Date Of Birth: 2/28/1974
Hometown: Teahupo’o, Tahiti
Tahiti no longer has a king. But if it did, Raimana Van Bastolaer would almost certainly be sitting in the throne. Most of the time, when someone’s home break suddenly spikes in popularity, they became overly protective and aggressive. Not Raimana. As Teahupo’o roared into the surfing spotlight decades ago, the unofficial king welcomed all guests with a big smile and probably even a hug. With skill and commitment, he set both the performance standard and the code of ethics for the wave: If you give respect, you get respect. And if you seriously want a wave, you’ll get a serious wave. If his smile is contagious, then his laugh is deadly. He’s the happiest man you’ll ever meet. Especially when he’s standing in a 10-foot tube at Teahupo’o.