We have talked to Manon Noël, winner of the CVI-W in Paris in December! Read the interview or watch the video on our YouTube channel!

1. How are you doing with your trainings at the moment?

I’m doing great with the trainings, I’ve been training very hard to get prepared for this World Cup as it was my main goal for the winter season. Alongside that, I also train for the CVI’s, to keep training with the compulsories and the technical test even though I focused a bit more on the freestyle recently for the World Cup.

2. What are your goals for this current season?

First of all, I was very happy to know that I was selected for the World Cup, because honestly I didn’t expect it. I was very enthusiastic about it because the atmosphere is very special, it is only freestyle and it lasts 1.20 min so we have more time to enjoy and express ourselves, that’s why I truly love it. My goal is to have a good winter season during the World Cup, I mean to enjoy it and have fun. Depending on that, I’ll later on how I manage my whole season, I have to admit that I’m still not sure about the competitions and CVI’s I’m going to attend next, we talk about it when the World Cup finishes.

3. As the freestyle lasts 1.20 min for the World Cup, how did you create it? Did you start from scratch or did you modify one?

I really started from scratch, that’s why this is pretty cool. I totally changed my usual freestyle and I created a new one of 1.20 min. I really worked for this World Cup in particular, this also means that I’ll need to work on a 1 min freestyle for the CVI’s because I don’t have any at the moment.

4. What is always in your training bag?

My vaulting shoes, a bottle of water, I always have ankle and wrist braces, strapping and my music speaker.

5. Do you consider yourself as a vaulting fashionista?

Yes, a bit as a lot of female vaulters I believe. I do like wearing tights that are different, with flashy colors as it is funnier and joyful. This kind of tights also allow to see all the details of your moves: If you train with black clothing, you don’t see that much the mistakes or the imperfections when you get filmed. In the end, you can correct yourself better.

6. Who makes your competition catsuits?

Syleo Creation. This woman is great, I love what she does, and we understand each other so easily: I never met her in person but we talk on the phone, we discuss about the suits during hours and she understands exactly what I need, she also know the requirements for vaulting such as using elastic fabric, we need to wear something tight, we cannot have too much hanging stuff so she’s very talented in my opinion.

7. How did you find her?

A friend of mine ordered a catsuit a bit randomly through her website so she advised me to do the same.

8. What model of shoes do you wear and why?

I have the Nadia Zülow model from Bleyer shoes. When I first tried, I was not convinced immediately, but in the end, for the lateral standings you grip the pad instantly, even if you are a bit too far outside for example these shoes are going to hold you and prevent you to slip, that’s pretty cool. Moreover, you have extra heel padding which is good to prevent heel pain.

9. Some vaulters change their surcingle between compulsories and freestyle/tech test, do you do that?

Not anymore. I used to do that in the past but now I only use the Lensing, S shape surcingle. it’s much more practical, because you can do a swing, trying some freestyle stuff and get back to compulsories or even tech test. I find it much easier as you don’t need to change your equipment, even if I think the L shape is very good for compulsories.

10. Being part of the French team, do you have any support?

We do, of course. We get financial support with the federal budget, that’s great because it’s helping a lot to make it out.

11. Can you list the main products you use for competitions, like surcingle, pad, etc.?

– Main Surcingle: Lensing S-handles

– Pad: CWD carbon pad

– Shoes: Bleyer Nadia Zülow model

12. What do you think of the CWD pad?

I think it fits some horses, but not all of them. For instance, on Kirch’s back it’s perfect because my horse is tall and roundish, so the pad is molded with this shape. I used to have a thinner horse, and this pad could hurt him a bit.

Here in Madrid, I just tried the Italian pad (Felt Pro Pad), which is really not bad actually, but very heavy I must say. For the horse, I’m not sure what’s the best but for the vaulter this one is very pleasant: It is a carbon pad, too, but the carbon blade is softer than the CWD’s one so you can feel better the horse movement. With the CWD pad, the feeling is that you’re kind of floating over the horse and you’re lacking a close contact in fact.

13. If you had to invent a new product for the vaulting community, what would you create?

I have a problem during my trainings: I’m never satisfied with the positioning of my surcingle and my pad. The surcingle always turns a bit, my pad too and it’s never perfect in the end. Maybe we could invent something that you just put on the horse and doesn’t move anymore, something that would perfectly fit the horse and stays to its place. Personally, I’m always adjusting my equipment, I’m really maniac regarding that issue!