JUSTINE - BIARRITZ
Justine Mauvin is a surfer, a musician and a model. Born in 1993, she first rode waves as a baby on her mom’s board, entering her first contest at 13 years old at Les Roches Noires break, on her home turf on Réunion Island.
She went on to win the titles of French Longboard Champion, Vice European Longboard Champion, Pan-American Champion, and is part of the Roxy team.
For the past three years, this conscious young woman has been based in Biarritz, on the south west coast of France, a place where she can fully express her skills in the water and prepare to launch her first music album, out this summer.
Read on to discover how she gains balance by following the rhythm of the waves, feeling aligned with her environment and her state of mind, and empowering women with SurfRider Foundation.
INSIDE/OUT: What is the first sport you practiced?
JUSTINE MAUVIN: Dance and surfing, of course, when my mother took me with her on her board while I was still a baby.
And the first one where you felt comfortable?
Was physical education a central part of your identity at school?
Yes, it played a big part in my personal development. I was doing the same things as the boys and I was not afraid of anything.
What is your fondest sport-related memory?
My Wednesdays, when I was kid. In the morning I would go riding, then do the trampoline. In the afternoon, I had painting and synchronized swimming. A truly fulfilling day for a child.
Did your parents influence you in your sport practices?
My mother was a dance teacher so we danced a lot at home and I loved it. Otherwise, I don’t remember that my parents really influenced me until later, when surfing became important and the pace of competitions accelerated.
Any favorite athletes growing up?
How would you define the relationship the French have with the active lifestyle?
They like to combine chic with comfort.
What is your favorite activewear piece?
The neoprene wetsuit.
What rituals or habits do you have before or after training?
Warming up before going in the water and a good stretch afterwards.
What is your favorite wellness experience?
A real Moroccan hammam followed by a full body massage. There is nothing like putting your stress aside and feeling like you have a new body.
How do you strive to find balance in your life?
I eat only healthy foods and beverages, things that bring me energy and pleasure. I am an active woman, fully aware of myself and my body. I find balance when I'm in contact with water, too. It regenerates me.
What roles do the physical and mental play in your training and your life?
These are both crucial and permanent elements. As much in music as surfing, work and mental preparation requires time, self-awareness and perseverance. The more you do, the more you want it.
What is the most intense emotion you have felt during a surf session?
Deep joy. It invades me fully, to the extend that I sometimes find it difficult to contain.
Any routines, rituals and non-negotiables?
In the morning I greet the world: the mountain that I see through the window of my room, the plants of my house. I send kind thoughts out to my people and I do not miss a sunset.
How do your physical activities influence your eating habits?
Even without doing sports we feel that we are what we eat. I knew this very early and quickly developed eating habits that have a beneficial effect on my health, on my sports activities and on the environment. It means consuming things that are full of life (not industrial and raw as possible), seasonal and local.
Sibumanai, which translates as ‘take care of the flower within, cherish it, make it bloom’ in Mentawai (editor’s note: The Mentawai language is an Austronesian language, spoken by the Mentawai people of the Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra, Indonesia.)
Do you feel more connected to communities online or physically?
I like real people, not their Instagram accounts.
Any destinations on your travel wish list?
Bhutan and Mongolia.
What is the role of music in your practice?
Music allows me to release my emotions and express them. In the water, I often have music in my head that accompanies me. When I surf, my whole body becomes the vector of my expression. I dance to a rhythm imposed by the waves, my environment and my state of mind. I juggle between the surfing and music scenes to find a balance, but there are not many differences between the two disciplines. They are all about creation and spontaneity, and go through me in the same way.
Surfing is like playing music or writing a song. You're free to do what you want, and this massive feeling of freedom is addictive. Whether I am in the water or playing music, I feel closer to my inner feelings because every feeling is more profound. Being able to express and receive between deep inside and what you hear (music), what you see, watch, and touch (nature)... On the other hand, I think that being an artist and a surfer helps show the value of the modern women, while also promoting the image of women's surfing.
What does women's empowerment mean to you?
True gender equality.
Can you tell us about your commitment to Travel Surf Morocco? Your commitment to promote women's surfing?
Travel Surf Morocco is a Moroccan surf school that partners with SurfRider Foundation Morocco was created to give access to surf among young Moroccan and Berber girls and empower them. I go there every year to help and spend time with them to show them, with other women with different backgrounds that, if they want it, another future is possible.
TIPS AND ADDRESSES
1 coach or instructor: My brother is the best surf teacher on the south west coast of France. Ask for Pablo at the Kiwi Surf Club in Biscarosse.
1 piece of advice: Listen, observe and have fun.
1 app: Spotify
1 podcast: On the shoulders of Darwin on France Inter (French only)
1 food address: La Ruche qui dit oui
1 power song: Alain Peters - Rest’la Maloya
1 video: Kaleleo
1 book: Siddartha by Herman Hess
1 product for the body and the spirit: essential oil of Gaulthérie
1 woman we should interview: Justine Mothe - freelance journalist and activist (Usbeketrica, Arte)