Name: Jean-Jacques Billard

Age: 24

From: Anglet, France

Getting here: I started surfing when I was 12 in Rio de Janeiro. My mum’s Brazilian and my dad’s French. My mum used to surf so that’s how I got into it. Then my parents split up and I came to France with my mum in 1996. Initially we moved to Paris but I hated it there and the following year I moved back to Brazil to live with my dad for a year. When my mum moved to Anglet I came back to live in France in ’98. Those were pretty hard times. It wasn’t until I came to France that I started to take surfing seriously, doing contests and stuff. In Brazil it was just a hobby. Influences: Eric Rebière and Patrick Beven, who I met here in Anglet. Eric was like a big brother to me and has helped me loads. Next up: I’m off to the Mentawais for the first time tomorrow morning.

It’s going to be mental. I’ve never surfed there before and definitely looking to take my surfing to another level over there. Other than that, I’m going to continue to do all the European QS legs, my aim is to become European Champion. Future: Today I feel more French than Brazilian. But every winter I return to Brazil for two or three months. My dad still lives there in a small village just south of Rio called Buzios, it’s like the St Tropez of Brazil. When my surf career comes to an end I could see myself moving back one day.

JJB rides for O’Neill, Dragon & Hyucif Surfboards.