Interview & Frames by Robin Pailler | Photography by Carles Medina
Lola Mignot is perhaps the definition of good vibes.
Always smiling. Always laughing. Equally stylish both in and out the water, Lola’s made a name for herself as one of the leading female long boarders out there.Her passion for surfing, good times and living life to its fullest is infectious.
So when we heard she was heading to Europe for the summer we managed to catch up with Sayulita’s finest to discuss, family time, the joys of French cuisine, her experience at Fêtes des Bayonne and why if it wasn’t for surfing, she’d probably be a Salsa dancer.
Hey Lola, how are you?
I’m good. Just waking up. I’m staying with family. There’s like, more and more family members coming through every day.
Where are you? In Audierne?
Yeah, we’re staying in a castle in a place called Lezurec. It’s pretty crazy. There’s two more cousins coming tomorrow. My Mum’s here, my Grandma’s here. My other aunt. It’s wild!
That sounds like so much fun. Is it nice to be in France?
I think I’m gonna stay in Europe until the end of the summer. Or like, maybe even try and move here.
I don’t know. Once it starts getting cold, I think it’ll be gone haha.
Yeah right! You’ll be gone straight to Hawaii.
Yeah. Oh, true. Hawaii. I forgot about that.
Just quickly, for those who don’t know. Could you explain your roots. I think a lot of people always assume you’re Mexican.
Yeah right. So my Mum is French. My Dad’s Spanish Argentinian. And I was born in Paris. But I’ve lived in Mexico since I was three years old. So I kind of consider myself more Mexican. Because I’ve never been in Europe really. Like, this is the longest I’ve been in France. Two months after I was born, we left on a sailboat to Tahiti for three years. So I’ve never really like, had the chance to experience Europe or France. But we have family from all over the world. We’re like 32 cousins. African cousins. Cousins from Venezuela, from Panama, from Portugal, France, Mexico, and California, and the list keeps growing.
What’s your favourite thing about France? The cheese?
The cheese and the bread definitely. Butter.
We put butter on everything. We’ve been cooking amazing meals. Oh and wine.
Classic! So not a lot of surfing then?
No not really but I’m doing a contest soon. The Queens Classic at Cotes des Basques. And then after that we’re trying to do a kinda Cadarve Exquis sequence with the girls. visit where everybody lives. So 6th – 16th September we’re doing a road trip. I’ve got camper vans to sponsor it. I think six to ten of the girls are coming, or the ones that are in Europe at least. We’re just gonna film each other and then bring a photographer which will be my cousin Chacha and potentially some other amazing photographers. We’re still trying to figure that out.
Rad! Who’s onboard so far?
Lee-Ann, Ainara, Juliette, Margaux, Karina’s coming. I think Holly’s coming. Me. Oh and maybe Hanna, but she’s not confirmed yet. I don’t know, Lee-Ann’s the one organising it. But whatever happens, it’s gonna be fun!
Did you manage to surf a little in Biarritz or was it too busy?
I surfed twice. not many waves when i was there so i took more like a holiday. I was doing my little family time. But I’m kinda wanting to go surfing soon. I’ve been with family here for more than 3 weeks and I’m dying to get back in the water!
So what route are you going on this surf trip?
I think we’re gonna stay in Biarritz for like two or three days. Kind of gather ourselves up and then go around France and Spain. Again, Lee-Ann’s the one that’s planning the surfing. You know? Local knowledge. But it’s very exciting. I think we’re going to try and keep on doing it if it goes well. Try go visit everybody’s home spot.
That’d be sick.
Yeah and I think it’s also needed for surfing. It’s kinda missing. There’s not many girls doing surf trips and ongoing projects together.
Totally. It’s a good crew of girls too. Seeing you guys at Sayulita Duct Tape seems so long ago. What did you get up to after that?
I stayed home for a little bit. Took a little time off. There was a lot going on. Kind didn’t talk to anyone for a couple weeks. And then I went to California and Bali. I’m doing another project with Karina for her new collection.
Actually we went to Oaxaca with Karina, her brother and Jimmy. Salina Cruz and it was insane! We were surfing bigger waves on longboards. The footage is insane. We surfed every single day for ten days. At the end I couldn’t even move my arm. You have to walk all around the point. You can’t really paddle because there’s a current that pulls you down.
Heavy! How was your trip to Cape Town?
So Karina and I went three, four days before the contest and I never thought South Africa would be so sick. I literally fell in love with Cape Town and the people like, it’s so beautiful.
Oh, it’s one of my favourite places. Love it!
Oh my God. I loved it. I’ve never thought about travelling there. Maybe because it’s cold and there’s sharks.
But like, wow! I even extended my trip to stay another week. It was mind blowing. Literally like, the food! Like every single spot that the locals would take us to it was like, unbelievable. It was a bit sketchy because you can’t really walk around at night. You have to take Ubers everywhere. That part was hard. Just not being able to walk to the places that you want to go to, even if it’s like, two blocks away. But we had a great time. The food was amazing. We went to so many good restaurants. Fresh oysters!
How many oysters have you eaten since you’ve been in France?
Oh my god. Yes. On Saturday there’s a market here and I bought 56 oysters for the family. I’ve lost count. Butter and oysters. It’s great!
