• Billabong Bloodlines: Hossegor 2016

The European summer edition of he Billabong Bloodlines camp recently went down in Hossegor. Now we ain’t going to lie, the surf wasn’t exactly pumping. However a few flat days meant that International Junior Development coach Richard “Dog” Marsh had the chance to work with Justin Becret, Kepa Housset, Eduardo Papa, Dorian Gomez, Tiago Carrique and Luan Nogues on all the different aspects of surfing. Each day the groms had a schedule of gym, yoga, fitness and dietary training, as well as visits to shaper Rob Vaughan to learn how to get the most out of their equipment. “It was chance to train hard and set the kids up for life as a professional surfers,” said Marsh. “Increasingly so much work is done out of the water, and I was so stoked to see the kids frothing to learn and to put in the hard yards.” Of course, there was plenty of fun to be had in between sessions, a paint balling trip for example developed teamwork and gave the groms the chance to inflict serious pain on each other, surely one of the funnest things in the world. When the waves did come, the athletes were even more psyched to put the theory into practice. They surfed from dawn to the late summer dusks, ripping anything that moved, and a lot that didn’t. Aerials were worked on with step offs, heat drills were intensely sparred and some of the brightest of European surfing’s talent worked on both their surfing and how to have fun. “In just a week, I saw each surfer improve in a different aspects of their surfing,” said Marsh. “Be it fitness, board knowledge, aerial surfing or heat strategy. And we didn’t stop laughing the whole time.”

Photography: Carlos Pinto