11 Famous French Surfers: The Best!

It’s always up for debate, "who are the most famous French surfers"?

We list the current most famous French surfers, going into detail of their impact on France's surf culture and surfing as a whole.

The list of famous French surfers is forever growing so here is our 11 best!

Most Famous French Surfers

Famous French surfers include Johanne Defay, Tom Frager, Marc Lacomare and Maud Le Car to name a few!

This list of the most famous French surfers is forever growing! Let's get into each famous French surfers story below in detail.

Want to find more surfers? View our list of the most famous surfers ever!

Joan Duru

Born: April 25, 1989  

Origin: Ondres, Landes, France 

Style: Goofy

Famous French Surfers

About: Joan Duru, born on April 25, 1989, in Bayonne, is a French professional surfer known for his goofy style. He started surfing at age 7 with his father on Ondres beach and joined the Hossegor Surf Club at ten. Duru's career took off in 2006 when he won his first victory on the QS circuit. Despite not qualifying for the Championship Tour in 2009, he became the European champion with wins at the Söoruz Lacanau Pro and Protest Vendée Pro. In 2010, he retained his Vendée Pro title. Duru's notable achievements include defeating eight-time world champion Kelly Slater in the Quiksilver Pro France in 2008. 

Achievements: In 2009, Joan Duru demonstrated his prowess by clinching the title of European Champion, a testament to his exceptional performance on the surfing circuit. His achievements that year included securing two victories at the Söoruz Lacanau Pro and Protest Vendée Pro. Notably, in 2006, at the age of 17, Duru emerged victorious at the Superbock Pro Cordoama in Vila do Bispo, Portugal. Building on his success, he retained the Vendée Pro title in 2010, further solidifying his reputation as a formidable force in professional surfing.

Instagram: @joanduru

Famous French Surfers - Joan Duru Surfing

Jérémy Florès

Born: 27 April 1988 

Origin: Reunion Island, France

Style: Regular

Famous French Surfers

About: Jérémy Florès is a professional surfer born on April 27, 1988, on Reunion Island, France. With a career spanning from 2007 to the present, he has made a significant impact on the surfing world. Standing at 5 feet 8 inches and weighing 150 pounds, Florès is known for his regular stance.

Achievements: One of the most famous French surfers, Jérémy Florès has achieved notable success in his surfing career. In 2005, he claimed victory in the WSL European Tour (Junior division), followed by another triumph in the Men's division in 2013. His accomplishments extend to the ISA World Surf Games, where he secured titles in the Men's division in 2009 and contributed to Team France's success in 2017. Florès has also earned recognition on the WSL Championship Tour with four event wins.

Instagram: @floresjeremy

Famous French Surfers - Jérémy Florès Surfing

Johanne Defay

Born: 19 November 1993 

Origin: Le Puy-en-Velay, Haute-Loire, Auvergne, France

Style: Regular

Famous French Surfers

About: Johanne Defay is a professional surfer born on November 19, 1993, in Le Puy-en-Velay, France. Currently residing in La Réunion, France, she is known for her natural surfing style.

Achievements: Johanne Defay has made significant strides in her surfing career, achieving a remarkable ranking of #3 on the WSL CT World Tour in 2022. Notably, she secured victory at the US Open of Surfing in 2015 and has accumulated five wins on the WSL Championship Tour making her one of the most famous French surfers.

Instagram: @johannedefay

Famous French Surfers - Johanne Defay Surfing

Justine Dupont

Born: 26 July 1991 

Origin: Bordeaux, France

Style: Regular

Famous French Surfers

About: Justine Dupont is a French professional surfer born in Bordeaux, France. She started surfing at the age of 11 in Lacanau and resides between Seignosse, France, and Nazare, Portugal. Known for her exceptional skills in big wave surfing, she has earned multiple titles, including being the World Champion of the WSL XXL Awards, 2019 World Champion in Stand Up Paddle, and a 4x Vice World Champion. Dupont is recognized as the most versatile female surfer globally, excelling in various surfing disciplines.

Achievements: Justine Dupont's remarkable achievements include being a multiple-time World Champion of the XXL Awards, securing the 2019 World Champion title in Stand Up Paddle, and holding the position of 4x Vice World Champion in three different disciplines. She has been crowned ISA World Team Surfing Champion and has achieved multiple National and European surfing and longboarding titles. Dupont is renowned for surfing some of the biggest waves globally, earning recognition and trophies at the XXL Big Waves Awards. Notably, she won the first-ever Nazaré Tow Challenge in February 2020 and surfed what is considered the best big wave by a woman in Jaws, Hawaii, in January 2021. There is no question why she is one of the most famous French surfers.

