Get to Know Julien Bédard, the Club’s PWC Ambassador. Interview by Perrine Mertens
Julien Bédard is a big fan of personal watercraft. As founder of the Club Motomarine Montréal—and now as PWC Ambassador for Club April Marine—he spends a good chunk of his time promoting good riding etiquette. Here’s how he went from a green rider to a respected expert.
Julien Bédard got hooked on boating at a young age. Born in Montreal and raised in the suburbs, he spent much of his free time during his teen years either on his father’s motorboat or on the water, surﬁng, wakeboarding, and wakesurﬁng with friends. In 2007, Julien purchased his ﬁrst PWC and quickly discovered the exhilaration of being able to ride anywhere—but also the responsibility that came with this freewheeling freedom.
“We used to meet up on an island in the St. Lawrence River and mess around on the water between Montreal and Sorel. But with each outing, our group grew. Our original gang of 5 to 10 PWC soon became 50. It was time to get a little organized. That’s where I got the idea for a PWC club,” he explains.
Julien created a Facebook group to send out invites and organize larger outings. The Club Motomarine Montréal was born. So was a tight-knit community that has since grown to more than 6,000 members.
The Club’s active Facebook page is mostly in French, but you’ll ﬁnd some pretty impressive videos and plenty of folks looking for an outing partner—as well as tips and advice from other local riders—and from Julien himself.
“When I was younger, taking part in smaller outings, I always enjoyed learning from the older, more seasoned riders. They were our guides and mentors. I learned a lot about our waterways and how to ride safely,” Julien says. “My goal for the Club Motomarine Montréal is to grow the sport and change its image to take it to the next level.”
Being the devoted and respectful watersport fan he is, Julien is a natural advocate. In addition to writing articles for PLAISANCE Mag, he recently agreed to serve as PWC ambassador for Club APRIL Marine.
“Now that I’m an ambassador and proud dad to a 4-year-old son, my role is to ensure we can all enjoy being out on the water—all while keeping everyone safe, all while respecting the environment and its biodiversity,” says Julien. “I want my son to one day cruise the St. Lawrence and enjoy the region’s gorgeous scenery with his own friends, just like I do now.”
Next time you’re cruising the St. Lawrence (or the Baskatong Reservoir in Mont-Laurier—Julien’s latest favourite spot), keep an eye out for our ambassador, tearing it up on his Yamaha or boating with friends. Or come and say hello to Julien during our various Club APRIL Marine events, such as our ever-popular PWC ride or the garbage clean-up days we organize in collaboration with Mission 1000 tonnes. Julien speaks English and is always happy to swap stories.