Founder of the first surf school in Tahiti, Olivier Napias is the only instructor to be graduated with a State diploma for surfing in French Polynesia : BEES 2nd degree
A ENTIRE LIFE DEDICATED TO SURFING
Born in 1969 in Bayonne, in Basque country, I had the choice between rugby and surfing. After practicing both simultaneously and a few injuries because of rugby, I made the choice to dedicate myself entirely to surfing.
It became a real passion, a way of life, a real priority. I discovered for the first time Polynesia and Tahiti with the France Junior Team in 1988. I was selected to take part in the France Championship organized in Tahiti on the beach break of Papara, it was also an opportunity for all of us to discover surf reef spots like Sapinus and Taapuna.
Such a meaning experience for me, a goofy-footer, tubes and tubes again in a turquoise water. Such a difficult return back to France after this experience that will last in my mind forever.
I spent a few nice years doing a lot of seasonal work to help me funding my thirst for travel to discover the best surf spots in the world : Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, Morocco, Hawaii … But it was time to combine the pleasant and the useful, so I want back to school to get the Official Diploma of Sports instructor, surf option.
Opening of my first surf school in 1994, the surf school “Boucau / Tarnos surf club”, located in France between Bayonne and Hossegor. Good season for a new surf school in the area, but too eager to leave France and go elsewhere.
Chance occasionally organises things rather well, I met a “siren” on the beach : Karine, who is my wife today. We were immediately on the same page, and we prepared our departure. We arrived in Papeete in december 1994, and for both of us : it was the beginning of a life in the sun.
June 1995 : opening of the first surf school in French Polynesia, the surf school TURA’I MATAARE (it means “pushed by the swell” in tahitian), following my first place in the “concours défi jeune” and receiving a grant from the municipality.
- Physical trainer of the Tahiti Open team for the ISA World Championships in Portugal.
- Coach of the junior team. Participation in two ISA World Championships in Bali and Australia. Team composed of young surfers, including Michel Bourez, Alain Riou, Heiarii William, and Steven Pierson.
- Creation of the 1st Youth Championship, currently named the “Teen’s Surf Session”
- Giving surf lessons to disadvantaged young people followed by social affairs, and also a trip to the Tuamutu and the Marquesas Islands.
- Creation of the first “Surf Espoir” section in partnership with the Tahitian Surf Federation and the Lycée of Papara.
- Board Member of the Tahitian Surf federation and in charge of the Office of surf schools.