Instagram: @justinedupont33

Famous French Surfers - Justine Dupont Surfing

Marc Lacomare

Born: July 4, 1990

Origin: France

Style: Goofy

Famous French Surfers

About: Marc Lacomare, born on July 4, 1990, is a French professional surfer known for his goofy stance. He entered the competitive surfing scene in 2008, participating in the Men's QS. With a career spanning over several seasons, Lacomare has showcased his skills in various events, competing against top surfers.

Achievements: In the 2023/2024 season, Marc Lacomare demonstrated his competitive prowess in several notable events. He secured a 9th place at the Rip Curl Pro Search Taghazout Bay with 945 points, followed by a 5th place at the Caparica Surf Fest 2023 with 1,423 points. Other notable performances include a 13th place at the ABANCA Pantin Classic Galicia Pro and a 17th place at the Pro Santa Cruz presented by Noah Surf House.

Instagram: @marclacomare

Famous French Surfers - Marc Lacomare Surfing

Maud Le Car

Born: 1992 

Origin: Saint Martin, French Caribbean

Style: Professional Surfer

Famous French Surfers

About: Maud Le Car is a professional surfer and model. Hailing from Saint Martin in the French Caribbean, she has made significant contributions to the world of surfing.

Achievements: Maud Le Car is currently ranked 23 in the QS and achieved a notable 15th position globally in 2015. In 2016, she secured victories in two World Surf League events held in California and Israel.

Instagram: @maudlecar

Famous French Surfers - Maud Le Car Surfing

Mathieu Schiller

Born: April 14, 1979 - 2011

Origin: Paris, France

Style: Bodyboarder

Famous French Surfers

About: Mathieu Schiller was a distinguished French bodyboarder, achieving the title of French champion in 1993. His passion for the sport led him to win the team event of the European championships in 1995. Tragically, his life was cut short in a shark attack off Saint-Gilles, Réunion, on September 19, 2011. The attack, believed to involve multiple tiger sharks or bull sharks, prevented the immediate retrieval of his body, which was never recovered.

Achievements: Mathieu Schiller's notable achievements include being crowned French champion in 1993 and achieving the title of European team champion in 1995.

Famous French Surfers - Mathieu Schiller Surfing

Michel Bourez

Born: December 30, 1985

Origin: Rurutu, French Polynesia, France

Style: Regular

Famous French Surfers

About: Michel Bourez, also known as Spartan, is a French professional surfer born on the island of Rurutu in the Tuamotus Islands in French Polynesia. He embarked on his surfing journey at the age of 13, eventually becoming the European champion in 2006. Michel made his mark on the ASP World Tour in 2009, showcasing his prowess on the waves. Notably, his standout year was in 2014, securing fifth place overall and clinching victories at Margaret River Pro and Rio de Janeiro. Despite facing challenges, including a severe injury in 2015, Michel demonstrated resilience and perseverance. In 2016, he achieved his third career victory at the Billabong Pipeline Masters, culminating in a sixth-place finish overall. Michel Bourez earned the honour of representing France in the historic debut of surfing at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Achievements: European champion in 2006; ASP World Tour fifth place in 2014; Victories at Margaret River Pro and Rio de Janeiro in 2014; Third place in Fiji Pro in 2014; Third career victory at the Billabong Pipeline Masters in 2016; Represented France at the 2020 Summer Olympics. These achievements talk for themselves hence why Michel is one of the most famous French surfers.

Instagram: @bourezmichel

Famous French Surfers - Michel Bourez Surfing

Miky Picon

Born: April 29, 1978, in Casablanca, Morocco

Origin: Casablanca, Morocco

Style: Professional Surfer

Famous French Surfers

About: Miky Picon is one of the most decorated European surfers, renowned for his physical power and sharp reflexes that contribute to his excellence in the sport. Beginning his surfing journey at the age of six in Morocco, he showcased his potential at the junior level. Moving to France with his parents at twelve, Miky developed a radical style and became a perfectionist with his tricks. Throughout his career, he achieved remarkable success, including several French and European championships. His accomplishments on the WQS earned him a spot on the ASP World Championship Tour in 2006, with a standout performance in 2008, finishing third at the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro. Miky's resilience and experience allowed him to navigate challenges, reinforcing his status as an exceptional surfer.

Achievements: Miky Picon achieved victory at the Reef Brazil Classic in Joaquina, Florianópolis, Brazil, in 2001 during the WQS, and he holds the title of EPSA European Champion for the years 1999 and 1998.

Instagram: @mikypicon

Famous French Surfers - Miky Picon Surfing

Pauline Ado

Born: February 14, 1991

Origin: Bayonne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Style: Regular

Famous French Surfers

About: Pauline Ado, born on February 14, 1991, in Bayonne, is a French professional surfer. She achieved notable success by winning two junior championships in 2005 and becoming the first non-Australian to secure a junior world championship in 2009. Ado won a bronze medal for France at the 2016 ISA World Surfing Games in Playa Jaco, Jacó, Costa Rica.

