RED LETTER DAY – SUSPENDED MOMENTS

WORDS: CHRIS DEFRANCE
PHOTOS: HUGO MARTIN
LOCATION: PYRENEES MOUNTAINS
DATE TUESDAY MAY 4TH, 2021

Balancing a healthy business with a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge in these unpredictable times of late. So it’s more important than ever for PWR-Foil Manager Chris Defrance to find moments of calm, and where better than up in the mountains at dawn…

Getting up at 5am has a unique flavor. It’s getting up with happiness and going off to find suspended moments in time. What could be more exciting in life than to live from your passion? It has been and still is the common thread in my life. With an eFoil on my shoulder, bare feet in the morning dew, I can anchor myself in the present moment.

I am incredibly lucky to live in a splendid region. In a few minutes, I can go from the sea to lakes in the mountains. This morning in May, I chose the small Pyrenean lake at the foot of the Canigou in St Jean Pla de Corts. At dawn, the lake smokes… I plunge into a slightly magical universe, a little out of this world. What a disconnection. All pressure flies away. Nothing pollutes my mind anymore. Only a strong connection with nature remains.

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Because I really need it at the moment… These moments are a breath of fresh air. Running a company in 2021 is quite intense. The crisis we are going through is challenging us professionally. It is profoundly changing our way of working, thinking, acting and looking to the future. All the existing codes, the professional routine, the work steps have been broken at once. The reference points are no longer the same. The supply of raw materials, manufacturing, deadlines, transport… everything becomes difficult and takes much longer! It’s as if the ground was moving and we spent our time looking for new supports. It’s a bit like the story of my life: finding the right balance. My passion for surfing and what it has taught me resonates more than ever in my professional life.

These profound professional changes affect the being by force of circumstance. Everything is intertwined. Even if my personal life tends to be as healthy as possible (I grow a vegetable garden, I eat organic food, I buy as much as possible locally), I want my professional life to take the same turn: run a healthy business and work locally as much as possible. To an extent it is already the case, but I want to do more. Find resources close to me, develop them if necessary. My goal is to make a 100% French eFoil. 

It is these suspended moments, like the one you see here, that allow me to realize how lucky I am, by creating a bubble for myself. A bubble of well-being. The feeling of being in the right place at the right time. Out of time, out of the world, flying in an incredible scenery, I let my thoughts go.

As each of my sessions is an opportunity to test all the equipment created and that yet to come, I try to put myself in the mind of the customer… On a 6’6, I imagine I’m beginner in one of the rental centers… I check the ease of use, the stability, the accessibility. Very quickly, the sensation of flying like a bird is real. On the other hand, on a 4’4, I navigate between big curves and more radical turns. As in snowboarding, I take pleasure in accentuating the curves, so much so that my hands come to brush the water. What could be more beautiful when I wake up than to see the sun’s rays in the droplets I leave in my wake? I have fun pushing the eFoil further and further…

The emotions that come over me in these early morning and lonely sessions remind me how much I really love what I do. I hope that every PWR-Foil owner has as much fun as I do, savoring every moment, feeling every part of their body in symbiosis with their machine and the nature around them. Whether it’s in a lake, river or sea, each moment on an eFoil allows me to gain height and gives me bigger wings for the future. 

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