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.