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Rencontre

Île de Jersey

12 décembre 2017

Surfer avec Joe .

Île de Jersey

12 décembre 2017

Rencontre

Rencontre sur la plage de St Ouen pour profiter des vagues avec le longboardeur Joe Davies.

Surfer avec Joe

12 décembre 2017

Photos et Texte :
Natacha Roché
Mathieu Lodin

Traduction :
Valérie Anglade

Publié le
12 décembre 2017

Cet article a été réalisé en
partenariat avec Visit Jersey.

Le temps est humide, des nuages épais et gris ont pris place dans le ciel pour la journée entière.

Quelques badauds trainent sur la plage de St Ouen, longeant cette grande étendue de sable pour profiter du spectacle des vagues glissantes jusqu’à leurs pieds. Il est 16h30 lorsque nous rencontrons Joe Davies dans son école de surf « Little Joe’s Surfschool », calée entre La Grande route des Mielles et la baie de St Ouen. Joe nous attend. Sur les étagères, des vinyles sont entreposés à côté d’une platine et des articles de surf, une odeur de wax et de néoprène se répand dans ces quelques m².

Le surf à Jersey est plutôt méconnu mais cette ile est bien une terre de surf. Pas toujours régulière, la houle y est plutôt propice aux sports de glisse. Little Joe’s est connue pour être une école de surf qui se soucis de la pratique, les enfants viennent découvrir et apprendre l’importance d’être dehors, non seulement sur la mer et la plage, tout en prenant conscience de l’environnement qui les entoure. Une vision de surf qui ne repose pas seulement sur la technique mais sur l’espace de jeu que la nature nous offre.

The weather is wet and thick grey clouds have blotted out the sky showing no sign of moving away.

Some onlookers are hanging around on the beach of St Ouen, this large stretch of sand and enjoying the spectacle of waves braking at their feet. It’s 4:30 pm when we arrive at « Little Joe’s Surf-school” hidden between La Grande Route des Mielles and St Ouen’s Bay, where Joe Davis is waiting for us. On the shelves LPs are stored next to the record player and surf gear and a smell of wax and neoprene lingers in these few square meters.

Surfing in Jersey is rather unknown but, in fact, this island is a land of surfing. The swell, which is not always regular is adapted to sliding sports. Little Joe’s is known for being a surf school that cares about the sport. Children come to discover and learn the importance of being outdoors and not only on the beach or in the sea, and being aware of the environment that surrounds them. A vision of surfing that is not only based on the technique but on the play- ground that Mother nature offers us.

The weather is wet and thick grey clouds have blotted out the sky showing no sign of moving away.

Some onlookers are hanging around on the beach of St Ouen, this large stretch of sand and enjoying the spectacle of waves braking at their feet. It’s 4:30 pm when we arrive at « Little Joe’s Surf-school” hidden between La Grande Route des Mielles and St Ouen’s Bay, where Joe Davis is waiting for us. On the shelves LPs are stored next to the record player and surf gear and a smell of wax and neoprene lingers in these few square meters.

Surfing in Jersey is rather unknown but, in fact, this island is a land of surfing. The swell, which is not always regular is adapted to sliding sports. Little Joe’s is known for being a surf school that cares about the sport. Children come to discover and learn the importance of being outdoors and not only on the beach or in the sea, and being aware of the environment that surrounds them. A vision of surfing that is not only based on the technique but on the play- ground that Mother nature offers us.

Joe nous fait découvrir le livre racontant l’histoire du Jersey Surf Club.

dyptique nomades
dyptique nomades

Joe, est-ce que l’on peut dire que Jersey est une terre de surf ?

« Je dirais que Jersey n’est pas vraiment connue comme une destination de surf car les vagues ne sont pas toujours garanties mais c’est un terre de surf. Avec nos grandes marées et une gamme limitée de vents bien orientés, cela peut signifier que le déferlement des grandes vagues est compliqué, de plus il fait assez froid en hiver quand nous avons de la houle. Par contre, quand c’est bon, c’est vraiment bon et c’est là que la patience paye !

