The Lowlands Series - Julie Lauwers

Since our relocation from Wales (where Seafoam was founded) to Belgium (where I grew up), I have been reconnecting with the surf scene of the Lowlands. Surfing certainly boomed here, as I guess it did everywhere in the world. Considering the wave size and quality it always amazes me the dedication people from the Lowlands have to battle the cold winters for, at best, average surf conditions. But it makes you appreciate the best days even more and as Julie says it so nicely, you don't take those good days for granted. With the Lowlands series I wanted to put the spotlight on some dedicated surf women from Belgium and the Netherlands. This time we asked Julie Lauwers a few questions about her background and love for the water.


Being from Belgium, how did you first get into surfing?

I started surfing when I was 13 years old thanks to my older brother. We were both passionate about boardsports from an early age. It all started with a cheap skateboard from the local toyshop. Living by the coast (and the influence of ‘Rocket Power’) my brother started surfing with his friends. He took me with him and so it all started. In the beginning I was pretty scared because back then I wasn’t a good swimmer, but one day it all clicked and I was in love with being in the sea. It’s been a love story ever since!

Julie Lauwers Surfing


Has surfing impacted any big decisions in your life?

Surfing has taught me so much. It’s been the central part around which I build my life. Surfing has brought me in touch with so many people I would have never met if I hadn't started surfing. Back when I was competing, I had a physical coach. He is a trainer and physical therapist and an all-round incredible human being. He inspired me to become a physical therapist as well. Besides all the great people I’ve met thanks to surfing, living close to the sea is really important to me as well. I could never imagine living in central Belgium. Being in water is the only place where I feel truly at peace inside and out. 

Julie Lauwers surfing


 What’s the most beautiful place you’ve visited thanks to surfing?

Last October I joined Keith Marcantuoni (@levelupsurfcoaching) on his trip to the Mentawais. It is a remote group of islands just in front of the coast of Sumatra. I felt like I was living in a Windows Xp screen saver for 2 weeks. It was a dream come true to be surfing there. 

Where do you call home at the moment? Do you often surf in Belgium or mostly abroad?

For me home will always be close to my family. I’ve lived in Belgium all my life and I like it here. For me personally I get the most stoke out of a good session in Belgium because it is so rare. Of course I crave the feeling of being completely surfed out and every time I have some days off, we take the van. Depending on the charts, we either go south (France, Basque country, Spain, Portugal) or more north (for us The Netherlands have really good waves compared to Belgium). I think living in Belgium makes sure we don’t take any sessions for granted. And I think that is beautiful.

Julie Lauwers surfing


Where are you heading next? 

Since we always go towards the most known places (like I’ve mentioned above), we are curious what other places have to offer for example: the Mediterranean, Denmark, Norway,… For surfing itself, I would love to keep surfing all my life. Ageing healthy is crucial for that. Keeping muscles and joints healthy starts now. I joined Levelupsurfcoaching for online workouts in the gym and at home and it does wonders for me.

I would like to thank everyone in my life for making this life as beautiful as it is. You know who you are ☺. 

Julie Lauwers by Wouter StruyfPhoto by Wouter Struyf

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