Julien Durand drops “Dissociative”.
More sweet footage from the good ol’ US of A as Julien Durand rolls out his new clip. We chat to Julien and the clips editor Marc Boy for the backstory on filming, surfing in California and wavepools.
Can you give the readers a quick insight into the current life of Julien Durand?
Hi everyone, my name is Julien, also known as Speedy. I have been living in Ventura County, California for almost 15 years now. I am originally from the West Coast of Reunion Island. This is where I grew up learning how to bodyboard and where I fell in love with the sport. I was lucky enough to surf with most of the top guys that came out of Reunion Island. I learned so much from them.
How did you get given the nickname “Speedy”?
I was given this nickname about 20 years ago. During my first year at my Engineering school, I tended to speak too fast and this is where the nickname came from. It stuck with me and this is how most people I know call me.
You’ve just dropped a new edit entitled “Dissociative” can you give us some backstory on putting clip together?
Julien – I will let my friend Marc Boy who edited the video answer this one.
Marc Boy – I’m Marc Boy, a professional photographer and injury prone bodyboard enthusiast. I dislocated my shoulder and subsequently tore my labrum hitting the bottom while surfing some dumb shorebreak back in October. Following surgery, I told Julien to accumulate all the clips he can for me so that I can dedicate my newfound time out of the water to make an edit.
I’m well aware Julien is not a “pro” bodyboarder, and although he’s not doing spins into the barrel at North Point or lofting textbook inverts out of the bowl at Fronton, that wasn’t an excuse to make something I wasn’t proud of that ultimately would get me and hopefully others stoked to get in the water!
My favorite bodyboard filmmakers and editors are John McKinney, Stoker, Todd Barnes, Eric Schnitzler, and Chris Bryan. Inspired by their work, I chose music that compliments and times well to fast-pace wave riding and made it a point to limit the slow motion to only showcase brief moments (I personally can’t stand five-minute clips consisting of 7 slow motion waves from start to finish).
Due to Covid-19, there was no way to sit down with Julien, so over the phone Julien, Joshua Shelly, and I would go back and forth tightening up every aspect with the intent to improve its quality from good to great.
The edit truly reflects Julien’s personality of having fun, being wildly inappropriate at times, and when the elements do come together, can bust some good moves in the water!
Did the Covid-19 situation in the United States affect trying to secure footage at all?
For the most part, the places I normally go surfing are not restricted by the “stay to home” order since surfing is considered as exercising. As for BSR, the pool was open for the dates we picked and since we went in a private setup, it made things easier for us. We were free there.
I had trips planned out of the country that I had to cancel. I wanted to go back to Tahiti but sadly could not. I was also going to visit my family in Portugal and surf, but that also got cancelled because of COVID-19. I hope things will get better in 2021.
In the notes about naming the clip you say ” My maddening affair of being a wave rider in California often leads to serious detachment to what is real and what is artificial”. Describe the highs and lows of Cali conditions?
Julien – There are most definitely highs and lows to the surf here. Back in Reunion Island where it is predominantly reef setups, you do not have to worry (too much) about seasonal sand movements, tides, swell directions and intervals. Things are much more mechanical and predictable down there: right swell from the SW and winds from the East would usually mean that the surf is on.
Here in California everything is so fickle and if one element is off, it is almost better going to work early. As bodyboarders, we are aware that heavier and more square waves complement our style of riding, so it can be frustrating when you go a month without seeing a wave over chest high.
But there is usually always something to look forward to around here when all (or most of) the required conditions align. And when those good days do happen you appreciate them even more and for that I cannot complain. In addition, life in sunny California is sweet!
Marc Boy – Unfortunately the waves in California in recent years have been less than spectacular. From frequent inactive phases of the Madden-Julian oscillation, to blocking high-pressure systems resulting in less-than-ideal swell angles, to coastal erosion and ill-timed hurricane swells ripping sand away, to the swarms of Surfline enthused stand-up surfers and kids from Los Angeles that feel the need to live-stream every time they surf. There’s a lot to juggle, and the mix bag of emotions associated is the reality. But then there’s those few moments in between all the nonsense, where the waves mimic something you could find overseas along a continental shelf. Those are the days that get you out of bed in the wee hours of the morning.
The U.S. bodyboarding scene was fairly quiet for a good few years after initially being an early powerhouse in the sport. It seems to be experiencing a resurgence of late, what do you attribute this to?
I think the element of Tanner moving to California really raised the bar from where we were collectively just a few years ago. It is obvious that his special abilities and talent, which he has showcased for years riding at the highest level, are rubbing off on other local riders. For example, guys like Craig Whetter, who is more and more starting to come into his own (he rips!) and Gavin Pellkofer, who possesses great technical ability and style. Since there is no tour here, the consistent videos they are putting out are possibly motivating riders to push themselves a bit more.
On the other hand, there are plenty of underground riders up and down the coast who simply do it for the love of getting barreled or big ramps. I enjoy surfing with my good friends Matt Meyer and Arec Colon-Aldeguer, who both rip super hard.
For the most part, icons from the No Friends/Boogie Knights days have moved on to pursue careers away from the sport. One thing that is for certain is that Jacob Reeve is still the best around here. His timeless style of riding every session brings a smile to your face. Even compared to local stand-up pros like Dane Reynolds, Jacob is surfing laps around them. He is a legend!
The BSR wavepool features in the back half of the clip, what’s your feeling on artificial wave technology?
To quote myself from a previous Infoamed interview, I think wave pools offer a new world of possibilities to become comfortable doing exotic moves, hone your skills doing classic moves and to some extent, try new moves. The consistency of the sections is something magical to achieve those goals, but it also has its downsides.
One thing that is for sure: it is a fun time!
Refer to this article to see my detailed feeling: https://infoamed.com/2020/11/22/ponds-and-progression/
You’re originally from Reunion Island, what prompted the move to the United States?
After I graduated from High school in Reunion Island, I moved to mainland France to study Mechanical Engineering. After a couple of years there, I moved to Germany to complete my studies. It was a dark time in my bodyboarding life; I am not going to lie. I was missing the ocean so much. When I graduated, I told myself I would find a job where I could finally surf again. I started to search for an opportunity back in Reunion Island (where the shark issue was not fully known at the time), in the South West of France, in Australia and in California. I was hired by a company in California and the rest is history.
I will admit that I miss my island and my friends from there so much. It is also so far from here (two 11 hours flights away). Once I looked, Reunion Island is pretty much on the exact opposite side of the world from where I live now.
Any other shout outs or thanks you would like to make feel free to do so here!
I would like to thank Marc for putting this edit together. I also would like to thank Joshua Shelly for his advice, guidance and help. Without his input, the edit would not have come out the way it did.
A huge thank you to Jeff Tillquist for providing most of the footage used in the entire edit. He spent a lot of time burning under the sun to capture all those clips.
Likewise, I would like to thank Alex Perez for his contribution on the BSR clips.
Thanks to all the other filmers (John Mckinney, Mini Blanchard, Alex Verharst & Claudia Sotomayor) that helped and provided footage for Marc to work with!
Finally, I would like to thank my sponsors Toobs Bodyboards and Soular Organics.
Watch the clip here: