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.
Clément Maulavé and Mathieu Couacault are two surfers who created Hopaal, an apparel company that is trying to have the tiniest footprint possible. Relying on their first success of their “sweater of the future” manufactured from 100% recycled materials, they have recently left Olatu in Anglet to open their first shop in Biarritz, a few hundred meters from the Grande Plage. Truly committed surfers Creating out of what already exists, not digging into resources, which we are constantly reminded how finite they are, not living off credit and avoiding consequences for future generations, not endangering our environment, being clean, working locally, differently. All these positive mottos imply a change in models and require working habits. That and more is what drive the two founders of Hopaal. They are fully committed to the ocean because they love spending time in it and are fully aware that it is high time we started taking action. Their solution is to recycle existing fabric and materials to manufacture their collections. Whether it is plastic collected at sea, production scraps, …
His passion for kitesurfing was born when he saw a surfer being pulled by a kite in Hawaii. That moment was true revelation for Martial Camblong, who is dedicated to developing the sport and who works towards making it accessible to as many people as possible. In 2005, his dream took flight when he created the kitesurf brand GENETRIX with a friend. It was a daring bet, but one that paid off since their innovations were taken up by the biggest players in the industry.
When Stephen Bell, aka “Belly” arrived in Hossegor at 20 years old, he had no way of knowing what an incredible adventure the surfing industry had in store for him. Originally from Torquay in south-western Australia, he came to France because Harry Hodge asked him to come shape surfboards for Quiksilver. It was the beginning of an amazing experience alongside Kelly Slater that would take him to the most incredible surf spots around the world, a life which he is still pursuing today, coaching Leonardo Fioravanti.
Tom Kay is a British surfer who is used to the extreme conditions in the North Atlantic waters. Unable to find the appropriate technical clothes for cold water surfing, he eventually decided to design and make them himself. That’s how, in a little flat above a surf shop in 2003, the surfwear brand Finisterre was born, with the objective of providing quality products that respect both the environment and peolple.
A pioneer of the European surfing industry, Derek O’Neill launched and developed Billabong in Europe for 12 years before taking on the position of International CEO. At 54, he could have closed the door on the industry and spent the rest of his life surfing, but retirement just wasn’t his thing. He returned to Hossegor 3 years ago to develop Vissla, an all new surf brand to “make surfing great again” and so far, things aren’t looking too shabby.
His strong accent and large smile leave no doubt about it, he’s a local. Originally from Parempuyre in the Médoc, Thierry’s passion for the ocean and surfing eventually led him to settle in Hossegor. From his years as an elite swimmer, he learned all about willpower and discipline. When as a kid, you grow up swimming in a 25 meter tiled pool with the objective of an Olympic medal, suddenly the ocean becomes an environment without boundaries representing both freedom and adventure.
From the famous Cours Florent acting school to a consulting firm, Dune tried her hand at several fields to find her professional path. In 2014, her father created the brand Yoga Searcher and at the ripe age of 25, Dune wound up in charge of the apparel collection and shops.
Originally from New Zealand, Cheyne initially wanted to become a professional rugby player. But in the end, for his career, he eventually turned towards another passion of his: surfing. At 32 years old, he manages Events and Marketing for the World Surf League (WSL) and pro surfing in Europe.