If you haven’t heard of Lauren Holman and Lucas Arsenault yet, it’s about time to get to know the two Canadian Champs! We interviewed the power couple about their journey to the top of the podiums, kiting in Canada, challenges of being an athlete and much more… Read the insightful interview by Cabrinha below.
Hi Lucas and Lauren. Welcome again to the Cabrinha International Team, we are stoked to have you! Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from and where is your home spot?
Lucas: Thank you, I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of the international team. I’m 21 years old from Prince Edwards Island, Canada. I started kiteboarding at the age of 13 years old in front of our cottage on the eastern coast of Canada. I quickly fell in love with the sport and wanted to do it every day. I’m super thankful for where I am now. The sport has given me so many cool opportunities and experience. Stoked to grow with Cabrinha and see where the journey will bring us.
Lauren: I’m excited to be part of this amazing team! I’m originally from a small beach town in Southwestern Ontario called Bright’s Grove. I’m 21 years old and was first introduced to kiting by my dad at the age of 14. He took me out at our home spot in Lake Huron and it’s been a love of mine ever since. Summertime at home can be epic. We have spots to kite in every wind direction and since the kiting community here is pretty small, you usually have the whole place to yourself.
Canada offers so many epic places to kite at! What are your top 3 picks you recommend for anyone who wants to kite in Canada?
Lucas: Canada is surprisingly amazing for kiteboarding. Here are my personal top 3: Malpeque bay, Prince Edward Island, Squamish, British Colombia and Ile de la Madeleine, Quebec.
Lauren: Like Lucas said, we definitely have some pretty cool spots up here! My number one is definitely Squamish, BC. I’ve never kited in more perfect conditions… Steady winds and flat water delivers some pretty epic freestyle sessions on the west coast. After Squamish, Malpeque Bay in PEI is up there. Weeds beneath the surface of the water provide glassy conditions that are tough to find anywhere else. Last but not least, my home spot in Brights Grove. Nothing beats those peaceful solo foil sessions on Lake Huron at the end of the day. I’ve had so many beautiful summer night sessions, watching the sun set from between my lines. What is your main discipline and how did you get into this style of riding?
Lucas: My main discipline within the sport has always been wakestyle. Since the beginning I thought doing handle passes with the kite as low as possible was super cool. I really enjoy the learning process and the endless possibilities along with it. Keeping things fresh has been important over the years. Constantly learning always keeps me coming back for more.
Lauren: Wakestyle is my main discipline, as well. I’ve always been motivated by the truly limitless possibilities of the tricks you can do. Growing up, I remember watching videos of all the pros landing these awesome wakestyle maneuvers and being inspired to ride like that. I think it’s pretty cool how different riders can bring their own unique style to the same trick. This pushes me to be creative during my sessions and always keeps things interesting!
Do you two train together and how does it benefit your progress?
Lucas: We ride and travel together as much as possible. It’s super helpful on every level. From creating content to progression. Lauren really understands how I want to do tricks and what direction I like to push. She’s not shy to tell me when something looks terrible. Overall it’s great to give each other pointers to help moving forward.
Lauren: I think I definitely benefit a bit more than Lucas from training together haha! It’s so valuable to have someone that not only motivates you, but also knows how to do all of the tricks you’re learning and can break them down for you. His pointers have definitely played a role in my freestyle progression. You’re both constantly on the road for competitions and training daily. What are the challenges of your lifestyle?
Lucas: I think everyone has challenges in daily life no matter what you do. Honestly, it’s silly but I feel the most challenging to me is maintaining a healthy lifestyle when traveling. I easily eat like garbage and Lauren is normally pretty good at setting me back on tracks.
Lauren: Haha I do try to help out when it comes to eating healthily. Other than that, a big challenge for me is finding balance. Kite trips can be pretty full on as far as constant riding, training, and just thinking about tricks in general. It’s important to have other things going on, whether it be online work, yoga, or a good book. Focusing on something other than kiting is sometimes a tough one for me.
Do you have any tips for riders that look up to you and dream of being a professional athlete?
Lucas: Anything is possible, keep setting yourself realistic goals in the right direction. Whether it’s a vision of where you want to be in 1 years time or the trick you’re learning next. Constantly set your goals and do your best to make it happen.
Lauren: Find your niche. Be creative and generate your own unique style in everything you do.
How does a typical day in your life look like?
Lucas: My schedule is always wind dependent. I normally start off the day with some emails and work for a few hours, then follow that with some activity in the afternoon… Ideally kiteboarding but I always keep busy on non-windy days.
Lauren: Mornings for me consist of some school work and emails. I keep busy with that until about noon, then I’m ready to do something on the water. If there’s no wind, you can find me at my local cable or out for a paddle!
What are you guys doing when you’re not on the water? Do you have other great talents the world should know about?
Lucas: Definitely no other special talents. I really enjoy playing hockey when I’m home. I almost have as much fun on the ice as when I’m on the water.
Lauren: I love to play the piano! I’ve been playing since I was 4 and used to play in concerts and competitions. Totally different from kiteboarding, but music is definitely another love of mine.
Lucas, you’re not only one of Cabrinha’s team athletes, but also our rep for Canada…
Yes, I started out as the Canadian Rep exactly one year ago. Pryde Group America gave me the amazing opportunity to become rep and I’m super thankful. It’s a great position and goes hand in hand with riding. We are doing great up in Canada. Cabrinha is an amazing brand and I’m honored to be working closely with them in our Canadian market.
Lauren, you just won the Canada Nationals and are truly ripping! We are extremely happy to support a lot of female champions as part of the Cabrinha team. What, in your view, is the overall vibe in the female kiteboarding community?
Thank you! I was thrilled to claim the top spot this year. The level of riding in the female kiteboarding community is improving incredibly fast. It’s so inspiring to see so many women progressing, motivating one another on the water, and stomping new tricks. It’s only going to get better from here and I can’t wait to see the female kiteboarding community continue to grow!
What is your Cabrinha set up for 2019?
Lucas: For 2019, I’m currently riding FX’s in almost all sizes along with the 142 CBL.
Lauren: I’ll be riding the FX, along with the Xcal Wood 135. For features, I’m riding the CBL 139. My setup is reliable and never fails. I know I don’t have to worry about anything when going for a new trick!
What accomplishments are you proud of and what are your goals for the year ahead?
Lucas: I’m super proud of both of us for winning the Canadian Nationals this year and our progression in general. For 2019, I’d like to progress more within the ranks of the Kite Park League and of course keep the national title.
Lauren: I have to agree with Lucas, I’m most proud of being 2x Canadian National Champ. I’d like to hold onto this title for as long as I can, as well as continue to progress in the Kite Park League. We competed in our first KPL stop in Hood River this summer and had a blast. We have so much to learn and the possibilities in the park are endless!
Thanks for the interview, Lucas and Lauren. Good luck, fun and success for both of you!
This interview first appeared on Cabrinha’s blog here: https://www.cabrinhakites.com/blogs/news/getting-to-know-team-riders-lauren-holman-lucas-arsenault-2