Ramzi Boukhiam Age: 14 Home: Anglet. Sponsors: Pukas, Quiksilver, Quik Eyewear.

Ramzi’s older brother persuaded him to switch from drop-kneeing on his boogie to surfing by telling him one Christmas “You should ask Santa for a surfboard." Santa delivered and Ramzi never looked back, developing into a flashy, stylish little goofyfoot. Ramzi’s very first contact with the sea had come to him through his father who was a fisherman. Since his dad passed away three years ago, the young Moroccan surfer and his whole family moved to France so he could continue with school. For now, his mum maintains that his studies be his number one priority. Once he’s passed his baccalaureate, he can go compete in all the contests he wants and consider a pro career should he still want that.

That’s not to say Ramzi hasn’t already gained a good taste for competitive surfing in Morocco, where he used to be coached by Laurent Miramon around Oualidia. In fact, he holds several Moroccan junior champ titles and represented his country at the Quiksilver Grom series in Capbreton, giving him a good opportunity to measure up against some of the world’s best groms. Still just 14, having the opportunity to travel with some of Europe’s biggest young hopes to places like Hawaii with the backing of the Quik stable, Ramzi’s understandably a pretty stoked little fella, “It’s cool, I could never have dreamt of having the opportunity to do all this amazing stuff… When I think back to how I started out surfing shitty, broken boards." Nevertheless, Ramzi knows it’s important for him to keep things in perspective and stay realistic, but if this grom’s desire is anything to go by don’t expect it to be too long before he’s up there representing Morocco among surfing’s elite.

Photos: Eric Chauché