Following some comments about yesterday's post on my blog , I decided to translate the interview of Jeremy Lemarie , Doctor es Waves .
a) What kind of miracle brought you to surfing ?
I started surfing tru skateboarding ! I live in Paris suburbs and there I started skating with my friends from college . One of them ask me to come surfing with him in June 2005 in South West France and since then , I am hooked .
b) Longboard or shortboard ?
It was a difficult beginning because I started on a shortboard . With time I found that longboarding could be very interesting . Now I surf both , long and short , depending on the spot and the waves . I would never think about surfing Waikiki on a shortboard with one or two footers coming .
c) The best surfing movie ever made is ?
I would vote the same as every surfer : The Endless Summer .
d) Do you consider that surfing has the same attractiveness than before ?
Yes , I think that it has the same potential to attract people et more , I think that it is growing with time . If you look at companies and cities that invest in the image of surfing and its culture , it seems coherent to say that surfing is growing . Even more since the development of waves pools , pools that are opening all around , permitting surfing far from the ocean .
e) What is the biggest diffusion engine of surfing ?
The question is difficult to answer . I asked myself the same question in my doctorate thesis and it took me 400 pages to answer . It all depends on the historical context and the location we want to study . For surfing to grow , it takes a place that is ready to accept it . Sometimes it is surf démonstrations , the medias can play a big role , some technological innovations or compétitions . But in general the main thing is tourism : all over the place , tourism was always there when surfing appeared .
f) Surfing , in France , will it ever get its Museum ?
Yes , I think that if France want to be considered a major surfing nation , like in its South West , there should and will be a surfing museum . The project was toyed with by some municipal politicians and they opened a Cité de l'Ocean a few years back . Having a surfing museum within it was the thing to do but it did not went that way . On the other side , you see private initiatives like the MIACS , a temporary exibit , started by Gerard Decoster in Biarritz .
g) Surfing magazines still have their place in the world ?
It is very difficult to have a pertinent surfing mag . Surfing Journal , Surfer , Surfing , Tracks all corner the international market . I believe that what is hurting the surfing magazine' s edition is the overabundance of publicity and its lack of coherent content. But it is impossible to survive without ads ... There is little money to be mad in the edition business and the sales are often not enough to keep mags alive . Still there are some interesting initiatives like the Hawaian '' Trim '' printed both in English and Japanese , Like Surfer Journal they have little ads and insist on content . I wrote an article for them last year ... I think that , in mags , quality is better than quantity .
h) Who are the most territorial surfers ... those lacking aloha ?
I don't want to name people and places but these surfers have often grown on a single spot and the develop a real affection for that specific break . Often a famous break for the quality of the waves ... so they spent ton of time there and ...
i) I like boards , their outline , the glassing , I love to let my hands glide on their rails : is there a life for a would be shaper ?
To tell the truth , the life of a shaper is a difficult life and that is true since the 1960 . You can make some profits and live doing it but you have to be gifted and have your own style . Plus spend more than a few years getting the necessary experience .
j) A local economy based on surf tourism - like Waikiki and Huntington - is still possible ?
For sure ! We will see in the future an increasing numbers of local development based on surf economy . Numerous studies show that the World Surf League , the International Surfing Association will support local initiatives . The best example is Wanning studied by Christophe Guibert and Benjamin Taunay !
k) Surfing Art ... I like surfing art ... does it have a future ?
Surfing Art is complex because it touches each individual in a specific way , it touches the emotions , the feelings . You can never know what will be ''in'' and how big it will be . Same as Street Art ... but it is easy to see that the surfing art market already exists .
l) How will the French surfing grow in the next 20 years ?
It is difficult to envision what it will be but I think it will be internationalised because it will want to stay competitive on the world market .
m) You compared , in your book , surfing in Hawai and California , history and all . A next study/book could be a comparision between France and the East Coast of the USA, no ?
That is an excellent question ! It is not for tomorrow but this type of book has a future . But I think we should compare France and California because there is a lot to say about the surfurbia phenomenon . I am actually working on a paper about that with another author .
n ) Your favorite board ? Beach ? Dessert ? Wine ?
My favorite board depends on the waves of the day . Over 4 feet , I prefer my 6'6'' shaped by Randy Rarick : he sold it to me when we met at Sunset , My favorite beach is in Hawai , the South Shore : Diamond Head !
My wife is doing pastries so I have all the desserts I want : mille feuille is my favorite . For wine , a Haut Medoc .
o) Could you ever stop surfing ?
No, I don't think I could ever stop . That is the problem a a majority of surfers . Surfing brings so much in a life ... I will stop when I will die
For those of you who would want to see Jeremy surf :