Women of Vans

A celebration of the inspirational and diverse lives of the Women that make Vans, well Vans.

March 13, 2024
  • Women of Vans
  • Surf
  • Athletes

We’re checking in with our ever-inspiring women’s team across skate, surf, snowboarding and BMX. Delving deeper into the stories of these incredible women that make up the Vans team of athletes and discovering who and what inspires them to be role models in the diverse range of communities that underpin these women from the park to the beach, the mountain and beyond.

First up, Bienvenue Juliette Lacome!

Juliette Lacome

Juliette Lacome is one of the rising stars of the European surf scene. A household name in the southwest of France since forever, and over the past few years Juliette has been making her mark on the global scene through her exploits in Hawaii and further afield. ‘Juju’, as she’s known by her close friends grew up in France’s capital surf city, Biarritz. Juliette has been immersed in a unique, culture-rich surf scene from a very young age surrounded by the likes of Lee-Ann Curren amongst other stellar surfers from the French Basque region. When she’s not at home you’ll find her rubbing shoulders with the crème de la crème of the surfing world. We caught up with Juju fresh back from a stint in Hawaii and en route to surf an XXL swell in Nazare, Portugal.

For those of us that don’t know you - introduce yourself.

So, my name is Juliette, I'm from Biarritz, France and I am 21. I've been surfing since I was seven. I grew up in the beautiful southwest of France. Before I was doing surf contests my whole life, and now I'm more into free surfing. Maybe trying to get into big wave surfing - who knows?!


What have you been up to recently

I spent my winter in Hawaii. And then I've been at home for a month now, preparing myself, working out surfing. I've been cruising at home, figuring out the whole year head. I have a couple of surf trips planned; going to Indonesia for a month and then South Africa with my dear friends Coco (Ho) and Stephanie (Gilmore). I'm on my way to Portugal right now to Nazare and will hopefully get some waves as there are a few good swells on the way!

What does it mean to you to be a female surfer in your community today?

It's great, there are more girls in the water than ever, the vibes are higher and with equal pay in competitions I feel we are on the right track and that women have been proving themselves a lot on the global stage the past few years. I feel like when I started, I wasn’t exactly one of the only ones but there wasn’t that many girls surfing and these days there are loads which is amazing. From all ages and levels, there’s just this feeling of more girls in the water every day and that’s really nice to see.

From a community standpoint here in Biarritz, every year we have the Queens Classic Surf Festival, supported by Vans which is an all girls led surf festival based on all kinds of inclusivity and diversity rooted in LGBTQIA+ and it really champions this through having these conversations and activations which aren’t always present in our little surfing bubble. I already can’t wait for the next event.

How important is it for you to be a role model in your community with other girls?

I don't know if I'm the best role model… But every day, I try my best to be a better surfer and inspire other people through pushing women’s surfing. So I don't know - I'm just trying to do my best and hopefully I can inspire like the younger generation to do the same and just surf and don't be afraid of the boys!


Who are your female role models in and outside of surfing?

I always looked up to Stephanie Gilmore, she is so stylish and has really pushed women’s surfing in and out of the water her entire career. And then obviously, the past few years, I've been traveling a bunch with Coco Ho and seeing how much she takes care of me, and how much she pushes me to be a better person and better surfer. It's inspiring to me.

What these girls gave to me, I want to give back to the upcoming generations.

My biggest inspiration is my mum because she raised me and she's the best! There are honestly so many people that inspire me. But these three people I mentioned are the most important ones.

How did you see the global women's surf community evolving?

I feel like it's been evolving a lot. Especially like this year, at Pipe and Sunset. Girls like Bettylou (Sakura Johnson), Caity Simmers, Molly Picklum - they have been putting on a show and I think that’s so inspiring to the wider global community to see those girls out there charging as hard - if not harder - than the boys. They are really pushing the limits of girls surfing and carrying the whole community with them. I think in the wider big wave scene there are now so many more girls out there on any given day and I hope that gets more girls into surfing.

What advice would you give to women that are starting out in surfing?

It’s funny as I get that question a lot. The most classic one is ‘am I too old to start surfing?’ And I just say, you can start at any age. As long as you're having fun. That's the most important thing - just have fun - don't put too much pressure on yourself. Being a girl is never going to stop you getting the best wave, just commit to it. If anyone sees me in the water, please ask me any questions - just don't be afraid. I'm here to support the women’s community in the water! Only love!