Portrait by ALFL | Action photos by @inwaterwetrust @helio_antonio @nunonobrega

Maxime Castillo, living in Portugal at the moment, has released this afternoon an amazing clip called “Portugal Winter Dream”. Watch the edit (at the end) but first get to read the exclusive interview with the young Frenchman. 

First of all, tell us a little bit more of how you get into bodyboarding and how was life in France until now? 

Basically I started bodyboarding at the age of 10 when I arrived on the Arcachon Basin.  My uncle had just started his surf school Ocean Roots and therefore my mom let me and my brother go to the club. With all the friends we had a good hook, we started doing competitions and after several regional titles and different titles of Champion of France we started to get serious! I became European champion and after that I went to study Sports further South in Biarritz in order to do surfing and the school course in the best way possible.

I finish my last Junior competition winning the title of ISA World Champion. After that I kinda told myself that I was going to try to do Bodyboarding as a full job, at least as long as I could. I did okay on my surf teacher diploma and started to work on my uncle’s surf school and competing as well on the European Tour and some stages of the IBA World Tour! Three years later I finished runner up European champion and qualified for the APB Pro Tour in Puerto Rico. For four years now, I have been a part of the Top 16 of the APB Tour and have been involved on the European title race every year and living my dream.

You’re making a living now in Nazaré. Tell us what lead you and make you decide to move to Portugal?

Yes, I now live in Nazaré part time, especially in Winter. I’ll say I move a lot between France and Portugal and this happens especially for Teresa [Almeida], which is my girlfriend and I admit also having fallen in love with the country. Ahahaha! Basically it was really for Teresa and that was sticking well because we had the whole European leg here with Sintra, Viana and Nazaré, so it was great. We actually meet for the first time in Sintra. 

I was staying more time here to surf and train and teresa was coming a lot to France too. Now she has the business in Nazaré and is not able to go to France so many times, which makes me to spend a big part of the Wintertime. The waves are really great, there is a big consistency and spot options, more than in France and in addition also a huge bodyboard level which pushes me up! So it’s a really good place to stay and training! 

How about the quarantine. Have you been close indoors and not surfing at all? How has it been your routine these past weeks?

Yeah! It’s a very weird period this one we are living. Personally I take this opportunity to train thoroughly physically. I’ve been working on a lot of projects related to bodyboard video like this one we’re releasing. I also create my YouTube channel with a new project very soon, so please subscribe to my channel. And I try to continue positive despite the difficult time to find partners. I am especially afraid the epidemic crisis will affect the partnerships and competitions. 

On a competitive level, was the 2018 European title your best conquest ever?

Yes, I think so. Along with the ISA World title back in 2012, it was clearly one of my greatest sporting achievements. The ETB Tour is super hard, has a lot of level and the waves are tricky sometimes. You have to know how to be good all year around to keep your mind set to win the title! It is clearly a mini World Tour, and winning it was a truly magical memory that motivated me to compete on the Pro Tour, getting the podium in the following year in 2019 in the APB Chile event. 

World Tour is suspended at least until July. Do you thing the last 6 months of the year will be enough to wrap it up?

It is a very difficult subject and sincerely I do not know and nobody really knows what will happen for the next few months. One thing is sure: we will have less contests than the expected. But I can’t answer, I don’t know if there will be a World Tour this year. I hope we have some competitions at least. I am especially afraid a lot of athletes lose their sponsors, cannot train during a long time and after that the event organizers also have hard times to find the money to run the contests. Whatever happens, it leaves time for the circuit officers to work hard in order to be on top by the start of 2021. We have to stay positive!

What are your future goals?

That’s a big question, but sportily speaking I would really like to integrate the World Top 10 (last year I finished 11th). Also, I would like to win a stop of the World Tour. That’s my ultimate goal. At the same time winning the European Tour would be great! And more personally starting to build my future after the bodyboarding career. I think a lot in developing a future business specially during this period. 

One final question. The new clip was filmed between Peniche and Nazaré, Do you reckon those are the best regions for bodyboarding in Portugal? Talk us a little bit about the edit. 

The clip was shot between Nazaré and Peniche. Honestly, it is an incredible area for surfing and these two places is where I surf the most. I also love to surf in Ericeira which has incredible waves, but unfortunately I have no images from the sessions there. The clip is great and concretely retraces my Winter with a lot of beautiful sessions. A big thank you to Ben who did the editing and to all the filmmakers who allowed me to make this clip! Hope you all like it! Até já! 

WATCH now “Portugal Winter Dream”…