I'm 100% islander, born and raised on the island Corsica, moved to Tahiti right after my diploma 17 years ago and never left. I work in the only security of psychiatry of French Polynesia. I chose to work only night time to have all my days to enjoy the ocean and take care of my sons.
Since ever when i was a kid i spent all my holidays spearfishing and swimming.
I started surfing when i was 14 and never stopped. I also kitesurf, wakeboard, longboard, stand up paddle . I only started bodysurfing seriously just 4 years ago after buying my first Slydehandboard.
It's just the beginning of something big, when I started I was the only one in the water with a handboard at the peak. Then my water friends started to ask me to try and get handboards too , we're now a good group of friends sharing the stoke. This year things are getting bigger as I've been contacted to introduce handboards in the Waterman Tahiti Tour ( a tour of competitions including SUP, Prone, Swim ) plus i'm now in charge of the bodysurfing at the Tahitian Federation of Surfing and i work at making the first Tahitian championship of bodysurfing.
I created BATfirst as a page on Facebook, so we could share the pics and videos we were making during our sessions, and it has become the reference for bodysurfing in Tahiti we have followers all over the world. Bodysurfers who come to visit contact me via the page to get info. or share a session. I asked to the artist Tom Laura AKA BigToe to make us a little logo and he made us an awesome tiki riding a wave with a handboard that became our logo. Our crew is some close friends as Lionel, Phil, Clement, Chris, ... there's really few days without seeing us in the water!
My favorite local break is Ahonu in Mahina my home town, 5 minutes from home, super hollow wave on sand, depending on the swell it can make really long waves with nice barrels . That's the spot where I have my best bodysurfing session with a long left, super glassy, I went deep in a barrel, and right when I thought the wave gonna break on me I made it out without a drop on my head! Best stoke ever
Hard question, I love my Wedge in fast waves as I immediately get some speed. I love my Bula because it feels so light in the hand it's like free bodysurfing but with awesome rails to make it even in super-hollow waves.
I love Hawai'i, been there more than 20 times, have awesome friends there that became ohana to me ( means family ). Sandy's is super fun and beautiful and Panics the best wave ever to bodysurf with an incredible level in the water. Never try California waves so I guess it'll be my destination for this year as one of my friend invited me to Laguna and I would love to share some waves with other Slyde riders and the Del Mar Bodysurfing Club who honoured me as a member of their international team.
Too many friends good friend to pick up only 5 ahahhaah ! My dream party wave would be to share with riders from Hawaii, California, Australia and Tahiti together
In my eyes Bodysurfing/handboarding will def keep growing, you can have tons of fun in all kind waves, dozens of barrels in one session, full body training ... with a board that fits in a backpack! Try it and you will want one for sure!