Christophe Allary began surfing at the age of 7 slap bang next to where he grew up on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. After completing his school studies, the young Frenchman took the plunge and decided to commit fully to his fledgling professional surfing career. Surrounded back home by several other gifted surfers including current World Tour surfer Jeremy Flores and O'Neill teammate Hugo Savalli, Christophe realized early on that he would need to travel and surf all over the world in order to improve his chances of making it big. While Allary's powerful surfing style has been compared by some to that of Dream Tour surfer Andy Irons, the Frenchman remains fully focussed on representing the European contingent at the top level of international surfing. After several promising results on the WQS in recent seasons, Christophe is keener than ever to maintain the momentum he's built up in order to cement his position inside the world's top 50 surfers. Now based out of Bayonne on mainland France, Allary is once again planning to showcase his aggressive riding talent in as many of this season's maximum rated WQS contests as possible. Longer term, qualification to the Dream Tour remains the ultimate objective. Given Allary's explosive skills on a surfboard and his unwavering spirit of determination, he has every chance of achieving that goal.
Q: What has been the biggest highlight of the past 12 months for you?
A: Getting 5th at the 6 Star Prime O'Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland, as well as some magazine cover shots and O'Neill ads.
Q: What's the best thing about riding for a living?
A: The best thing is to wake up in the morning, jump in the car, turn up the stereo and head off to the best waves I can find. Then it's all about the surfing followed by a nice fresh shower. It's also really cool to be able to travel so that I can discover new cultures and meet new people.
Q: Who do you enjoy riding with the most, and why?
A: There are different ways of looking at it, I think. I like to surf with my good friends, laughing and joking about last night's stories, hahaha. It's also great to paddle out with surfers that are much better than you - it pushes you to progress and try heavier stuff. I also love to surf alone, wherever and whenever I want. It's nice to climb into your own little bubble, so you can buzz off you own sense of drive and enjoy everything that's going on around you.
Q: Other than home, where is your favorite place to ride, and why?
A: I like to surf reef islands and warm waves. Good weather and sunlight straight in the morning make it that much easier to get out of bed, and that much easier to paddle out. It's also cool to be able to chill on the beach in your boardshorts as you get ready for your next session in the water.
Q: What are your main goals and plans for the next 12 months?
A: I want to nail my highest reverse air ever! As far as the WQS is concerned, I'll surf at 100% even if that means there's a greater risk of me falling. I hate surfing at anything less than full throttle. I also want to get even better video footage and photos than I did last year. Finally, I want to keep pushing myself in terms of maneuvers and improve my overall surfing ability.
Q: How do you see your sport evolving in the next few years?
A: The ASP just changed the concept for the World Tour and WQS. I think it's already better now with just one ranking system so that surfers can be promoted to World Tour throughout the year. It will make the ranking system more relevant and will help to maintain an even better standard of surfing. Some surfers have been on the Dream Tour for years while others have qualified maybe when they weren't really good enough to do so. The recent changes are already a good start. I think free surfing will continue to grow thanks to the internet and access to video footage. Pros have much better cameras and are better at shooting spots to create clips and news pieces. That whole digital revolution is growing so fast now and I think it could begin to overshadow the role of magazines. Lots of surfers have their own blogs while many sites have better and more up-to-date news feeds than the print press.
Q: Have you got any plans to film a new video part, and if yes, with which film company?
A: Ludo Lasserre from Falling Angels Prod has been tracking and filming me over the course of the last few years, and will continue to do so this year for his next video and my own blog - coming soon.
Q: What do you do for fun when you are not riding?
A: I like to play video games with friends and surf the net. I love freediving when I'm back home. And of course it's always nice to spend a little time with girls!
Q: What achievement are you most proud of so far in your career?
A: Hmm, I think I'm just proud of the fact that I've become a much better surfer than I ever thought possible when I was younger.
Q: If you didn't ride for a living, what would you have liked to be doing now for an occupation?
A: Perhaps I'd be married to some rich woman! On a more serious note, I think I would definitely try to stay in sport and around nature. It beats commuting to the office every morning hands-down!
Q: What trick do you enjoy the most?
A: Huge late air no grab!