French longboard maestro Nathan Sadoun is just 19-years old. Yet the young Marseillais has already developed a refined style, evident in his steezy nose riding and his casual approach on a diversity of crafts. The Black Rose MFG. team rider’s appetite, however, is still that of a teenager.
Guided by Black Rose founder Justin Quintal, Sadoun’s been bouncing around Northeast Florida for the last few weeks, surfing, fishing, working in Ricky Carroll’s Rockledge shaping facility, and eating many, many hamburgers. Though he’s feasted everywhere from MShack to Poe’s, there’s only been one burger capable of satisfying the Frenchman’s insatiable appetite: the Wendy’s Baconator.
Sadoun stopped by the Void office the other day and we asked him about his North Florida holiday, his recent summons to the renowned Classic logging contest, the Vans Duct Tape Invitational, and what gives the Baconator that je ne sais quoi.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
So, I’m from Marseille in the southeast of France. I’m 19. I’m currently studying engineering in Leon. I’ve been surfing since I was a young kid because my parents had been surfing long before me.
How are the waves where you grew up?
I think its pretty similar to Florida, actually. It could be good, but it could be also flat. Most of the time it’s quite flat. From what I understand, the Mediterranean Sea is to Europe what the Atlantic is to America. It’s still better here, I think, because it’s the Atlantic. But we have to better understand the waves and conditions to get waves. And we have to drive a lot.
Do you travel to the Atlantic side of France often?
Every holiday we try and get away from the Mediterranean. Biarritz, Hossegor, the whole French coast. Also Northern Spain.
So what are you doing here in North Florida?
Well, I have to do an internship for my engineering program and I decided to do it with Black Rose. So I’ve been working down in the factory with Justin and Ricky [Carroll], seeing how the boards are made. I really wanted to meet the Black Rose team. And it’s a new part of the world I haven’t explored. i’ve been twice to California, but this is my first time in Florida. I’m learning the process of making boards. In my town there is no big factory like Ricky’s. It’s been a dream of mine to learn how to shape. I really love the process, the smell—even of the glassing.
[Laughs]. It’s just really interesting—the atmosphere in the shaping room, all the boards around you. I just want to surf all the boards. When I’m in school, I’m not surfing as much and I’ll be on Instagram just watching all these boards get shaped. I just want to touch them all. So that’s what I’m doing right now.
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve done on your trip so far?
We’ve been fishing. And maybe the third or fourth day here, I’d already caught a small Black Drum, which was already giant for me. The day after we went on the boat with Joe [Pulido] and I caught a really giant Black Drum. I was so tired when I finished reeling it in. That was the most original thing I’ve done.
Sounds like you’re getting a true North Florida experience. Have you been eating a lot of fish, too?
Yes. We’ve had a lot of good fish. Justin’s dad cut up some Wahoo and Tuna. We ate sashimi. And then I’ve eaten a ton of burgers.
I’ve heard you really like the Baconator.
It’s so good. I’ve eaten a bunch.
Is there no Wendy’s in France?
No. We have Burger King, but it’s nothing like Wendy’s.
How many Baconators have you eaten?
At least ten. I don’t know what it is. They are so good.
While we’re on the subject, in France is a Quarter Pounder with cheese really called a Royale with cheese?
Yes, that’s true. I saw “Pulp Fiction” two years ago for the first time, actually. I really like the soundtrack.
Yeah, so good right? Really surfy.
Moving on. You were recently invited to the Duct Tape, right?
I did. I’ve been dreaming about it since I started doing classic longboarding. Before I was surfing everything or I was too small to ride a classic longboard. They did a Duct Tape in 2011 at Salinas in SPain. I went two weeks later and immediately went home and watched all the videos from past Duct Tapes. I just wanted to meet all the people surfing in the contest, like Justin. When I got invited I didn’t really believe it. I don’t even know what I’m going to do.
Has Justin given you any advice? He’s won a few Duct Tapes.
He hasn’t given me any advice, but just watching him has helped me improve. I think surfing with people is the best way to improve. Justin’s wave-reading is incredible. You can watch him and everything he does is good.
Justin’s never surfed up there in Spain. Have you given him any tips?
No, I’ve only been there twice. It’s a beach break and the sand is moving all the time. Last time I was there for a contest it was like two or three meters (6-9 feet)—big shore break. We weren’t surfing as much as we were just eating it. I hope it’ll be different for this contest.
For Void readers who may visit Marseille in the future, what tips can you give them?
It’s a nice city. There aren’t great waves, no need to bring your board. But it’s an old city—2,000 years old. There’s a ton of history. It’s really fun. Just walk around and see what you can find. It’s a good time to go.