Les bancs de sable créent de belles vagues alignées donnant de longs rides et peuvent offrir beaucoup en fonction des conditions, j’adore. Parfois, il y a possibilité d’explorer des spots de repli quand il y a la tempête… Mais l’île est petite, donc vous devez être très motivés ! »

Joe, is Jersey well known for surfing?

« I would say Jersey is not really known as a surfing destination as the waves are not always guaranteed. With our big tides and limited range of good winds it can mean that the showcase of great waves can be limited and it gets pretty cold in the winter when we do have swell. When it’s good though it is really good and all that patience pays off!

The sand banks create these beautiful lined up waves giving long rides and can offer a great deal depending on the conditions, I love it. Sometimes there is the ability to explore when the weather is wild but because the island is small you have to be very keen!  »

Joe, is Jersey well known for surfing?

« I would say Jersey is not really known as a surfing destination as the waves are not always guaranteed. With our big tides and limited range of good winds it can mean that the showcase of great waves can be limited and it gets pretty cold in the winter when we do have swell. When it’s good though it is really good and all that patience pays off!

The sand banks create these beautiful lined up waves giving long rides and can offer a great deal depending on the conditions, I love it. Sometimes there is the ability to explore when the weather is wild but because the island is small you have to be very keen!  »

Joe est un passionné de musique et partage avec ses clients ses dernières découvertes.

Tu es passionné de musique, non ?

« J’aime le jazz et le funk jusqu’au classique et au rock. Le vinyle est un excellent moyen de se sentir connecté à ce que vous écoutez aussi, je pense que ça donne plus de gravité à la musique. Un client peut ne pas aimer le surf mais est un grand fan de Johnny Cash. On peut alors parler de ses meilleures chansons. J’espère que cela nous donnera une touche personnelle dont les magasins ont besoin pour rivaliser avec Internet … Et si je n’en vends pas, je pourrais juste garder les albums dans ma collection perso ! »

Quand as-tu commencé à surfer ?

« J’ai commencé à surfer à 11 ans après avoir fait une journée découverte avec mon cousin. Je ne parlais que de ça, à tel point que mon père est sorti et m’a acheté un surf d’occasion à partir d’une annonce dans un journal. Il s’est pris un longboard pour lui et a appris à surfer. Ma sœur Grace s’est aussi impliquée et c’est là que tout a commencé ! J’ai commencé à utiliser le longboard de mon père et je suis tombé amoureux de la planche et de pouvoir me déplacer dessus. »

You like music, don’t you?

« I love Jazz and funk all the way through to classical and rock. Vinyl is a great way to feel connected to what you are listening too, I feel it gives more gravity to the music. If I was pushed to commit to a genre it would have to be Jazz. A customer might not like surfing but is a big fan of Johnny Cash and we can get talking about his best songs. Hopefully that will give us that personal touch that I think shops need to compete with the internet. If that doesn’t work then I might just filter the albums into my collection ! »

When did you start surfing?

« I started surfing at 11 after doing a surf day with my cousin. It was all I talked about, so much so that my Dad went out and got a used board from a newspaper advert and a longboard for himself and learnt to surf. My sister Grace got involved as well and that was it! I started to use my Dads longboard and fell in love with walking the board.  »

You like music, don’t you?

« I love Jazz and funk all the way through to classical and rock. Vinyl is a great way to feel connected to what you are listening too, I feel it gives more gravity to the music. If I was pushed to commit to a genre it would have to be Jazz. A customer might not like surfing but is a big fan of Johnny Cash and we can get talking about his best songs. Hopefully that will give us that personal touch that I think shops need to compete with the internet. If that doesn’t work then I might just filter the albums into my collection ! »

When did you start surfing?

