Billabong Pro: the surf stars offer 90 backpacks to Tahitian kids

Last week, the island of Tahiti hosted one of the 11 events of the WSL Men’s Championship Tour, surf’s main title, on the Teahupo’o reef spot. But just before the competition, the organisation received an irresistible request from the local town: local kids needed backpacks for the beginning of the school year and the municipality didn’t have the money…

The WSL Hawaii, with its president Jody Wilmott, stepped in and bought 90 backpacks and 90 fully-loaded pencil cases for the kids. Best of all: the gifts were donated by some of the best surfers in the world in a nice ceremony on the beach of Teahupo’o just after the event. Local star and current 13th best surfer in the world Michel Bourez was the most sough after for he souvenir pictures, and he was joined by international athletes Julian Wilson (who won the event) Mick Fanning, Conner Coffin, Jack Robinson and Joan Duru.

Local organiser Pascal Luciani explained that “if we didn’t step in, these kids would have gone to school with old backpacks full of holes or using plastic bags, far from ideal. Their families are poor and the municipality could not afford to help them in its budget.” The kids were overjoyed, but seemed to care more about the stars then the school tools: “The kids were delighted, they covered the surfers in flower crowns and necklaces they made with their families. They liked Michel Bourez the most, and several told him they wanted to become pro surfers like him.”

Pictures by Sarah Lienard

The kids covered the surfers in flowers


Michel Bourez, the most successful Tahitian surfer ever, never won the Billabong Pro in Tahiti. 2017 was no exception, but he stays in a firm 1st place as the favorite of the local kids.

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