the foil. So I changed my plans and started to dive my father's foil to navigate in light conditions. Then he made me understand that I had to stop stealing his gear because he too wanted to foil aha. So now I have my own gear !
What attracted me to the foil is this freedom to be able to navigate in all winds without having to walk to go upwind. But also, to be able to fly over the water and go racing with the locals who always overtook me with my twintip!
- What is your level today ? How many hours do you spend there etc ? Which practice do you prefer ?
M our level is nothing exceptional. I try new maneuvers, but I take glides and flats, I try to race with others and I get landed (not all the time eh aha). But the most important is that I love all my sessions and that's so cool !
My frequency of foiling is quite chaotic depending on the time of year and where I am. It's been about three years since I started now. The first two years, I didn't have to do more than 10 sessions… I wasn't really based near a lake, I had other disciplines nearby and not a lot of friends with my schedule who practiced the foil. But this summer, I atomized the cota ! I took a month's vacation on the Serre-Ponçon spot to kite every day ! And at the moment I am discovering the Montpellierian spots ! If we talk about this week, I think I spent more time in the water than in class ...
- What are the foil trips that you have already done ?
Lake, lake, lake !!! Serre-Ponçon, Monteynard, Bourget ... I admit that I haven't innovated too much in terms of kite stays, but frankly the lakes, it's not far from the Mountains, there's enough wind, not too many people, I can lay quietly on the spots with my little fitted Partner what more could you ask for ?
A little younger, I went to Brittany and to Beauduc a bit. Now I am discovering the spots around Montpellier. It's really cool too, but it's very windy!
- Do you participate in competitions ?
No… I admit that I would like to try it out, but when it comes to sailing I am not at all operational… It's quite complicated to match race gear, studies and my other sports. So not right away, but if one day I have the chance !
- What are your future projects in the industry ?
Progress ! Progress ! Progress ! Go fast like the Hyèrois, take all my tackles even with my 5m, learn to jump without giving up my foil, succeed in sitting sessions like the Monteynard kiters, succeed in making the freeride dancer like the Swiss ... And continue to m burst during sessions !
On the pro side, why not investigate the environment for physical preparation or mental preparation ? To see according to the turn that takes my future.
- What does the foil bring you ?
The sensations are too cool ! The freedom to be able to kite in all conditions, the possibility to walk on the spots and to get away from the world.
But also on a human level, I love the atmosphere of the foil spots, lots of mutual help and interesting and passionate people. Then in the end it remains a small community and we often meet again !
- What material do you use and why do you like it?
On the first he must know that I have always made the Recycling equipment. Recently I bought two roll sails (5.8) but until now I have been sailing almost all the time with an 11m roll.
Alpinefoil allowed me to switch, last year, from my early foil which liked to do the dolphin (aha) to an alpine foil and more efficient.
I have an ultimate mast with wave wings and a VR7 board.
I like to try to go out at the same time as the riders with 15m box when mine hardly holds in the air. But, since I use this foil, I can do it !!
With the VR7 board I can take an angle, it's funny. When I want to try to gain speed, the foil is still very manoeuvrable and that's a real plus!
I mounted only one strap at the front. The wedges for the front wing and the stab allow me to adjust the foil wedging according to the sensations and it's cool too.
- Do you practice other sports activities or not alongside ?
Yes .. Too many. I would like to work in the world of sport so I am shielding myself for the pro. I am a tracker, bnssa and climbing instructor. But also just for fun at the moment I do more paragliding and climbing. With a sports teacher dad and a sports mom also I was able to discover a lot of sports, especially mountain sports. It's complicated to coordinate everything, but it's also a lot of freedom. Climbing shoes, a paraglider, foil gear, a lake and a dream vacation (even if it's hard to struggle not to become a foil monomaniac), that's what makes me happy.
- Can you tell us about the female practice in the foil industry ?
It's going well, but it's true that I only see very few girls in foil while we see more and more of them in twintip ! You have to get started for 4 sessions, but after the foil allows you to kite in all conditions with new sensations ! Definitely worth it ! It's not even too scary and it shakes less than the twintip.
I will speak to you as a young girl because the majority of practitioners are not " young ." Far from me the idea of insinuating that the foil is a practice of “old people”, but it is a discipline which can appear not very accessible. For my part, I am used to working in environments with very few girls. I find that the foiling environment is very facilitating, I have never had a problem of discrimination and on the contrary often I am given great advice to progress. On the other hand, it would really please me to be able to share foiling sessions with more girls !