Sometime muse to Kassia Meador, who shot her exclusively for this cover, Margaux Arramon-Tucoo is a young French longboarder and artist with rare steeze and grace. Last summer we hooked up to chat blonde curls, painting, tipees and the hearth-like comfort that surfing can bring
Interview by Sam Haddad, action photography by Dane Peterson and Lorene Carpentier, lifestyle photography by Kassia Meador
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Biarritz, France not far from the Spanish border. I started surfing on La Cote des Basques beach, going up and down those 172 stairs a lot and I still surf there everyday when I’m home. La Cote des Basques is a longboard beach break with a lot of surprises. At high tide the beach is hidden and you can get a lot of different waves in one day. Morocco is my second home, my parents have a house there and we used to go twice a year switching between the plane and the car. Now I travel on my own but I still try and go with them once a year.
What were you like as a kid?
My parents had four children. I am the third one and we are all so different, I was born with blonde curls unlike anyone else in my family. Just after I was born my parents moved in front of the ocean. I’ve always loved the sea, sports and painting. I have been and still think I’m cheeky and wise at the same time. I also realise how lucky I am to have an awesome family, friends and a special way of life. So I try to have make my little sister aware of that too, I’m here for that I think.
When did you first get into surfing?
When I was 10 my dad took my big sister and I on the waves with one board. We took one wave each and my sister went back on the sand. I didn’t want to stop that summer it became my main activity.
Calming, meditative, beautiful, hearth-like, musical, artistic, full of sensation and emotion, and people and places, and discovery and languages and friendships, and present moments, and memories, and the future, and creation, and satisfaction and sport, and beating hearts, and vitamins, and love…
What does surfing feel like to you?
Everything! Calming, meditative, beautiful, hearth-like, musical, artistic, full of sensation and emotion, and people and places, and discovery and languages and friendships, and present moments, and memories, and the future, and creation, and satisfaction and sport, and beating hearts, and vitamins, and love… It’s all in one and one in all. What I mean is that with surfing you can do everything, and I’m sure that’s the same with other sports or activities as well . Surfing is a passion and from one passion you always find hundreds more.
And what attracted you to longboarding specifically?
I have a calm personality, I love classical music, and poets and I pay a huge attention to detail. Longboarding is a way of surfing slowly and contemplating the wave, following it or just taking advantage of your board. I satisfy myself in every place I go, finding beach breaks or point breaks, I know where I to travel to find lady waves. I keep surfing more for the pleasure I get on my board than for an adrenalin rush.
Longboarding is a way of surfing slowly and contemplating the wave, following it or just taking advantage of your board.
What is the main difference for you between longboard and shortboard surfing?
I think no matter what the board is, every surfer is different. I think it’s better to talk about the person rather than the board. Whether you like big waves, small waves, speed, performance, cruising and classic surfing, competition or freedom in your surfing then we’re all different and make our passion, sport, life or job enjoyable for us and everybody. To me that passion is longboarding, but I enjoy watching people surfing in all those categories, I enjoy the new and the different, because that’s how the world keeps being entertaining.
You have some super cool art on your blog. Have you always been into producing art?
Thank you! My mother is an artist. She produces a lot of different things. Her job now revolves around sewing fabrics, but before that she was doing mosaics, circle tables. I was playing in her workshop as a child and just starting creating. I never did it as a daily activity until I went to boarding school and had to find an activity to let the time go. I would draw everyday, I took art classes there and then art classes at home. And then I found myself addicted because it would complete my passion for surfing if I had one activity in the water and one out. I couldn’t get bored anymore ahaha! I sort of realised that my flowers had a thing to do with my Mum’s mosaic. Last July Shaney Jo from the Keep a Breast foundation made a tee shirt collection with me and they helped me doing my first ever art show and it all started from there.
Do you ever get artist’s block?
I do!! I found that out especially while I was travelling, I have so much information in my head that I can’t reproduce things on paper right at a certain moment in time. Or when I don’t have the paper! So I learn to be patient, wait and think. But also not to think too hard, as I know someday it will just come as naturally as flowers in spring. I often take photographs to draw on them, it helps me a lot to have a friend’s creation and then to complete it.
I often take photographs to draw on them, it helps me a lot to have a friend’s creation and then to complete it.
When did you get hooked up with RVCA?
During my last year of school in February 2010. RVCA was based on the other side of France in Marseille and I’d known about the brand for a long time and wanted to know it more. As I was going to take a year off to travel and surf I wanted to have goals and projects mixed with my art and RVCA was the brand.
How are they different from other brands?
They own the mix between sport and art. They have a way to see the industry through the people they represent, through what they can create, so they can give more and something new to the world. They can organise the smallest event with music art and drinks and satisfy people while blowing their eyes with art, and they can also do bigger events and still have the same effect. They don’t look for fame, they look deeper.
There’s no limit to creativity.
What inspires you?
Life if I may say that! I mean people and experiences and grace…there’s no limit to creativity.
You like to travel, where are your favourite places to go?
I love California, the south and its waves and spring weather all year, it’s a good way of life. I go there quite often for a few months each time. Australia has been an amazing experience in my life too, I got to live with my Friend Leah Dawson in David (Rastovich) and Lauren’s (Hill) big forest called the Yeti Farm. We were there for a month and a half living in a tipee in the middle of the wild just off what we could produce, food, water and light. I miss it a lot! I went to Bali last summer, it blew my mind and amazed my eyes. I would love to go to Central and South America sometime soon and visit the goods there.
Are there any other things you’d like to talk about?
I would like to talk about people, people that help me to keep going with this amazing feeling of happiness, my friends from France with who I always have fun, my friends from California that are always here to help me go surfing and to keep up with good and creative projects like Hayley Gordon and her amazing videos. She never hesitates to stay on the beach on an amazing Californian swell and film and make goodness. Kassia [Meador – who shot Margaux for this cover] who is my mentor in life! She took care of me so many times and still does with all the kindness, knowledge and generosity she shares. I love people!!
I love people!!
Margaux is a RVCA ambassador.