Laure Treboux is one of the top women on the PWA tour, pushing Sarah-Quita all the way in freestyle and quickly climbing the ranks on the wave tour too. Boardseeker reminisce with Laure, finding out how she got started, how windsurfing became her life and what she hopes to achieve this year.
Photos. Wave pics Emma Severne. Freestyle pics Alex Syss. Lifestyle pics Fanatic/North.
My first windsurfing taste was at age 12. I took some lessons down at our local windsurfing school in Préverenges, Switzerland. I have some vivid memories, but lots of them are pretty blurry too – it was a long time ago. I was a shy kid and seeing all the windsurfers around me was both impressing and inspiring at the same time. I was ballet dancing and playing the piano, but had always been attracted by board sports at the same time. I was really good at school but hated it.
Over 15 years later, board sports are still my passion, I surf, snowboard, skateboard, wakeboard… If I don’t have at least one of them I am unhappy. I realised that studying isn’t that bad and can even be interesting (and got back into it!), I am still pretty shy, I love traveling and can’t stand being told what to do.
I got into windsurfing after seeing guys flying on the water on the lake at home. I thought it looked amazing and my parents signed me up for a course the following summer. I actually can’t remember the very first time I was on a board, but there are lots of moments that are forever printed in my memory.
We were really lucky to have a club for the youngsters, so after a couple of courses I joined it for the season and we could just come and use the gear as much as we wanted. We were a great crew of kids there, I met my best friend there, and we are still best friends now. Even if there was no wind we would just play around on the water, learning lots of light wind freestyle moves. As a kid you just learn without realising. I can’t remember learning to waterstart for example, it just happened when my best friend and I decided to head out on a short board and then realised we couldn’t up haul.
It was when I was about 16 years old. I started working at our local shop and school to save a bit of money and go on windsurfing trips during school holidays and weekends. These trips were always epic. We were getting a ride with the older guys, we would just camp somewhere and windsurf as much as we could. Sometimes, they would just leave us there for a few days and someone else would pick us up and drive us back. I have made such good friends thanks to windsurfing, and have a ton of memories that will always make me smile.
I was hanging around with the older guys who were traveling all around to windy places, spending the winter in Australia, and I just wanted to do the same. They were a great inspiration and I guess without all these people living their passion I wouldn’t have done what I did.
Once I finished high school I started working full time as a windsurfing instructor. I saved enough money over the season and left for my first big trip and childhood dream: Australia. That was one of the most decisive steps in my life. Going wave sailing got me even more hooked to windsurfing. At that time people were telling I should compete, but I just wanted to windsurf, travel, and teach windsurfing. I did it for a few years, just working and enjoying some windsurfing trips with friends.
Then my freestyle level made a big step forward when I went out to Dahab for the first time. That’s when I went to my first international competitions. I had podium results straight from the start and started my professional windsurfer career.
My whole life pretty much is designed around windsurfing now. I have met so many amazing people, traveled to so many amazing places. It’s the best life experience I could have had.
I live in Western Australia with Simon now, for as much time of the year as possible. WA is like home now, we have some great friends there and the lifestyle is unique. We windsurf as much as possible, traveling up and down the coast in search of waves and wind. If not windsurfing, then we surf, swim, cruise on our skateboards… Loving life down there.
The rest of the year I compete on the PWA Tour in both waves and freestyle. I love the fact that both disciplines fit perfectly with each other. Not only does freestyle help learn things quicker in the waves, it’s also that by doing both you never get bored. If there’s no waves, I freestyle, if there are waves, I wave sail.
I love freestyling because of the feeling you get when you land good moves. And I love wave sailing because to me there’s nothing like riding waves. That’s why I surf too. You can’t get me out of the water when I surf. I’m getting to enjoy jumping more too now, the feeling of float in a backloop is unreal.
The highlight of my career was last year on tour: I made every single final of the whole season in freestyle, won the expression session in Fuerte, got 5th in Tenerife in the waves, and finished vice-world champion 2011 in freestyle.
I am training hard to win freestyle events and finish with a podium place in the waves one day. But my main goal is to enjoy windsurfing and make the most out of the opportunities I get. I love teaching windsurfing too. Being able to give back to the sport a little bit of what it gave me is a great feeling.
There’s still so much I want to do, so let’s see what the future brings. I just know that as long as I am able to, I will always be windsurfing and cruising on some kind of board, trying my best to make the people around me happy and the world we live in a better place (even if it sounds cliché!).