Vous ne connaissez pas Aquaholics ?
Sans doute le plus beau surfshop du nord-est américain .
On y entre comme dans une église !
Mais que je suis idiot : c'est une église ! Enfin , c'était une église ...
On y célèbre maintenant le seul miracle qui compte vraiment :
MARCHER SUR LES EAUX !
Voici une entrevue avec le tout nouveau propriétaire , anciennement le manager du magasin : Éric Bélanger .
Éric est Américain de souche canadienne : il comprend le français mais ne le parle que très peu . De ce fait , et pour m'épargner du travail , je vous place l'entrevue en anglais sachant que vous êtres grands .
Ceux qui auraient des difficultés , laissez-moi savoir ...
1) Eric Bélanger , living in Saco , Maine , owner of Aquaholics , the famous Maine surfshop since January 2016 . Was at one time the manager of said establisment located in Kennebunk . The surfing business being so volatile , what convinced you to sign the contract ? One serving too many of Xmas turkey or the result of a huge gift card good at the local liquor store ?
** I grew up in Saco and now own a house in Biddeford. Surfing has been around a long time and has grown to every corner of the globe where there are waves and now even in areas where there isn't even an ocean at all. That is powerful stuff. For me to buy the business that I've invested so much time and effort in already was the obvious next step for me.
2) I imagine you were born on a surfboard … were you ? How did you start ??
** I didn't try surfing until I was 16 years old. A friend of mine had some old surfboards left over from Big Dawn Surf Shop in Old Orchard Beach. His dad was the owner of the former shop. We took the boards out at Bay View in Saco and I immediately sucked. That got me wanting to get better so went surfing a lot.
3) Do you think there is still a place for the local , traditional , surfshop in our internet age ?
** Good luck buying a wetsuit that fits online. Don't expect me to exchange it when it doesn't either. The internet certainly fuels the fire though, it brings you the action in real time.
4) How do you plan to attract new customers ?
** Offer them an opportunity to experience nature in one of it's purest forms and help them as best as I can along the way.
5) Your preference : softgoods or surf hardware ?
** I would prefer to sell hardgoods but it's the softgoods that have better margins. That is why surfboards and wetsuits are so expensive.
6) Do you think the local surf scene has changed in the last ten years ?
** It has grown.
7) Are there still secret spots in Maine ? With all these tourists fighting like lobsters for a place in the sun …
** I don't know? And I won't tell.
8) What is the best time of the year to surf in Kennebunk ? Wearing what ???
** Winter is the best. Wearing a hooded 5/4 Xcel Drylock with 7mm mitts and booties.
9) And your favorite board is …
** The right one for the day at hand but usually a 9' performance longboard is my go to.
10) Is it all a fad , this surfing ? Will the young crowd turns to street hockey at some point ? Because I don’t see a lot of older surfers in the water …
** I'm not getting any younger so you'll see me out there. Maybe you can't tell how old a surfer is by looking at them. It's definitely the fountain of youth. I don't know any other fad that has been around since the 1800's. Way older than hockey.
11) Best TV show ? And you listen to it with a … ( alcoholic beverage ) in your hand ?
** Family Guy. With or without beer it's funny. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves.
12) Last question but this one is serious … do you think that we could be suffering from the Peter Pan syndrome ? We , serious surfers ( I never said ‘’good’’ surfers so I can include myself ) , could it be that we refuse to grow up ???
** Who doesn't want to stay young? You have a much better shot at staying young by moving around and surfing rather then trying to preserve a weak body from harm and sitting on a comfy couch all day.
13) Bonus question : your favorite dessert is ???
** Ben and Jerry's. ( Ice-Cream , folks : de la crème glacée ... JP )
Alors , chers amis qui rêvent de Biarritz ou de Hawaï , il existe un petit coin perdu , au nord de l'Amérique où des maniaques se jettent à l'eau été comme hiver pour satisfaire un besoin essentiel : marcher sur l'eau !
Et pour ce faire , bien souvent , il se rendent chez Aquaholics pour caresser leur prochain achat et en profitent pour regarder , sur écran géant , les compétitions de surf très souvent diffusées en direct .
Et la cire Aquaholics sent terriblement bonne ...
J'en garde toujours sur mon bureau et , dans les moments de spleen , je porte le pain sous mon gros nez . Et là , par olfaction , je me retrouve sur la plage .