STATE­MENTS

Tracks - - Buzz - Michel Bourez By Ethan SMITH

Win­ning my first World Cham­pi­onship Tour event in Mar­garet River Tak­ing out Mar­garet River was the first time I’ve ever won a WCT event and it’s put me on a good path for the rest of the year. This year, when I first lost at Snap­per I didn’t feel well at all. It was a hor­ri­ble start, so I went away and thought ‘okay, my year will be­gin at Mar­garet River.’ I wrote the Gold Coast off com­pletely. My mind­set didn’t change at all, but I just went back to the start. When I got to Mar­garets, it was all about rail surf­ing as well. There were no ae­ri­als or any­thing like that. To be com­pletely hon­est, when I heard Mar­garets was go­ing to be on the tour, I re­ally didn’t like it, but the thing that made it ex­cit­ing was that we may get the op­por­tu­nity to surf at The Box, which is ca­pa­ble of be­ing a WCT stop any­way. No­body wanted to surf Mar­garets, but ev­ery­one wanted to surf The Box.

Mick Fan­ning I feel like Mick is the guy to look to for con­stant in­spi­ra­tion. I can’t claim to be one of his best friends or any­thing, but I feel like he’s the best role model for surf­ing. He’s an in­spi­ra­tion in the wa­ter and when he’s on land. Every­where he goes people love him be­cause he’s three times World Champ, but he doesn’t care, he is still the same guy he’s al­ways been. When I first qual­i­fied, he came up to me and told me ‘if you need any­thing, don’t hes­i­tate to ask.’ He gave me the right ad­vice I needed as a rookie on tour.

A les­son for WCT rook­ies Shut up and lis­ten. If you’ve just got on tour, you need to lis­ten to people who have been there longer than you. Take their ad­vice on board.

Stick­ing with rid­ing Firewires I used to break so many boards be­fore I be­gan rid­ing Firewire and I was over it. I guess I be­gan rid­ing them be­cause I was look­ing for a board that could han­dle the strength of my back foot as that’s where I get a lot of my power from. The flex­i­bil­ity of the board suits my surf­ing re­ally well. I get the op­por­tu­nity to work with all of their shapers as well, like Nev (Hy­man), (Jon) Pyzel, and Luke Short who all know what sort of boards I need for what dif­fer­ent sorts of con­di­tions.

The fu­ture of Tahi­tian surf­ing The fu­ture is grow­ing for Tahi­tian surf­ing. We have sev­eral pro-ju­niors here, a WQS event and also a WCT at Teahupoo, so I feel like it’s go­ing in the right di­rec­tion, but I feel like we need more struc­ture where ju­niors can re­ceive coach­ing from good coaches and al­low the next gen­er­a­tion to shine.

Be­ing a young Dad. Be­ing a Dad made me want to be a bet­ter surfer. When I found out my wife was preg­nant, I thought that things would be dif­fer­ent and I would have to give it ev­ery­thing I had. Later, I re­alised noth­ing had re­ally changed, I could still surf pro­fes­sion­ally and then when I wasn’t work­ing I could take care of my fam­ily. I don’t keep them sep­a­rate at all, my fam­ily is part of what I do. My son doesn’t com­pletely un­der­stand what I do for a job yet, just that I travel over­seas to surf.

Be­ing the lone Tahi­tian on tour. It can be re­ally hard some­times. Tahi­tians have their own cul­ture and we speak French, which is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent lan­guage to the ma­jor­ity of people on tour. It’s re­ally only Jeremy (Flores) on tour that speaks French, but he spends a lot of time with his friends, so I just hang with the Hur­ley guys the ma­jor­ity of the time. It can still be hard though. I mean, all the guys all hang to­gether and it can be hard to tell ex­actly what’s up.

Michel Bourez shares his thoughts on tak­ing out his maiden WCT vic­tory, What it'S like Be­ing The only TAHI­TIAN on tour and Why he chooses To ride FIREWIRES.

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