Vue sur la commune de Mataiea - Teva I Uta

Michel Bourez - surfing champion

Michel Bourez

The name of Michel Bourez is a source of pride throughout French Polynesia. Nicknamed "The Spartan" for his power and determination, this professional surfer and Olympic ambassador for the 2024 Olympics has raised the flag of our islands on the international podiums of the Championship Tour (CT), as well as in the world's top 10. Born on the island of Rurutu, in the beautiful Australs Archipelago, he grew up in Tahiti, in the small town of Mataeia.

As a regular of Teahupo'o and all the other waves of Tahiti, French Polynesia’s surf spots have no secret for him. His reputation as a reference in French Polynesian surfing has not diminished his natural warmth and authenticity. In Tahiti, Michel is not just a local celebrity, he is a friendly and engaging surfing figure. He shares his passion with enthusiasm, as much with local surfers as with the world champions who come by regularly.

« Polynesia is everything to me. The place that forged me, my home, my family. »

Michel Bourez's vocation is in perfect accordance with his values, his way of life, and the environment he has lived in since childhood. For him, French Polynesia is much more than a logical choice of life, it is an evidence. Very attached to his roots and his island, Michel Bourez gives you his advice to discover his own French Polynesia, as he lives it and feels it every day.

Vague de Teahupo'o avec vue sur la montagne

Watch the wave of Teahupo'o

Surfing is an iconic sport from Polynesia. To make sure you don't miss the essential during your trip to Tahiti, make sure you go to the very heart of Polynesian surfing: "Go see the Teahupo'o wave on Site. It's a great experience. You can't miss it when the conditions are good! It is absolutely unique in the world, because you are right there, 10 meters from the wave. So you can experience what surfers feel on the water." To get there, many "Taxi boats" and excursions are available at Teahupo'o, by reservation all year long and during official competitions.

Vue aérienne sur le spot de surf de Taharu'u, Papara

Surf in Tahiti

If the Teahupo'o wave is only for experienced surfers, many other spots are more accessible. "To see the local surfers and do some surfing or bodyboarding, Taharu'u beach in Papara is perfect." To discover surfing, Michel Bourez recommends the east coast of the island: "With children, to have fun with small waves, you can go to Ahonu beach in Mahina. It's sand without rocks and without reef, perfect for beginners." If you want to surf in Tahiti, remember to plan your surf trip according to the seasons: the South swell (April to October) will allow you to favor the spots on the West Coast of Tahiti, while the rest of the year, the North swell offers nice waves on the East Coast. "There is little equipment rental in French Polynesia. I would therefore recommend taking your own surfboard if you are an enthusiast, or contacting a surf school if you are a beginner."

Good to know: Air Tahiti Nui offers you the free transport of your surfboard with your luggage allowance!

Vue sur des stands à l'intérieur du marché de Papeete

Visit the Papeete Market

For Michel Bourez, culture is also an essential part of French Polynesia. Discovering the daily life of Polynesians and savoring the diversity of local products are a must: "The first thing I recommend is to go to the Papeete market, to discover the atmosphere and to find all the products of the Fenua (handicrafts, art, food, etc.). Everything is there. It's a place where you can easily discover the Polynesian culture."

But that's not all! There are many opportunities to taste the flavors of the islands. "Don't hesitate to stop by the roadside, where fruit and vegetable vendors will offer you many delicious local products."

Vue aérienne sur l'île d'Amanu aux Tuamotu

Discover Michel Bourez's favorite islands

When he travels to the Polynesian islands, the Spartan prefers the quietest and most authentic places of his native land. The atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago, especially, are one of his favorites: "Fakarava and Tikehau are very beautiful islands. Their inhabitants are a big part of their charm. The simplicity, the relaxed way of life and the warmth are the perfect ingredients to discover French Polynesia." The athlete also enjoys surfing the waves of Moorea, Tahiti's sister island, accessible in only 35 minutes from Papeete. "It reminds me a bit of the peninsula (in Tahiti). It's beautiful. Life is simpler there."