Riding with Manon Lanza
NEW MODELS is a series of portraits and interviews of people and initiatives shaping tomorrow’s world. Fashion, food, design… How can we produce differently? Who is shaking things up and why?
This week, our path crosses that of Manon Lanza, a surfer, skater and all-around rider. Meet a board culture addict who adds her own fresh touch to the boardsport scene.
A native of northern France, Manon Lanza decided to live her life from coast to coast. At age 28, she splits her time between Biarritz and Los Angeles, where she loves to surf. This is one of her favourite sports, amongst others – as long as there’s a board involved. “I’ve always been diehard about sports. I started young with motocross. Then, I fell in love with snowboarding and then skating and finally surfing.” This devotion led her to create her own media, Allons Rider, specialised in boardsports: “As I grew up, it became clear that there weren’t many girls who liked riding. This realisation and the fact that I wanted a space for discussion pushed me to set up Allons Rider.”
She knows the tricks of the trade like the back of her hand: “It’s a mix of dedication, dialogue and determination. Not to mention the lifestyle that goes with it. You can spot a skater from a mile away with their high socks, ripped jeans, loose T-shirt and cap. As for surfing, if you’re hooked, it dictates your entire life: you wake up with the tides, you have five boards in your living room and wetsuits drying in your bathtub.” Her goals are inseparable from her discipline: surf, skate, ride… and repeat. This is when she feels her best. “When I surf or skate, I’m in the present moment. I’m only thinking about the next wave or the next turn. I feel so good after each session. It’s like magic!”
For Manon, riding is now girls’ territory too, as proven by the performance of Rayssa Leal and her peers at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. “It was incredible to see them on TV. This will inspire young generations to do the same. And they’re opening people’s eyes to new perspectives. Now, girls + skating is a possible equation.” This was a game-changer on a scene that was quickly defined as masculine. “They spread a wonderful image of this sport, often perceived as testosterone-packed and very street.” Inspired by the exuberance of Sky Brown and driven by a desire to share her passion, Manon recently released Le skate vu par une passionnée (published by Michel Laffont), her book designed to answer all the questions of any girl who wants to ride. Another way of spreading her zeal and contagious enthusiasm.
AMV Journal is a space dedicated to encounters, discovery and travel. Every week, explore the musts, portraits and inspirations of American Vintage and its creation studio.