Michel Bourez

Michel Bourez is only the second Tahitian to ever qualify for the Championship Tour. His French father and a Polynesian mother raised him on the tiny island of Rurutu in the Tuamotus, and he remains an island kid at heart. But his journey to the pro ranks started in Europe, where he won the regional championship in 2006 before setting out on the Qualifying Series. He joined the Championship Tour in 2009 after securing his first of many wins in on Oahu’s North Shore in November of 2008 at the Reef Hawaiian Pro. Bourez’s feels right at home in powerful Pacific reef waves, and he drills that point home every winter in Hawaii. He won the Hawaiian Pro again in 2013, and finished runner-up twice at Sunset Beach (2011, 2013) before finally winning the Vans World Cup there in 2014. The Sunset win was a huge bonus considering he’d won two Championship Tour events that year (Margaret River and Rio), and finished the year ranked No. 5 on the Jeep Leaderboard. Bourez is famous for his violent turns and remarkably chiseled physique, both of which feed into his moniker: “The Spartan.” His warrior-like training regimen includes a healthy dose of jiu jitsu, so he’s not one to mess with, but behind his steely game-face gaze lives a gentle soul, and his eyes light up with his huge smile. In 2016, Bourez became just the fourth surfer in history to win at three Hawaiian stops by taking the win at the Pipe Masters. Mark Richards, Gary Elkerton and the late Andy Irons are the only other members of that club.