« I started surfing at 11 after doing a surf day with my cousin. It was all I talked about, so much so that my Dad went out and got a used board from a newspaper advert and a longboard for himself and learnt to surf. My sister Grace got involved as well and that was it! I started to use my Dads longboard and fell in love with walking the board.  »

Joe est un passionné de musique et partage avec ses clients ses dernières découvertes.

Quand as-tu commencé la compétition et pourquoi ?

« Le côté compétition a commencé aux concours locaux quand j’avais 14 ans. Il y avait une super ambiance et de la camaraderie, c’était vraiment sympa d’en faire partie. Je me suis bien débrouillé dans les premières années, puis j’ai pu surfer sur des compétitions au Royaume-Uni et aussi en Europe. C’était amusant à faire et je me suis fait de bons amis en voyageant. Quand je suis allé à l’université, j’ai arrêté la compétition, je sentais que j’étais contraint de surfer de plus en plus d’une manière que je n’aimais pas vraiment et qui ne m’était pas naturelle.

Depuis quelques années, le nombre de rassemblements de longboard a augmenté. Pour moi maintenant, il s’agit plus de se rassembler tous au même endroit pour célébrer notre amour pour le style, évoluer sur la planche et surfer sur un longboard de la manière qu’il doit l’être. »

When did you start competing and why?

« The competition side started at the local contests when I was 14. There was a great atmosphere and camaraderie which was really fun to be a part of. I did ok in the first couple and then was able to surf in UK contests and also a few European ones. It was something that was fun to do and I made some great friends traveling. When I went to university I stopped competing, I felt I was having to surf more and more in a way I didn’t actually like and that didn’t come natural to me.

It has only been in the last few years with more contests focused on traditional longboard surfing that I have started to compete again. For me now it is more about the gathering of everyone in a place to celebrate our love for style, walking the board and surfing a longboard in a way it should be surfed. »

When did you start competing and why?

« The competition side started at the local contests when I was 14. There was a great atmosphere and camaraderie which was really fun to be a part of. I did ok in the first couple and then was able to surf in UK contests and also a few European ones. It was something that was fun to do and I made some great friends traveling. When I went to university I stopped competing, I felt I was having to surf more and more in a way I didn’t actually like and that didn’t come natural to me.

It has only been in the last few years with more contests focused on traditional longboard surfing that I have started to compete again. For me now it is more about the gathering of everyone in a place to celebrate our love for style, walking the board and surfing a longboard in a way it should be surfed. »

St Ouen’s Bay à marée basse. Cette plage a vu naître le plus ancien club de surf d’Europe.

dyptique nomades
dyptique nomades

Comment est la vie à Jersey ?

« La vie à Jersey est super, nous avons beaucoup de chance d’avoir un style de vie comme le nôtre. La plage est proche où que vous soyez et une fois que le boulot terminé, il est possible de se rendre directement à la plage pour faire peau neuve ! Nous sommes situés entre la France et le Royaume-Uni, nous prenons les choses que nous préférons dans chacune des cultures et que nous nous les approprions.

Beaucoup de gens pensent que parce que c’est une petite île, nous sommes limités par les choses que nous pouvons faire, mais je ne suis pas d’accord. Quel que soit le temps il y a beaucoup à faire et à voir, il faut juste choisir. Pour beaucoup cela ne semblera peut être pas très accueillant mais je suis sûr qu’ils passeront un bon moment. Pour moi, j’aime trouver un petit endroit juste pour ma famille et moi et profiter au mieux de ces expériences. »

What is it like living in Jersey?

« Life in Jersey is great, we are very lucky to have a lifestyle like ours. The beach is close wherever you are and so once work is finished there is a chance to head straight to the beach to blow the cobwebs off! I find because we are located inbetween France and the U.K. that we pinch the things we like the best and make it our own.

