All images from WSL Europe photographer Damien Poullenot.
The perfection of Basse-Pointe
Adrien Toyon eyes his next turn on a perfect Basse-Pointe wall. Unfortunately the Reunion Island native fell short in a goofy v/s regular matchup with Soli Bailey and former CT athlete Ricardo Christie.
By the numbers
Being an ex-CT athlete might cause your opponents to second-guess their strategy, but the judges will score you the same as anyone else. Despite Alejo Muniz' polished approach to forehand carves, the Brazilian's performance was a bit light compared to that of compatriots Yuri Goncalves and Lucas Silveira.
Hail Mary much?
Let's be honest, the size and energy of the wave here on the opening three days of competition have clearly favorited power moves, but you can always count on Carlos Munoz to bring a little air game to the party! That one he didn't land and unfortunately exited competition early.
Charly Martin was one of the strongest chances for a Caribbean title in Martinique and the Guadeloupe native demonstrated his raw talent before a slow and tricky heat sent him home.
Brace for Impact
All sorts of conditions have graced the first two editions of the event in Martinique, but nothing prepared us for the epic swell that hit the coast on the second day of the event's waiting period. The usually mellow pointbreak turned into a Haleiwa-like machine pumping huge waves for Rounds 2 and 3. Most of the surfers didn't have a big-enough board to handle such conditions.
The lush greenery of Martinique is breathtaking, everywhere you go colors just jump at you from all angles. The event site is no different with the inside little harbor a perfect example.
Power for power
Tahitian Heremoana Luciani is putting himself on the map in 2017 with brilliant surfing wherever he enters an event. In Martinique, the regular footer reveled in the powerful surf and his early exit was merely a result of poor heat strategy rather than a lack of talent. Sitting on a 9+ ride, Heremoana couldn't manage to find an average score to advance.
The left at Basse-Pointe really doesn't offers much potential for scoring on a traditional day of competition. However, throw a few guys out on a lay day for an expression session and the short, wedge-like left peaks provide an excellent air-section as demonstrated here by Imaikalani Devault trying his luck with a back flip.
Mixing with the locas
Jihad Khodr poses with a crew of local students visiting the event for the first time.
Sportsmanship in defeat
There is nothing pleasant about getting eliminated when you're clearly regarded as a favorite in the event. Some will scream and smash their boards and even throw a little finger out there for one to see; others will put their head down and congratulate their opponent.
There clearly is a fascination for the sport/act of surfing in the Caribbean, black or white, young or old, carrying a board or just wearing sunscreen will ignite a sparkle in any local's eye and be an instant conversation starter.
Back to basics
One could easily overlook the functionality of a classic bottom turn, but the pointbreak setup of Basse-Pointe emphasizes the importance of the maneuver as the gateway to well-timed lip snaps and carves.
It also translates perfectly on your backhand, as demonstrated by Timothee Bisso, one of only two remaining Caribbean surfers in the event on the eve of a potential finals day.
Nature at its finest
Martinique is quick to remind you the ocean may be the finest playground, it's also much bigger than yourself and its true locals are watching.