Leo, Hossegor. Photo: Christie. Portrait: Testemale
I love autumn in France, waves start to get really good, it’s still pretty warm, you can still surf in boardshorts, if you’re tough – which I’m not hahaha. But most of all I get super excited about the swells, it just starts to pump and gets so fun with peaks up and down for turns, airs or whatever, and then of course there’s La Graviere when it turns on. All the top pros from around the world arrive and it gives you more energy and motivation to surf, train and just try to get up to their level. It’s inspirational seeing all the best guys in the world out at your local break, it opens your mind up so much about what is possible. Sure, the crowds get pretty heavy in France, but you just deal with it.
I think it was more crowded than ever this year, but I always try to find a little wave to myself and just have fun. That’s what it’s all about, right? It was the dream come true for me to compete in the Quik Pro France this year, I guess I’m the first Italian to get in a WCT so that’s pretty cool. From when I was a small grom to where I am now, getting to surf in a WCT as a wildcard, I owe so much to Quiksilver for backing me. Being in the event has other perks too; I even managed to snag some sets in the freesurfs, it felt great to get some respect from the Tour guys haha.
I guess I grew a lot lately and now I’ve got more power in my surfing, even if I’m not exactly Michel Bourez just yet haha. But yeah, I’m trying to turn my surfing into more man surfing than grom surfing I guess. Still, I get inspired by young guys Kanoa Igarashi, Nomme Mignot and a bunch of young kids that are coming up, and then of course the older guys like Ramzi, Marc, Vasco, Matt Banting and Gabriel.