Height: 5′ 10″
Weight: 150 lbs.
Hometown: Vairao, Tahiti Iti, French Polynesia
Sponsors: Quiksilver, Quiksilver Eyewear, Reef, DHD Surfboards
Alain Riou has the life. He lives ten minutes from Teahupo’o on the beautiful island of Tahiti, knows how to dance Polynesian style really well, and in May 2003 he won the Von Zipper Air Tahiti Nui Trials. At the closing ceremonies for the event, Alain blew away the imported-from-Hawai’i hula dancer with his knee-knocking dance style. The girl was totally flustered by Alain’s skills and stood motionless as he broke it down.
En route to victory in the trials, he had a couple tough heats, dispatching the legendary Poto, Heimata Carroll, one of the best surfers on the island, and in the final, Teahupo’o veteran Conan Hayes. The kid made quite a run and received a nice check for making the main event. Look for Alain cruising the reef passes of Tahiti in his father’s badass green speedboat. Stick your thumb out and he’ll probably score you a ride—and maybe some dance lessons.—Justin Cote