Talent - Arthur Bourbon
AGE: 19 HOME: CAPBRETON, FRANCE/LE MOULE, GUADELOUPE HEIGHT: 1M84 WEIGHT: 76KG SHORTBOARD: 6’1" X 18 3/8" X 2 5/16" SPONSORS: REEF, UWL SURFBOARDS, NIXON
Like Reunion Island and Tahiti, the Caribbean has fast become another fertile talent pool for French surfers in the last couple of years. Arthur Bourbon stands tall among a new generation of surfers from the island of Guadeloupe whose sights are for the first time firmly fixed on the WQS. Born in Guadeloupe into a family of surfers (both his mum and dad surf), Arthur first tried surfing aged five. Since then he has worked his way up through the ranks, doing local contests, nationals and rounding his school years off by joining the Pole France (French surf team) before passing his baccalaureate in 2005. Today Arthur’s timetable is pretty straight-forward and committed, “All I do is surf, train, compete in Pro Juniors and I am starting to do a few ’QS contests too."
In 2005, victory at the Hossegor Rip Curl Pro Junior marked a true turning point in his career. Conditions in the finals suited Arthur’s surfing perfectly, and under pressure, he chose his waves carefully and ended up beating some of the biggest names on the circuit, including Jeremy Flores (who took the European Pro Junior title that year). “Winning that was a massive boost for my confidence," admits Arthur, “coming at a time when I’d just chosen to go fully pro, it was my first year so it was kind of telling me I’d made the right choice." It’s a performance that propelled him onto the Reef team and next stage, the WQS and winter trips to Hawaii. But before things start to get too serious, Arthur is happy to enjoy the trips abroad his new job has brought him. For the record, Arthur isn’t named after a type of whisky, in fact unsurprisingly for one from the Antilles, reckons, “Actually, I prefer Ti punch."