Talent - Pierre Valentin Laborde
AGE: 16 LIVES: HOSSEGOR WEIGHT: 55KG HEIGHT: 161CM SURFBOARD: FIFI CHEVALLIER 5’8" X 17 " X 2" SPONSORS: RIP CURL, CREATURES OF LEISURE, SURF ODYSSEY & PHILIPPE CHEVALLIER PV is Rip Curl Europe’s number one junior surfer and at the young age of 16, it’s a heavy responsibility to bear. But with the increasing pressure, also comes serious top-level preparation that leaves little doubt about his intentions. “We’re working with video analysis more and more and trips away are the ideal opportunity for PV to hang out and rub shoulders with some of the world’s top pros," says team manager Gilles Darqué. Surf trips so far have included the Mentawais and most recently a trip to Chile during the Rip Curl Pro Search (p.76) where PV was able to push his experience in big waves and sharpen his skills for the European circuit. Meanwhile he’s also been working closely with his shaper Philippe Chevallier, “He’s a very honest surfer, if he’s not feeling a board then he’ll tell me and his interest in and knowledge of shaping allows us to communicate well," declares Philippe. And for now, his results appear to be cutting it with a solid 5th place finish this year at the Junior World Championships in Narrabeen. “PV is bringing up the rear of the Miky Picon, Joan Duru and Marc Lacomare generations and he’s learnt a huge amount from surfing with those guys, blending all of their strong points while adding his own personal touch to the mix," explains Gilles, “He’s a fast, radical aerialist who now needs to work on his power. I often tell him to look at the Aussie ripper Owen Wright’s attitude in the water as a good example, this is the side of his surfing that he needs to work on." At a time when so many young surfers are burning out on the junior contest tour, one subject appears to reoccur when people talk about PV, more than anything he just wants to have fun. A confession that doesn’t take anything away from his serious preparation and training, and something that should help him join the big league some time very soon.