Many people think that because it is a small island we are limited in the things we can do, but I don’t t agree. Whatever the weather there is plenty to do and see- it is what you put into it. For a lot of people that doesn’t sound inviting and I’m sure they will have a lovely time at an all inclusive resort. For me, I love to go find a little place just for my family and I to enjoy and those experiences are the best. »

What is it like living in Jersey?

« Life in Jersey is great, we are very lucky to have a lifestyle like ours. The beach is close wherever you are and so once work is finished there is a chance to head straight to the beach to blow the cobwebs off! I find because we are located inbetween France and the U.K. that we pinch the things we like the best and make it our own.

Many people think that because it is a small island we are limited in the things we can do, but I don’t t agree. Whatever the weather there is plenty to do and see- it is what you put into it. For a lot of people that doesn’t sound inviting and I’m sure they will have a lovely time at an all inclusive resort. For me, I love to go find a little place just for my family and I to enjoy and those experiences are the best. »

dyptique nomades
dyptique nomades

Quand as-tu ouvert ton école de surf et ton surfshop ?

« Le magasin a ouvert en 2009 et j’avais des idées pour créer une école de surf différente. Je ne voulais pas que ce soit juste des cours, je voulais montrer aux gens que le surf c’est beaucoup de choses. La sensibilisation des autres, la compréhension et la sécurité à la plage et dans l’eau, l’histoire du surf, le respect de nos aînés sont autant d’éléments que je voulais transmettre à ceux qui viennent à l’école.

Je voulais aussi apprendre aux enfants plus jeunes à être plus confiants dans l’eau grâce à une bonne compréhension de la mer et de ses dangers. C’est là qu’intervient l’enseignement aux enfants dès l’âge de 5 ans. Les rendre heureux dans l’eau en nageant, en bodysurf et en bodyboard avant de passer sur une planche de surf. Les enfants et leur confiance dans la mer sont des choses pour lesquelles nous sommes très vigilants et que nous croyons vraiment.

Le magasin nous occupe le reste de l’année et nous avons essayé de proposer des produits différents. Je ne veux pas vraiment avoir de marques présentes dans beaucoup de magasins alors je me suis plutôt concentré sur notre propre gamme de vêtements britanniques uniques, en particulier des tricots simples et élégants. »

Why did you start your shop?

« The shop became available in 2009 and I had a few ideas for a surf school with a difference. I didn’t want it to just be about lessons, I wanted to show people that surfing has many different elements. The awareness for others, beach and water understanding and safety, the history of surfing, respect for our elders- these are just a few elements that I wanted to put through to those using the school.

I also wanted to teach children at a younger age to be more confident in the water through a good understanding of the beach and its dangers. That’s where teaching children as young as 5 came about. Getting them happy in the water by swimming, bodysurfing and bodyboarding before moving onto a surfboard. Children and their confidence in the sea is something we are very vigilant about and believe strongly in.

The shop is what keeps us busy the rest of the year and we have tried to curate products that are different from elsewhere. I don’t really want to have a brand that is in lots of shops and have instead focused to work on our own range of unique, British made garments, especially simple and elegant knitwear. »

Why did you start your shop?

« The shop became available in 2009 and I had a few ideas for a surf school with a difference. I didn’t want it to just be about lessons, I wanted to show people that surfing has many different elements. The awareness for others, beach and water understanding and safety, the history of surfing, respect for our elders- these are just a few elements that I wanted to put through to those using the school.

I also wanted to teach children at a younger age to be more confident in the water through a good understanding of the beach and its dangers. That’s where teaching children as young as 5 came about. Getting them happy in the water by swimming, bodysurfing and bodyboarding before moving onto a surfboard. Children and their confidence in the sea is something we are very vigilant about and believe strongly in.

The shop is what keeps us busy the rest of the year and we have tried to curate products that are different from elsewhere. I don’t really want to have a brand that is in lots of shops and have instead focused to work on our own range of unique, British made garments, especially simple and elegant knitwear. »

Que veux-tu transmettre à la nouvelle génération ?

