Céline Rouillard: medalist at the world para surfing championships
Céline Rouillard, native of Saint-Jean-de-Luz in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, is a source of inspiration because of her courage and determination in the face of multiple sclerosis. In 2015, she discovered surfing, a passion that would not only become a means of physical therapy, but also a real sporting adventure.
(Céline engaged in a wave - Photo by Guillaume Arrieta - ©FFS/WE CREATIVE/ARRIETA)
The bronze medal she recently won at the World Para Surfing Championships in California is a testament to her exceptional skills on the waves. His victory is twofold, because it represents not only a sporting achievement, but also a personal victory over illness. Learning to surf on the picturesque coasts of the Basque Country in 2015 marked the start of a unique relationship between Céline and the ocean, one that became a central part of her fight against multiple sclerosis.
Aside from competitive success, surfing has proven to be crucial therapy for Céline Rouillard. She explains that it helped her recover certain motor skills, emphasizing the complementary and indispensable importance of surfing in her daily life. Despite the challenges of limited mobility, she clings to her surfboard like a survival board.
(Photo by Céline Rouillard with Johan Poncet, French Para Surf team coach on a beach in Biarritz, November 2023. © France 3 Euskal Herri)
At the heart of his experience, we find his coach, Johan Poncet, always present at his side in the water. Its role goes beyond physical training, acting as the engine that helps it brave the waves and venture offshore. Together, they form a team determined to push the limits.
Céline's surfboard is also an adventure in itself! In addition to the fact that it is custom-made from upcycled carbon in our Anglet workshop, it is its creation process that makes it unique. Benoît our shaper exchanged a lot with Céline and her trainers: the slightest constraints, the slightest comments, were translated into shapes very different from those of conventional surfboards, but which would make life easier for Céline and Johan and boost their water efficiency. It is because of this innovative design that Céline's board attracted so much attention in California. Observers were curious to understand how this carbon board, with its very particular shapes, influenced its performance in the water, thus highlighting the unique aspect of its equipment.
Céline Rouillard's dream does not stop with her current victories. She aspires to see para surfing included in the program of the 2028 Paralympic Games, marking a new stage in her quest for sporting challenges and achievements. Her determination and passion for surfing make her a true pioneer and ambassador of the indomitable spirit in the face of adversity.