Living the good life Lola. Got a few little quick fire questions. What albums have you been listening to this summer?
Me? I’m pretty bad with music recommendations.
Yeah, So is my family. we’re not really gifted in music. We kinda forget names. I don’t know. With Lee-Ann We were listening to a lot of old Brazilian music. So I was with them for like, two weeks and we were listening to that for a little while. I don’t have the names but I could ask her because I really loved it. I listen to a lot of Latino music haha. But I have to get better at making mixtapes and stuff because I haven’t good working on that.
What about books? Have you read any books or have you been too busy eating and drinking?
I have been on one book this trip called Shanghai Girls. But I’m only half way through. I’ve been too busy helping take care of kids and making food.
Yeah, I also went to Spain to see my grandparents. It’s pretty much been family time since I got here for like a month and a half. I hadn’t seen my grandparents from Spain for years. And they’re not doing too good. So we had to go spend some time with them.
How happy were you to miss the US Open this year?
I think it was the best decision I’ve ever made. It was like, this, my family time or the US Open?
But I kinda missed it seeing everybody’s stories. Karina and all my besties having a blast. I would’ve loved to see them surf and I guess I did a bit, just on a screen. And I mean, it was more of a WSL event with like, the duct tape thrown in. It seemed very different from like, the traditional duct tapes, and Atlantic surfing/logging. And I mean, I’m not much of a contest girl.
I enjoy it a lot but it’s a lot of pressure sometimes. So that one would have been like, way more pressure and the waves were huuuuge! Everybody broke their board! But maybe next year, I’ll try better. I just get so nervous. I can’t breath.
I would never think that you were someone that would get nervous.
I just don’t surf the way I surf, y’know? And then I get out of the water I’m like, “what did I even do?”.
Are you gonna work on any more video projects in the near future?
Well we’re doing this trip with Lee-Ann and everyone. But I would love to do a little project in Europe with some people here, with more like, structure and make something a little bit more unique with some ideas that I’ve saved up over the years.
Tell me, how was your experience at Fêtes des Bayonne?
Oh my god. I’d never been. Lucie was like, all for it. So she’s like “you have to come back from Spain on the 27th. And then we’re gonna go to Fetes des Bayonne at 11am”. Okay, so I got ready. I got my pants. I got my stuff. And we get there that I was like, “holy moly!”. I mean the daytime was fine. We’re like just drinking and there’s like good music, but I thought it was going to be more traditional music with lots of bands. But it was more like, little bars with their own music.
So the first day, I was okay and then it got to midnight and we were trying to go see the fireworks. I almost had a panic attack. I was like, fainting because there was so many people and you can’t walk and like, people were falling, so you were falling. It was impossible. like sardines trying to go somewhere. I remember just looking up at someone and was like, “I need help. I can’t breathe”.
photo: Lucie Curutchet
I don’t know if I would go again. Maybe one more time. Next year. Because the second day we went, we went way too early. So we were drinking way too early. And I kinda was passing out because it was super hot and it all hits home. But it’s super fun, don’t get me wrong! You just gotta be ready for it.
Wise words. Before I let you go. Just wanted to ask if there are any up and comers in surfing you’re hyped on?
New surfers? I mean the little vans girls are ripping it up. Have you seen them? They’re like winning everything. They’re like, so young and doing like, 360s and winning everything. Puamakamae (DeSoto) is one of my favourites. She’s so graceful and easy with so much power. And she’s only 17 or something. I think the new generation of the female surfers, the little youngsters, are doing something that’s never been seen. And the older ones are like, trying to catch up. Like, “oh, shit, now we have to do some airs”. And it’s way more difficult. Just seeing them flying like it’s nothing.
Do you know Summer Richley? She’s surfing really good and she’s young, too. She’s doing really good. I love her style, too. And like the roller skating too! She’s sick! I’ve known her since she started long boarding.She kinda reminds me of Karina and her style. I love how she rides long, heavy boards. Additional logging, single fin and the way that she’s surfing is super nice.
Yeah she’s rad!
Her parents are super cool too! Every time we’re at surf contests, they like, rent a little house and they invite us all to have food and drinks and hang out and it’s so fun! They really care for everybody and all the other girls.
One last question. What would you be doing if you didn’t surf. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a dancer.
Yeah. When I was little sun Tahiti I would go to Tahitian class and that was my favourite thing to do, other than being in the ocean. And I would have to take a bus ride and like my mom or my mom’s friend would dress me up. The whole like block would dress me up with the crowns and everything and it was my favourite thing. I would press the bust stop button and go to my class. I was always the first in my class. And then when we moved to Mexico, I had my salsa dancing dresses, and every Monday I would go to salsa dancing. Or if there was drums playing on the beach, I would run from the house and dance. And then I did like some fashion walk shoes and I was dancing. I have really funny photos of me all dressed up. I think I would have loved to be a dancer, or like, an artistic side, because all of my family have a little bit of that talent.
Otherwise I guess I would be taking care of the boutique and the Hotel. There’s endless things that I think I could have and can still do. Maybe in like, 10 years.
Do you have any photos of you dressed up as a kid?
Oh yes! I’ll send them over. You’re gonna laugh. I’m super tiny!
Can’t wait! Thanks so much Lola! Hopefully catch you somewhere soon.