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, …
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.
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.
Emilie was a head of collection in mass retail when she quit her job to follow her husband to the Basque coast. Never would she have thought that just a few years later she would be at the head of one of the world’s leading ladies boardsports brands, Roxy.
Romain was 20 years old when he left his home in Lyon to go study on the basque coast and live out his passion for surfing. While in graduate school, he met Matthieu with whom in 2008 he created Lastage, an eco-friendly boardshorts brand that aims to change mentalities.
A skateboarder and surfer since his childhood, Vincent has also always had an eye for fashion. In order to share his lifestyle with others, in 2011 he launched Surfin Estate, a blog with a fresh new take on the rider lifestyle drawing inspiration from fashion, art and music. Four years later, Surfin Estate has become a brand and Vincent and his partners have just recently opened their first concept store in Hossegor.
Passionate about surfing, Wilco left his homeland in the Netherlands at 18 to study in France and get closer to the best surfing spots. A key encounter in college led him to the famous brand Rip Curl, a company he would stick with throughout his career, eventually becoming CEO of Rip Curl Europe in 2013.
Since the age of 21, Anthony has continually set himself challenges and multiplied all kinds of experiences in Action Sports. He built his career step by step. 15 years later, he has become the European General Manager of the accessories brand Electric.