Ending a tough year on a high, we are delighted to announce that we have our second brand ambassador. We would like to introduce you to Antoine Auriol.
Each season he’ll share his adventures to inspire us all to get outdoors and try new activities. Expect action content from the water, as well as plenty of thoughts around sustainability and caring for the planet. To help you get to know Antoine a little better, have a read of the interview we did with him recently.
Please can you tell us how you would describe yourself to a stranger?
My name is Antoine Auriol and I am 35 years old. I am a professional kite surfer and was world champion in 2010. Right now I also present documentaries for French TV about the environment, sport, human encounters and positivity. I have a passion for outdoor sports that are pure, connect with nature and help me connect with myself. Using the strength of the elements to do yoga, kitesurf, foil, paraglide and slackline. Through these sports I have been able to connect deeply to myself too. Every day I feel lucky and grateful to have this lifestyle.
You grew up in France – please can you tell us about your childhood and why you chose to move to Spain?
I grew up in France, but my mother is German so I also have roots over there too. When my family moved to Brittany, I really discovered my passion for the ocean, so I began to windsurf. I really enjoyed the sensations of gliding over the sea and learning how to read the elements. I started to really enjoy kitesurfing at the age of 15, which is why I moved to Spain because the winds pushed me. I live in Cadiz which is really famous for two winds – the Levante and Poniente, which blow all year round. It’s the perfect place to live and train and full of amazing Andalusian culture. I love the lifestyle and the people.
You’ve said the most important element to you is air, can you explain why?
Air is really important to me because it’s the engine of my sport, the essence! Thanks to the wind the waves are created and I can kite or surf, so this is my energy and the flow of the air feeds my creativity. I define myself ‘light’ and can adapt to situations – every day I am improvising, opening new doors and starting new projects, so air is really the element that fits me!
Kite surfing has taken you all over the world, but where would you say is your favourite place to kite surf?
My favourite place to kitesurf is New Caledonia, a beautiful French island not too far from New Zealand. The lagoon is really huge. When you kite there it is so beautiful that the water is a different kind of blue, the people are amazing too so it’s a really special place to be.
Can you describe how kite surfing makes you feel?
Kite surfing makes me feel free, happy, connected to nature, to the elements and to myself all at the same time. When I kite I really let go, I don’t really think about anything specifically I just enjoy the sensations – it’s hard to explain but it’s so pure, the connection is intense and I feel in harmony with the world.
How do you think kite surfing can be used as a way of re-connecting people with the natural world?
I think kite surfing is such a powerful sport that connects you deeply with the wind and the ocean. You start on the earth, from the beach and you’ve got the fire inside that is really burning. When you kite all the elements are connected and awake inside you. It’s a really powerful way to connect to nature and alongside that you connect to yourself too, even though you don’t see it.
What part of sustainability do you most want to impact through your work?
I think a green action always starts with a positive thought, so I think if you try to respect others, the earth and yourself that’s the first step to really respecting the environment. I think the beginning is to really have a conscience that is pure, to try to enrich yourself inside first and not just with money. Once you begin to think like that, step by step you begin to have a purer life.
Aside from water sports, what are your other main passions in life?
Really my passion is simple. It’s to be alive. It’s to enjoy every day as if it were the last one. To enjoy every detail, every moment, every breath I take and spread good vibrations!
Can you tell us about the different kind of reactions you get to your work and your mission around the world?
Generally the reactions I get are really positive. I think some people are attracted to what I do because some people say they would love to do it. I always try to push everyone to follow their dreams. I often get told I am a bit inspirational which is great, but you know I just live my life so if the people like it that’s cool. Some people are also jealous sometimes but I don’t judge anyone and my intensions are always good to anyone so I’m ok with that and hey, life is good.
Obviously COVID must have disrupted your work to a certain extent – can you tell us how you’ve found the past 6 months and talk about any future projects you have planned?
Yes COVID has changed the world, but at the same time it was a great moment to slow down and take some energy and in the end the continuity of my life is to try to adapt to every situation. I try to adapt every day. Some plans haven’t gone as I’d hoped, but that’s no problem because I try to open as many doors as I can and in the end when you follow your instinct and values things happen. So for me it’s a good moment to focus on my new projects and that’s what I’m doing.
Do you have anything else you’d really like to share with us or anything else you’d like to talk about?
Your sunglasses are beautiful, I really love them! I am never without mine!
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