Achievements: Part of the long list of famous French surfers, Pauline Ado's achievements include winning two junior championships in 2005, being the first non-Australian to secure a junior world championship in 2009, and earning a bronze medal at the 2016 ISA World Surfing Games.

Instagram: @paulineado

Tom Frager

Born: 1 July 1977 

Origin: Dakar, Senegal

Style: Pop, Blues

Famous French Surfer

About: Tom Frager, a singer-songwriter, has been an influential member of the French Surfing team from 1993 to 1998. His musical career spans from 2002 to the present, and he is recognized for his achievements both in surfing and as a talented musician.

Achievements: Another big part of our list of the most famous French surfers, Tom Frager boasts an impressive surfing career with numerous titles including being a 10-time champion of Guadeloupe from 1990 to 2001. Additionally, he clinched the championship in the Antilles/Guyane region three times, specifically in 1994, 1996, and 1997. Frager's success extends to international competitions, where he earned the title of Vice Champion of France in 1993 and 1994, secured a 3rd place at the 1994 European Championship, and reached the finals of the 1995 Pan-American Cup. Notably, he was also a finalist at the Professional European Championship (EPSA) in 1997 and served as the captain of the victorious 1997 European Champion Tag Team.

Instagram: @tomfrager

Famous French Surfers - Tom Frager Surfing

Frances Connection With Surfing

France has a deep and enduring connection with surfing, particularly along its southwest coast, where world-class waves attract surfers from around the globe.

The beaches of Biarritz, Hossegor, and Anglet have become iconic hubs for surf culture and international competitions.

With a rich history of surf exploration and a vibrant community, France has solidified its position as a premier destination for both professional surfers and enthusiasts, contributing significantly to the global surfing scene.

Surfing Culture in France

Surf culture in France is characterized by a unique blend of laid-back coastal lifestyle, artistic expression, and a passion for the sport.

From the iconic beaches of Biarritz to the renowned surf towns like Hossegor, the French surfing community embraces a diverse mix of locals and international enthusiasts.

With a strong emphasis on fashion, music, and a vibrant social scene, France's surf culture goes beyond the waves, creating a dynamic and inclusive community that celebrates the essence of coastal living.

Famous French Surf Spots

  • Biarritz - Grande Plage: Located in the Basque region, Biarritz is one of the most famous surf destinations in France. Grande Plage is a popular spot for famous French surfers.
  • Hossegor - La Gravière: Hossegor is known for hosting some of the world's top surfing competitions. La Gravière is a powerful beach break that attracts experienced surfers.
  • Seignosse - Les Estagnots: Seignosse is part of the same stretch of coast as Hossegor and is renowned for its consistent waves. Les Estagnots is a beach break suitable for various skill levels.
  • Capbreton - Santocha: Capbreton offers a variety of surf breaks, and Santocha is known for its consistent waves. It's a beach break with both left and right-handers.
  • Anglet - Chambre d'Amour: Anglet, located near Biarritz, has several surf spots, and Chambre d'Amour is one of the popular ones, known for its long sandy beach and good waves.
  • La Torche: Located in Brittany, La Torche is known for its powerful beach break and is a popular spot for famous French surfers looking for challenging waves.
  • Quiberon - La Govelle: Another surf spot in Brittany, La Govelle offers good waves and is known for its scenic surroundings.
  • Les Cavaliers: Situated in Anglet, Les Cavaliers is a beach break that provides consistent waves and is suitable for surfers of varying skill levels.
  • La Sauzaie: Found in Vendée, La Sauzaie is known for its powerful waves and is a popular destination for experienced surfers.
  • Batz-sur-Mer - La Baule: This area in the Pays de la Loire region offers some surf spots, with La Baule being known for its long sandy beach and occasional good waves.

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Now you have a vast list of the most famous French surfers, be sure to check out famous surfers from countries around the world such as Nicaragua and America!

If your interested in learning more about surfing discover our many guides that will inform you on your surfing journey. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed on our amazing surf shots and stories shared from surf creators around the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the famous French female surfer?

The famous French female surfer is Johanne Defay.

Who is the best male surfer of all time?

Determining the "best" surfer is subjective, but Kelly Slater is often regarded as one of the greatest male surfers of all time, with 11 World Surf League (WSL) championships.

Who is the most famous girl surfer?

The title of the most famous girl surfer is subjective and may vary, but one of the widely recognised female surfers is Bethany Hamilton, known for her inspirational story and exceptional surfing skills.

How many surfers are in France?

There is no exact count, but France has a significant and growing surfing community with thousands of surfers enjoying its diverse coastline.

Who is the pro surfer from Reunion Island?

The pro surfer from Reunion Island is Jeremy Flores.

Who is the most successful women's surfer?

Stephanie Gilmore is considered one of the most successful women's surfers, with numerous World Surf League (WSL) championships to her name.

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