You will have to excuse the slightly drunk horizon, i couldnt risk hanging any further out of the window. I'm a sucker for a good sunset. On a good summers day you know the embers are there, hidden but still hot ready to burn when the time is right.
Annual trip to France starts tomorrow, van is packed with a log and the seapea, keep your fingers crossed for waves!
Dunno if any of you made it to the Somersault festival a couple of weeks ago. It was really good and much less "devon" than we might have expected. Big enough to be "proper" but still small enough to enjoy and not fel like you were endlessly walking from place to place through massive crowds. Well organised and really good clear sound from the stages.
Ben Howard and Jack Johnson were both superb. It's funny, ive hardly listened to Jack Johnson over the last few years. I loved his first couple of albums but then i think he was just everywhere and i got bored.
A a result i wasnt super excited about seeing him, less excited than other people but do youn know, he fully rocked. i kinda remembered why i enjoyed him inthe first place. Tight sounding band and mellow tunes as the sun set behind the stage. He genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself too.
Somersult is definately on for next year already.Reccomended.
I wrote this piece a couple of years ago but for a variety of reasons it didnt get published on Drift straight away, mainly to do with getting some decent pictures for it what with Drift being a very picture heavy format. Drift the went into hibernation and Howard has just sold it to the french guys behind extreme video so that chapter of my surf musing is well and truly shut now.
I kinda feel bad for Rudy that it never made it out there. We worked hard on it and Rudy is a really creative nice guy. His dvd is worth searching out if you can find it now and he still posts stuff on the web from time to time. I have a suspiscion that there will be another chapter in the avthentic story.
Anyway, heres the original un-edited text. Hope it reads ok!!!
A Story of Avthenticism
The surf media in general portray south west france as a
place of topless bathing, sunshine, parties and thumping beachbreak
barrels and it's true that parts of it are inextricably linked with the
American corporate surfing dream and the selling thereof. It's not the
whole story though.
from the ASP circus that descends every autumn and the corporate
headquarters of quikcurlbong, there are grass roots, sunk deep and
growing for years. There is a heartfelt and genuine, "authentic" surf
culture filled with gallic flair every bit as valid as anything you're
likely to see pushed in magazines from around the world.
Jacques is a frenchman with saltwater in his veins and a heart
captivated by surfing. A man who has revelled in this unique culture and
felt compelled to record it as he sees, lives and breathes it. His work
is a window on french surfing in it's most authentic homegrown sense.
Building on the success of his art and photography shows, this Autumn
sees the release of his film "the avthentic story"
What's your surfing history, how did you get into it?
grew up in Ile d’Oleron, a small island on the Atlantic Coast of
France. I was surrounded by the sea so it was inevitable i developed a
relationship with the ocean, whether it was surfing or swimming or
gathering seashells with my grandparents. I started bodyboarding because
it was cheap and so much fun and I spent several summers standing up on
it and trimming. My parents were not into surfing but they bought me a
very thick red-green-yellow fluo 6”2 thruster that my friends were happy
to laugh about. That's pretty much how I got into surfing.
What drew you to the more alternative side of surfing, away from thrusters and the world tour?
used to surf thrusters all the time but I was not very good at it. A
friend of mine let me try his longboard during a summer, it was in 2002
or 2003 I guess and I found it simple, elegant and way funnier. Most of
the waves on Ile d’Oleron are perfectly shaped for longboarding. So I
finally got my hands on a Jed Noll 9’0 a year later and used to ride it
all the time. My dreams were made of 2-3ft left-waves, and they still
are. I love riding logs, i've been caught since the first ride.
What was the idea behind avthentic originally?
been into punk music since my teenage years when i discovered bands
like Minor Threat and Fugazi. They were doing their own things, creating
their independent label and refusing to do gigs if the entrance ticket
was too expensive. I thought it was the way it should be done. Do it
yourself and accessible. So making clips or taking photographs or doing
fanzines sounded like the real deal while creating Avthentic. I just
wanted to document what we were doing in Oleron, bringing these values
of integrity and dedication.
Does it have a message you trying to communicate to your audience?
Try to make the most out of what makes you feel alive.
what inspired you to start making a film?
I was 16, I worked during the summer and ended up buying my first
camera. It was in 2003. I started making short movies with my friends,
writing scripts or doing introspective stuff. I spent hours doing the
edit. It was terrible (literally very bad) but very entertaining!. I
also did surf clips but it was nonsense. I reckon Thomas Campbell opened
the path and his work helped me to focus on the right thing. I can
easily say that I watched The Seedling and Sprout thousands and
thousands of times. It sounds such a cliché but it is how it really
I questioned myself a
lot. Is what I am doing right? I became aware that it was time to do my
own thing. The best way to show my gratitude to people who influenced
me was just to be honest. I worked a lot NOT to get rid of my influences
but to use them appropriately. So I started filming for The Avthentic
Story because I had something to share and something to say with my own
words, with the same low-price camera I bought in 2003 until it fell in
It has been tough
to see this project through to completion. I have been in Paris since
2007 and have gone back to the coast only during holidays. That is why
it took me so long to film, from 2007 to 2011 actually. I went through
different states of mind. I was about to stop everything because I
became disgusted by the neo-retro-classic hipster stuff. People were
arriving and calling themselves artists and neglecting the legacy of the
people who were there before. I was afraid of Avthentic being
assimilated to that. I wanted it to be humble and simple and made with
nothing else than passion, paying attention and expressing gratitude to
What is your vision for avthentic now, is it a brand, an art collective, a hobby or a career?
