Every industry has its key players and for French boardculture, Greg Poissonnier is one of them.
Originally from the North of France and having moved to Pau in the Pyrénées at the age of 12, Greg saw the rise of snowboarding in the early 90’s and how it spread to the masses, which is also when he honed his own skills in the sport. Having joined the Quiksilver pro team a few years later, he experienced firsthand the first pro contrats as well as the first editions of several now legendary events such as the Quik Cup. These travels and interactions led him to establish a wide network in the industry.
Pierre-Bernard Gascogne. PBG (“Pébège”) for friends.The name is as legendary in the boardsports industry as it is familiar to Surf Session magazine readers.
A long-time surfer (the first Frenchman to have surfed Mundaka) PBG has always strived to combine his passion with his studies and his career.
You can’t talk about female icons of the surfing industry without mentioning Maritxu Darrigand
Back in the 70’s, a visionary and a pioneer, she helped lay the foundations of the industry before it even was an industry. As a world traveler living between the mountain and the ocean, she was behind the first screenings of surf movies in theaters.
Beyond an impressive career, Juan Gonzalez-Vega’s life is above all about destiny. The destiny of a Spaniard, who arrived in France at a young age, who got into surfing as a teenager, whose ambition and talent first led him to become a trader on Wall Street for the biggest agencies in New York in the late 90’s.
Joost Grootswagers got into board-riding culture when he was very young. Starting out with skateboarding, he then moved on to snowboarding. As a student in university, he admits that he spent more time on the slopes than in class. Since then and throughout his entire career, he has skilfully combined living out his passion with taking on new challenges.
On a trip to Australia to learn how to make wetsuits, Nicholas Lartizien discovered the king of sports: surfing. From then on, it would become a lifelong passion. A passion that would take him to Hossegor, where he helped kick off two of the leading and legendary boardsport brands and eventually lead him to take over as head of the European branch for the global leader in surfing accessories. A life led surfing both waves and opportunities.
Though destined to be a doctor like his father, his grand-father and great-grand-father before him, François Payot dropped out of medical school to pursue studies in architecture. But right before graduating, he met an Australian surfing champion who was looking to develop the brand Rip Curl in France. This encounter would change the course of his life and launch François all the way to the top of one of the world’s leading surf brands.
With Inside Eurosima, our goal is to share with you the hidden side of Action Sports, what happens inside, behind all the sparkle. We will take you into the day to day lives of the men and women who have chosen a career around their passion. Be it artists, entrepreneurs, CEOs of large companies or craftsmen, they have all agreed to open their doors and share their experience, their ambitions and their dreams in all honesty. – EuroSIMA –
Francisco Spinola is the “Mister Surf” of Portugal. With his business partner Frederico Teixeira, he was the initiator of the Portuguese competitive surfing tour. What was once a small niche has, thanks to them, become a driving force for tourism and economic development with the birth of Surf Schools, Surf camps, hotels and restaurants that all contribute to attracting the international surfing scene to Portuguese shores.
Originally from Tynemouth in the North-East of England, Gabe Davies is one of those intrepid adventurers to have braved the cold northern waters. While his school buddies were all going crazy over football, Gabe dreamt of becoming a pro surfer. Thanks to his parents’ support and his own dedication, he gradually made a name for himself early on and was spotted by Quiksilver, a brand he would spend 20 years working with. A fervent environmentalist to the core, in 2013, he joined Patagonia, where he found a true calling.