Pierre-Louis Costes just turned 27 (on January, 25th) but still is one of the most amazing bodyboarders in the World. Last season he won two events (Hawaii and Nazaré) and went on a mission to strike his second win on the APB Tour. With the first event of the year being just around the corner, let’s see what the Frenchman – now 2x World Champion – has to say.
The Pipe Invitational has just been confirmed for the end of February. How are you preparing the new season?
PLC: Yes, it is confirmed and I will head there again with my wife Rute. I am very excited to compete at Pipeline again. The APB Tour calendar looks really similar to last year, but it’s a very complete tour. We are very fortunate to have Chopes [Teahupoo] and Frontón back on tour.
In 2017 Portugal will have, again, three stops on the World Tour. Do you think is safe to say Portugal’s the biggest Bodyboarding country on the face of the Earth?
By running three events of the World Tour, Portugal is establishing himself as the country who invest the most into the sport of Bodyboarding. The community here is so strong and the Portugueses riders did great results last year, their motivation and determination is remarkable.
“Showing our sport at the best light is a responsibility we all have when we reach a certain level”
In terms of performance, how do you look into the evolution of the sport?
Well, to me, 2011 and 2012 were the best years of Bodyboarding in terms of competition. The tour was at his best and you could make decent prize money. After the fall of the IBA, it seems it was very difficult for the sport, lesser events and more pro riders heading to different directions.
I would say the APB did a very good job the last few years despite the critics. They had to start from zero and last year their work paid off with the most successful tour since 2012. The development plan of the APB is very smart and the future is looking great. I like the way things are going at the moment.
We also saw some great projects and videos being released. “Glewten Free” from Lewy Finnegan or “Far North” from Ben Player make our sport look fantastic. It’s hard not to feel respect for those guys who work their asses off to deliver quality content. This is a very important aspect of our sport. Obviously competing is important for the media and get sponsors but showing our sport at the best light is a responsibility we all have when we reach a certain level.
“The community here is so strong and the Portugueses riders did great results last year, their motivation and determination is remarkable”
Who are the riders in top form? Biggest opponents for this season?
Tristan Roberts without a doubt. He’s a machine and has the attitude of a champion. He’s going to be the biggest threat for us. Tanner McDaniel has so much talent, it’s incredible. He gets better every year and I can’t wait to see those two fighting for world titles. Of course, the usual riders as Jeff Hubbard, Amaury Lavernhe, Jared Houston and Iain Campbell. They are so hard to beat on any given day.
The toughest event you were involved in 2016 was…
The hardest was Fronton for sure. I was very nervous with the world title and hit my face and broke my rib while free surfing before the final day of the event. I was discouraged but I could count on the support of my wife. My mind was the strongest it’s ever been on that final day. I knew the pain was there but my focus on winning the world title was above it. I was also lucky it was big and I didn’t have to do so many moves because it could’ve been a different story for sure. I wasn’t ready for technical bodyboarding that day.
“The Bunker is the heaviest wave in Portugal and the most challenging aswell”
When you’re not competing you’re travelling or training along the Portuguese coast. What are your favorite venues?
I love to be at home in Portugal. I can spend time with my family and train at some of my favorite waves. Praia do Norte, Cova do Vapor and Bunker are my favorites waves for sure. Praia do Norte has some of the biggest ramps in the World and I’m always so amped to surf there knowing I could potentially get the biggest air of my life. Cova is the wave close to my home and it’s perfect for training. The Bunker is the heaviest wave in Portugal and the most challenging aswell. I’m dying to surf there again.
Last question. The primary goal of 2017 is the renewal of the World title?
No, but it’s too early to say which one is going to be my main goal this year.
Fotografia em rodapé: Miguel “MTN” Nunes