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Exclusive Slyde Interview With French Bodysurfer Fred David

5 min read

Exclusive Slyde Interview With French Bodysurfer Fred David

Fred David is a championship frenchman & waterman. Who travels the world getting barreled with the best of them.

Tell us a bit about yourself: 

My name is Fred, I am 30 and I live in Seignosse, in the South West of France.
People are going to tell you that I am a bodysurfer, I would rather say that I am someone who loves being in the ocean.

I love surfing, spearfishing, bodysurfing, swimming, paddling, filming in the water.
I am happy when I am in the ocean.

Last year I have started a waterman school called Oceanman Experience. People can come surf, bodysurf, discover how to use a surf board to save someone’s life, or just have fun on a supsquatch.

How long have you been bodysurfing for? 

When I was 14 or 15 I was swimming a lot. A friend introduced me and couple other friends with surf lifesaving. I think that’s when I have started bodysurfing.

What's your favorite wave to body surf?

It’s hard to find a really good wave for bodysurfing. Pipeline would be the best one, if it was not that crowded,  same for Point Panics. I love the shorebreaks in Hossegor.
I have had a lot of fun bodysurfing some wedges lately.

If you had week to live where would you go in the world and why?

I would just enjoy my time with the people I love. Being in a quite place near the ocean would make that week better.

When and how did you and Sean Enoka meet?

We have met in the water something like 7 or 8 years ago. A friend and I were bodysurfing alone in a place where not a lot of people were going at this time. When Sean came, we could see that he was surprised to see 2 hoale guys there. We didn’t speak a lot that day. We have met again couple days after and we spoke a lot more. Sean was bodysurfing a lot on the south and west part of the island. I was bodysurfing almost only on the north shore.

We have become really good friends. Every winter I have spent in Hawaii, Sean was the guy I called every morning to go bodysurf. I have learned a lot about Hawaii and the Aloha spirit thank’s to him. I have a lot of respect for Sean all he has done since for the bodysurfing community.

Any bad run in's with locals? 

Not one. It’s like everywhere else. You are welcome as long as you are respectful with the locals and the rules of the place.

How would you explain the Body Surf stoke: 

Bodysurfing can be frustrating if you try to compare it to surfing or bodyboarding. If you go bodysurfing and think about riding the longest wave or pulling into the biggest barrel and make it, you probably won’t enjoy your experience.

Bodysurfing makes you share something special and different with the ocean.

When you manage to catch a wave and ride it with your body, it means you start to understand the energy of the ocean. This is what I would call the bodysurfing stoke

What ignited the spark to start Oceanman Experience?

Oceanman Experience is an opportunity to offer something different to the people coming to our place. It is also a way to live from what I love and share what I have learned about the ocean.

There are thousands of surf school and surf club in France. Most of them are like huge factories. They are focus on putting people up on a board, telling them they are a surfer and making a lot of money.

How you surf or bodysurf isn’t important. With Oceanman Experience we want to give people the tools to be able to have fun in the ocean respecting the nature and the others.

Tell us a bit about when you started, what you guys stand for etc?

I have started Oceanman Experience last year. This summer will be the second one. I am expecting some great news soon for the school.

What is your Ultimate dream for the company ?

If people are happy about what they learn with us and if we can help bringing a better spirit and more safety and less selfishness in the water, I will be super happy.

Where do you see ocean man experience going in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?

I have no idea ! Maybe doing less surfing lessons and more bodysurfing ahahah.

What is the Bodysurf scene like in France?

It is getting bigger! We have a lot of great bodysurfers and a lot of fun beach breaks.

Some of the best bodysurfers like Joel and John are helping the younger generations. It is really good. Surf lifesaving and bodysurfing are growing together. I think it’s really good.

Where would you like to bodysurfing go as a sport?

I have been thinking about it lately.

Handboardingwill have a big part of the future of the sport. It helps you be faster on the wave. It allows you to go in lot more kind of waves. It is maybe more made for contests.

I have been doing contests almost all around the world for the last 10 years. I think bodysurfing contests are good at places like Pipeline or Panics. They allow you to bodysurf a high quality wave with only few guys out. This is pushing the sport.

I also think most of the other contests in the world are pushing bodysurfing down. Even if they bring a lot of bodysurfers together, which is good; most of them are hold in low quality waves. They try to make the bodysurfers act like surfers. But we cannot think like that. We are way slower than the surfers. Bodysurfing is all about feelings, It is about how you control that drop, but even if you control it perfectly, the wave will go too fast and close. Pushing kids to do spinners in 2ft of white water is ridiculous.

I want to see more bodysurfing videos, more guys like Kanealli Willcox pulling some crazy tricks, more guys like Joel Badina or Kalani Lattanzi charging crazy big waves, more guys like Sean Enoka pushing the kids, more guys like Tim Burnham or Laurent Masurel documenting the history of the sport.

Best part of what you do?

I am happy and having fun.

The most challenging part of what you do? 

Having your own business is great but it’s also challenging !

Any tips for a newbie waterman wanting to reach your heights of professionalism in bodysurfing or make a name for themselves? 

I don’t think it’s a goal in life. Doing it to make your name is stupid. Do it for fun, be yourself, be respectful.

The Slyde Team is stoked to get both the Bula Handboard &Wedge in Fred's hands, spreading the stoke across the Pond!  Stay tuned for some Epic Slyde videos featuring Fred David!




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