Born and raised in Tahiti, Michel Bourez is France’s number one surfer. He’s been in demand ever since he became the first Tahitian to beat the Hawaiians on their own turf with victory in the 2008 Reef Hawaiian Pro. It’s a six-star event on the WQS series and as such the win made Bourez eligible for the elite tour.
In 2009, the Spartan finished as the second-highest rookie on the tour and in 2010 he took his place among the 44 best surfers in the world in the ASP world tour and claimed a career-best result at the Rip Curl Pro Search in Puerto Rico. His aim is to break into the top five in the next five years, and by the time he’s 29, he expects to be champion.
You wouldn’t want to stand in his way. When other surfers talk about him, they use words like “bulldozer” and “brick shithouse.” He’s the same height as Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning might have an inch on him, but Michel carries an extra six to nine pounds in sheer muscle. Bourez himself says his biggest asset is his raw power, but he is also supremely agile and pulls off the trickiest moves with fluidity and dynamism.