Miss Stance : Marilys Lacroix Samson
Name : Marilys Lacroix Samson or Mary
Age : 27
Hometown : Lac-Mégantic, Québec
Sponsors : Tona boards, Prokite South Padre, Prokite Canada
Hello Marilys! How would you describe yourself in a few words?
Hello!!! I am an adventuer passionate of life, a bubbly go-getter who loves to laugh and a bit crazy-happy. I am not afraid to be different and I love challenges and to push my own limits.
How did you start kiteboarding?
I saw kiteboarding for the first time during a trip in 2008 and I was fascinated. I had to try it! Back in Quebec, I found an instructor and flew a kite for the first time in January 2009 on the iced Bay of Gaspé. A month later, I’ve put my snowboard on for my second lesson, had my first rides and took some great bails. It was scaring me out but I loved it! I then bought a used 7m and took it out every time I could, on the water and on the snow for over a year. But at that time, I had a 9 to 4 office job and was living in a place where the conditions were marginal so it was not enough. In 2010, I then quitted my job to be able to travel and kite. I ended up in the Dominican Republic in 2011, stayed there for two months, progressed very fast, became completely passionate about kitesurfing, did my IKO instructor certification and decided to dedicate my life to kiteboarding!
You live from your passion as a pro rider, instructor/coach and you organize kite trips. What obstacles did you meet and how did you overcome them?
1) For the first years, my entourage did not seem to believe that I could make a living out of kiteboarding and were expecting me to eventually get back to a ”real” job.
2) Incomes. This is a seasonal livelihood – with no employment security – which depends on many variables such as the weather and the demand so incomes are somewhat uncertain. My instructor-employee salary was never enough to make my living only out of kiteboarding but even having my own business it is still stressful to spend money with no guarantee of it’s profitability and this is a field of activities where few people will book ahead, whether it is for the organized trips or lessons.
I have overcome all of this partly because of positive mindset, my stubbornness to follow my dreams, my desire for challenges (and frugality) but mostly because I have taken action. I spent several months living out of my car to continue to live my passion to its fullest without getting too much in debts and I was doing it joyfully. I also often had a second or third job to make enough money for some gear and I have traveled and taught at various places in America to gain experience and to extend the short season we have in Quebec… And finally I started my own business and I continue to work hard to keep it profitable! Despite the doubts and difficult moments, I’ve always believed that the most important thing is to do what makes us happy and that everything is possible if we really believe, take action and do not put up our own walls. As long as I take action in the pursuit of my dreams and ambitions, I feel I am doing the right thing.
What is your proudest achievement so far and what do you yearn for with your kiteboarding career?
I am very proud of my overall route, of all the steps and the evolution behind what I am and do today. So I just want to continue to evolve with my passion! I want to continue contributing to our sport with my teaching and different projects and ideas that I plan to develop in the future and as for my personal practice, I obviously want to keep getting better, participate in some competitions, become Canadian champion and possibly initiate associations with some new sponsors that I will be proud to represent and promote.
Who is your inspiration within the kitesurfing industry?
There has been many inspiring people along my path but Bruna Kajiya was the first female pro rider I have heard of and she was (and still is) very inspiring to me. Surrounded mostly by guys who did not have any interests for professional kiteboarding during my beginnings, it is only after seeing a video of Bruna that I had told myself : ” OK I can do this too and I want to become a pro rier!”.
Then for sure, the man I married in February inspired me a lot in the past years. He has also started his own kite school (just before we met) and he inspired me a lot and encouraged me in my career and the start of my own business. We very much complete each other when it comes to managing our two businesses today and he remains a daily inspiration for me.
What is your favorite spot, why and where do you dream to go?
I have TWO! And how awesome, these are the two places we operate our businesses at!! 😉 South Padre Island in Texas and Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Magdalen Islands) in Québec. Both places have a lot in common: they are small islands very exposed to winds with beautiful sand dunes and warm, shallow and extra flat waters lagoons (only in summer for Îles-de-la-Madeleine), PLUS they offer some epic wave riding. And the best is that their beaches are always uncrowded! It’s just paradise! 😉 I have a special attachment to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, its people, its breathtaking landscapes and its magical -even mythical – side which makes us returns again and again despite the short summer season but South Padre Island wins with its annual temperature and the fact that we can kite it 300 days or more per year haha!! 😉 Otherwise, I dream of traveling EVERYWHERE in the world!! 😀
What are your favorite kite conditions?
I love to VARY! 😛 My preferences :
‘’Lit’’ 5m-6m -> Big Air + Kiteloop Fest!
Waves + Side off 6m-7m-8m -> Down-the-line Surf Shred!
Steady with 8m-10m-12m -> Freestyle/wakestyle Shred!
‘’Lit’’ 12m -> Kicker N Slider Fun!
Light 12m -> Try new stuff!
Extra light wind -> Foil Time!
What do you like to do when you are not kiteboarding?
I like to travel, explore, try out new things, surf, play with my paraglider and fly, go to the cable park, train/stay active, do yoga, read, cook super healthy meals, dance salsa, dream and work to realize many of little -and big- dreams and projects.
What are your plans for the upcoming months?
Work at Prokite South Padre, our business on South Padre Island until June, spend some time in Cape Hatteras for the Triple-S Invitational, go to Îles-de-la-Madeleine to start the season with Prokite Canada, do a short trip West to participate in the Hood River Slider Jam and in the Kite Clash, then head south again in September with a surf stop in Cape Hatteras for the Wave Classic and rrrreturn to South Padre Island… YAY!!:)
To follow Marilys :
PROKITE SOUTH PADRE