is a pure hobby. I don't want it to be called a brand because it would
mean objectives and financial expectations. I do not want that, I do not
want to take a picture and to feel the pressure. Maybe it will change
when I lose my real job or when I have mouths to feed but as for now, it
is all about having fun in doing what I love.
you work in several media, film, analog camera's, spray paint, all "basic" or "old" technologies, why choose them?
everything is mechanical and built to stand the test of time. I use a
point and shoot Minolta camera for lifestyle scenes and a Canon
AE1-Program with a 400mm lens for surfing. The Canon body was the first
gift my parents bought themselves together after they got married. It's
not disposable, it is a piece I am proud to have in my hands. To go a
bit further, more and more people are riding plastic boards with no
history, like something you buy when you need it, something you throw
away as soon as you used it. Some people are happy to call that
has it been a struggle to get help to bring your work to a wider audience?
not been a “struggle”, I mean I don't have targets in mind. Of course I
would be glad to know that a lot of people are interested but I'm at a
point that I need to do this firstly because it is visceral. It's
something I need to do for myself not for other people. There are no
compromises. Avthentic would rather be dead than sold out. If other
people connect with that then that's great.
where do you find inspiration?
friends Clovis Donizetti and Steven Dunn Videau. I would have done
nothing without them. They just surf the way I would like to be able to,
with style and simplicity. We recently had a session in South West
France with guys from England, James Parry, Michael Lay and Matthew
Jackson-Travis. They were ripping and having so much fun, sharing waves
and doing high fives. That encounter was an inspiration.
is also one person and his family that I would like to thank more
particularly for his influence, filmmaker and humble father Nathan
Oldfield. He welcomed me at his place while I was in Australia and I was
blessed to discover the other side of the picture. I remember being so
moved when he showed me the room where he edited Lines From A Poem and
Seaworthy. His upcoming movie The Heart & The Sea is coming out this
year I guess, and yes this is what is exciting in surfing at the
Who are your favorite surfers?
now, I am into Matt Howard’s stuff, both surfing and filmmaking. My
friend Clovis gave me Let It Flow and The Embryo of Fineflow, two
logging movies from the late nineties with Joel Tudor, Jimmy Gamboa,
Brittany Leonard and Tyler Hatzikian to name a few. They are genuine
without this recent classic-retro vibe, they were just living the
what's it like surfing in france compared to other places you have traveled?
was my very first trip, my real travelling experience so I don't have
enough detachment and background to compare many places. I can just say
that I digged the energy at Byron Bay.
want a funny anecdote? I arrived alone at 6 in the morning after 13
hours of train and bus from Sydney. It was raining heavily and I had no
place to go. I walked to The Pass with my backpack and my fins. It was
beautiful but dramatic. The point seemed far but I caught sight of
surfers. When I got closer, I saw a young guy doing 360s with his
finless board. He was so smooth and stylished he was flowing as Derek
Hynd does in this Youtube video. I finally arrived at The Pass. It was
still raining. I grabbed my fins to go for a swim, took a wave and hit
the sand with my nose. I just got my head out of the water and saw the
young guy, who actually was Derek Hynd. Despite my bloody noise and
seeing bush turkeys eating my bag, the session suddenly became
where are your favorite places in the world?
place feels better than home to me. I left Oleron a few years ago in
order to go to Paris to finish school and to find a job. I just hope to
end my days on the island, with my sweet love Aline, my family and my
friends. When I am there, I need nothing else.
Any people to thank for help along the way?
I want to thank you Drift a lot for giving me a say. And all my thanks
to Dunn, Clovis, Cyril from Tamarindo Surf Shop and Jibi from Wallako,
my family, my friends in Oleron and the ones who will stay authentic.
Rudy's new film, The avthentic Story is available now through www.avthentic.com. It's really rather good!
In this case it's film processed outside its normal environment causing good things to happen.
What an amazing little run of summer swell last week! Too many fun logging waves to count, bare arm paddling, salty smiles and sunburnt shoulders. I try to be all grown up and mature about going surfing but man i LOVE it!
Completely random song posting, havent heard it foryears, it just popped into my head in the line up the other day
Yet another SeaPea shot. It's been getting a lot of water time recently. It's amazing how much fun a little board can make a 2 foot windswell day. My shortboarding still lags behind my logging ability-wise but it's a blast all the same. It's definately going to be in the van for our annual trip to france in a few weeks
Another SEAPEA convert, they're addictive things to ride although I guess surfing itself is pretty addictive.
There's a massive wave in front of me, awesome in its beauty, terrifying in its power. It's been out there for miles, a pure visceral force of nature, driven by gravity. It fills my vision, my blood pounds in my ears as my breathing shallows. I should be scratching for safety but it's so perfect I'm caught, a rabbit in the headlights, mesmerised. I know what's coming yet am helpless before it, just a tiny speck in a raging sea, stomach in free fall as it feathers and breaks over me. Plunging me down, disorientating yet all encompassing, my heart straining so much it hurts. I'm fighting to breathe but there's no more air down here. Rag-dolling out of control at the mercy of a power bigger than me, bigger than any of us, there's no fight just acceptance.
I surface feeling more alive than before, searching the horizon, craving that feeling again. I know it's there.
What with all the SeaPea related excitement, i hadn't ridden a keel fish for ages until the other day. Pretty much on a whim i paddled my 5'8 mabile out on a tiny day, really way too small for anything but a log. It felt tiny and thin compared to a mini simmons despite being half a foot longer. I'd be lying if i said it was an epic session but there was a lot of satisfaction from generating speed and getting a couple of turns in on a tiny gutless wave. In summer everything is fun right?