« Je pense que j’aimerais voir moins de dépendance à l’égard de la technologie. Il y a certains domaines où Internet a vraiment amélioré nos vies, mais je pense qu’il y a des choses qui entravent notre expérience du monde réel. Le surf est une activité ultime avec beaucoup d’éléments hors de notre contrôle, maitriser ces facteurs et l’apprentissage nous apporte une plus grande expérience. Apprendre à travers les autres et écouter nos pairs peut faire de nous de meilleurs surfeurs.

Je pense que dans l’ensemble la nouvelle génération pense qu’Internet détient toutes les réponses. Vous pouvez vérifier la webcam, les marées, le vent, etc. Pourquoi écouter un vieil homme qui a 40 ans d’expérience ? Cette idée simple signifie qu’il y a un manque de bonnes manières et je suis inquiet que cela se propage à tous les stades de la vie. Nous n’avons pas besoin d’Internet pour être poli. »

What do you want to transmit to the new generation?

« I think I would like to see less dependence on technology. There are some areas of life where the internet has really enhanced our lives but I feel there are parts hindering our experience of the real world. Surfing is a very definitive activity with many elements out of our control, knowing about all those factors and learning gives us a greater experience. Learning through others and listening to our peers can make us better surfers.

I think on the whole the new generation think the internet holds all the answers. You can check the webcam, tides, wind etc and so why would you listen to an old man who has 40 years of experience? This simple idea means that there is a lack of good manners and I worry that this will transfer to all different walks of life. We don’t need the internet to be polite. »

What do you want to transmit to the new generation?

« I think I would like to see less dependence on technology. There are some areas of life where the internet has really enhanced our lives but I feel there are parts hindering our experience of the real world. Surfing is a very definitive activity with many elements out of our control, knowing about all those factors and learning gives us a greater experience. Learning through others and listening to our peers can make us better surfers.

I think on the whole the new generation think the internet holds all the answers. You can check the webcam, tides, wind etc and so why would you listen to an old man who has 40 years of experience? This simple idea means that there is a lack of good manners and I worry that this will transfer to all different walks of life. We don’t need the internet to be polite. »

Qu’est-ce qu’un bon surfeur pour toi ?

« À mon avis, un bon surfeur c’est plus que du surf. C’est un état d’esprit. Un bon style dans et hors de l’eau, poli, compétent et respectueux sont je crois toutes les qualités qui font un bon surfeur. »

Est-ce que voyager est important pour toi ?

« C’est génial de partir, de voyager et de découvrir de nouveaux endroits. Je pense que mes priorités ont changé depuis que j’ai eu des enfants et que voyager avec ma famille est devenu très important, peu importe la distance. »

What makes a good surfer in your opinion?

« In my opinion a good surfer is more than surfing. It is the whole package. Great style in and out of the water, smooth, knowledgeable and respectful I feel are all qualities that go into making a good surfer. »

Is traveling important for you?

« It is great to get away, to journey and to experience new places. I think though my priorities have changed since having children and so traveling with my family has become very important- no matter how small the distance. »

What makes a good surfer in your opinion?

« In my opinion a good surfer is more than surfing. It is the whole package. Great style in and out of the water, smooth, knowledgeable and respectful I feel are all qualities that go into making a good surfer. »

Is traveling important for you?

« It is great to get away, to journey and to experience new places. I think though my priorities have changed since having children and so traveling with my family has become very important- no matter how small the distance. »

dyptique nomades
dyptique nomades

Rencontre

12 décembre 2017

Surfer avec Joe

Merci à Joe, Nathalie et leurs deux filles de nous avoir permis de partager leur quotidien. Suivez Joe sur Facebook ou Instagram. Reportage réalisé en partenariat avec Visit Jersey.

Photos et Texte:

Traduction:

Publié le
12 décembre 2017

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