Coach PLC Working With Ocean Roots

It’s every groms dream to learn from the best… and over in France they are doing just that. Having Pierre Louis Costes (arguably one of the best in the game right now) out in the line up with you would usually be an intimidating prospect. However, for these young Frenchmen and Frenchwomen it’s a different story. Through Ocean Roots they are being coached and guided by PLC.

As you can see in the ‘Improve Your Skills’ clip above which showcases a week of Pierre coaching the kids, they are having an absolute ball. Being able to teach and coach however is no easy task and Pierre had to learn from someone. That someone was French Lord Nicolas Padois. Nicolas runs Ocean Roots and has been coaching bodyboarding for a substantial period. So, we thought it was only fitting that we sat down with both Pierre and Nicolas to get a better understanding about their coaching, what exactly they’re doing, why they do it and what’s in the works for Ocean Roots.

MM: When did you first meet Nicolas and explain how your relationship has developed over the years?

PLC: Nicolas Padois is a very good friend of mine, we met a few years ago and one day he gave me the opportunity to ride for his club Ocean Roots Surf Club. It is much more than a basic sponsorship, I was given the chance to be part of a real community that is willing to support the development of bodyboarding.

Nicolas became the coach of the French bodyboarding team in 2011 during the ISA games in Canaries and led the team to win the world title for France.

Over the last few years, our friendship grew as Nicolas continued his work with his school and introduced bodyboarding to so many kids, he is helping the sport to grow in France. I believe he is leading the way and showing what bodyboarding is all about.

What do you enjoy about coaching? are there any downsides?

In 2014, Nicolas and I created the first “Improve your skills” project which consisted of coaching a group of kids during a week together.

It became really successful and many schools were inspired by our project. It has given me the opportunity to share my passion and my knowledge. Nicolas helped me a lot to become a better teacher, it’s really not as easy as it looks, there are so many different personalities and teenagers can be very hard to deal with. Sometimes we have to face some hard situations and Nicolas is a real master at it, he knows how to teach, to coach and deal with all kind of people. It’s always very inspiring working with him.

We both want to perform as best as possible in competition and free surfing. The week with Pierre has allowed us to realise the level required, and we have a lot of work to do!
— The Zaninotto Brothers (Students of Ocean Roots School)

MM: When did you start Ocean Roots Club and why?

Nicolas Padois: I created the club in 2003, just after getting my diploma of surf teaching with bodyboard option. After studying it was necessary to work, my only obsession since I was a teenager was to spend as much time as possible on the beach, making the choice to become a teacher the most logical to me.

I come from a small town on the sea, just a few miles from the ocean. There has always been a strong bodyboarding community with Les Sales Drôles also named Wharf Locals.

But we had a certain inferiority complex compared to the other cities and clubs of the south west of France, whether in competition or the quality of our waves, we were looking for more recognition. As well as this except for a seasonal surf school, there was no structure where young people could be trained on a regular basis. It was at this that prompted me to create Ocean Roots, totally independent, ready to coach and to surf with our young people.

For my part I was in a bit of school trouble and bodyboarding besides being my passion allows me to train to become a surf instructor. So the week with Pierre was very instructive.
— Pierre Tanguy (Student of Ocean Roots School)

Talk us through your vision of bodyboarding and the projects you have worked on to help develop bodyboarding?

For me bodyboarding is the coolest thing in the world, it’s accessible, fun and challenging at the same time. I think of bodyboarding as an underground sport much like skateboarding in the early '90s. It's a sport you have to do with your friends, cruising for good waves and trying to out do your mates in the water ahaha.

From the beginning of Ocean Roots we tried to ignite the local scene, by organising events. It began with the organisation of a special event called, “The Sen No Sen Bodyboard Show” in October 2003, which was won by Amaury Laverhne. For 10 years now we have organised 3 to 4 events (Regional & International) per year including, The La Salie Pro competition which counts towards the European tour.

Organising competitions is super important for the local scene, seeing top riders on their home spot pushes you to evolve, and often also creates passion and strong emulation.

What are the main goals of Ocean Roots?

The supervision of young people is fundamental and at the club we try to have a pedagogy adapted to each individual - personalization is the key for us. Since 2010 I have had the chance to be called on by the French Federation to coach and manage the National French Team at the ISA Games and European Championships. This has allowed me to return with good experience for the club. Following our youths at the highest level is something we strive to maintain.

With our national recognition and in order to develop how bodyboarding is seen, we have worked hard on the image of bodyboarding by organising film festivals, producing films (The Coach, Oahu, Heritage) and providing plenty of footage and clips for our community and our customers.

I’d like to go after my passion and live it to the fullest. With not a lot of girls in France invested in bodyboarding I’m inspired by boys who I surf with all the time. So spending the week with Pierre was a source of inspiration and motivation!
— Mathie (Student of Ocean Roots School)

We’ve heard whispers of a project called Héritage? Can you give us an insight?

Héritage is a video project that we are trying to develop with beyond production. We are following a group of young surfers and bodyboarders on 3 trips which are in our eyes an initiatory journey.

We made the first trip to Morocco two years ago: The land of discovery for all Europeans, on the theme of share.

The second trip took place in Bali last year: The mystical land, on the theme of the spiritual quest.

To finish the trilogy, we are preparing for the last shoot in Hawaii next winter: The cradle of surfing.

Our goal is to show and explain what we want to teach to the next generation. We speak about ecology awareness, and all the roads we have to take through discovery, so these teenagers are not just developing their sports performance but are developing as young people.

We love the ‘improve your skills’ clip? What’s it like getting Pierre on board to help out?

Teaching with Pierre is always so fun, firstly because in bodyboarding he is always ahead. He is already speaking about what you will think of tomorrow. Secondly because it’s rare. If it’s exclusive it’s pretty tasty. The value of experience is enormous, and I love seeing Pierre taking the time to share his passion. For the club and the participants, it is something fantastic in terms of the dynamics. The progression and the determination illustrated by the kids after the coaching clinic is very impressive.