The biography of Amaury Lavernhe
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I am a professional bodyboarder, a waves runner, a nature lover, a sports addict,
a hard-worker, a free-rider, a full competitor, a man in love with life,
a friend and a brother, a husband and a father, a dreamer living his dream,
a simple guy full of passion and just living his life.


Want to know a bit more about me ? Read below !


I am born in Poitiers (west France) and spend my winter by the countryside’s forest, hunting with my father and grandfather or holidays skiing in the French Alpes.  On my summer holidays, I stay in l’île de Ré, an island in the Atlantic ocean, catching crabs and sailing on my grandpa’s boat. On the pic, see my elder brother Thibault and me (aged 3), we are two future ocean runners : a commander in the French Navy and a professional bodyboarder… I am 7 in 1992 when we move to Reunion Island with my mother, my  two brothers and my sister after my father’s death. It is the beginning of a new life in a new world. I ignore that my bodyboarder’s life is on the way.



In the middle of an incredible nature, I discover Reunion island with my family trekking in the evergreen mountains and playing on the beach. I appreciate skimboarding and bodyboarding because it’s fairly easy for beginners.  Aged 10, during holidays, I participate in a week of bodyboarding discovery. Sylvain and Magalie, the two monitors incite me to go on even after the course. “You have a good agility and balance on the board.”  During all my school years, I train first with Noe Surf Club  then Radical Surf Club, until today. It was, and still is, THE club to be in, the club of my idols: Legleye, Schiller, Gazzo… With these guys and good coaches, the training sessions are complete and efficient. I win my first local comp in St Gilles in 1996. Then, I follow my way to the Reunion Championships and the French Championships, where I gradually get the U18 and Open titles year after year. Then I join the French team for the Junior European  Games.



After passing my baccalaureate in Maths and Sciences, I leave the island and head to Bordeaux – South West of France- where I enter the Medical faculty to be a physiotherapist.  I discover life in a big town – far from the ocean, unpredictable surfing conditions, traffic on the way to the sea, unpromising swells – I do my best to stay motivated and I blow off steam on the local comps and collect the victories on National leagues. I soon begin to show up on the IBA Tour, in Chile and Portugal.  After two years in Bordeaux, I go back to Reunion Island, and enter the Sport’s Sciences faculty. My goal is to double up my studies and the competition with my “high-level athlete” status. Then, I join the French team for the 2006 ISA Games in California and I try to attend different comps on the World Tour.


January 2007, in Hawaï, I reach the third place at the Pipeline Pro, the first competition of the 2007 IBA Tour.  The first time for a French rider ever. Then my fate smiles on. In August 2007, I win my first IBA comp in Sopelana (Bask Country) and I’m in the 2007 IBA ranking Top 3. With this “première”, Reunion Island and France enter in the circle of “bodyboarding’s big nations” facing Hawaii, Australia and Brazil. My motivation is on top and I decide to be in the big league: I will be a professional rider. I want bodyboarding to be my passion and job. I follow the Tour: Hawaii, South America, Europe, Australia, Tahiti. My hometown is still in Reunion Island, where I go back in between contests. Thanks to my sponsors, particularly SNIPER that has supported me since 2005,   it is happening! And I am still going on my professional bodyboard way 15 years later…



It is my childhood refuge, the perfect balance between sea and mountains, between cultures and religions. The place where I go back between two contests, where are my friends, my favourite spots and most of my childhood memories. On this volcanic rock lost in the Ocean everything can make a rider happy : les Aigrettes, les Trois Roches, les Brisants, la Tortue, les Archers… Here are my favourite home-spots with so many good riders with a high level, helping me progress. I can also enjoy mountain trekking, harpoon fishing, endless surf sessions, all this with a dream weather.  What else can I expect?


In 2011, the shark-attacks begin, slowly turning the paradise into hell. Some of my friends die. Nautical activities, fishing, diving, swimming are becoming more and more dangerous. Therefore, the economic activity of the island is slyly diving. Surfing is now an outlaw activity, by decision of the authorities. What can I do in such a situation? I have to ride several hours a day to keep a top level. Am I allowed to set such an example going into the water and risking my life and the others’? I have no choice but exile myself to offset the worst. I pack my stuff. Not hearing the Ermitage reef waves anymore when I sleep, not seeing my friends, not surfing my home spots any more. And, hidden in my mind, the fear of hearing or reading these unbearable words: “Reunion Island – A new fatal shark attack”. Fright is now playing in the game.



My guardian angel leads me to Canary Islands (Spain), an archipelago located in the Atlantic ocean, facing North Mauritania. Named the European Hawaii, they offer mad waves, in all conditions and high-levelled riders. Located in Gran Canaria, where I live now, El Fronton is the World class spot for the last step of the World Tour. In 2011, the ISA Games take place there in epic conditions, and the Team France becomes ISA World Champ with Pierre-Louis (Top 1) and me (Top2). Today, Gran Canaria is my training residence and my new home. The bodyboarding community of with strong riders has accepted me and I am proud to be part of it. Moreover, there is Malennhy, the woman who is my dear wife and the mother of our two children Oliver-Tahod and Nahara-Cecil. We live beautiful moments together and with her family and friends around us.  I can say that life is good : even when leading you on hard paths, it makes you loose something on one hand and win much more on the other hand.



At home, family is sacred. It means that  every member of the big tribe is valued, surrounded and loved. On the pic, see my wife, my son ( My daughter was not born yet) my mother with my brothers, sister and their family. If you add all my cousins and grandparents, you obtain a real  bodyboarding fan club! They are connected on the live during the Tour and follow the contests. Every year, most of them come to support me and the Reunion Island Team for the National League.  I annually go back to France to celebrate all together. Even when I am far away, they take a big place in my heart. “A family is not a fixed place. It is a relation between hearts and memories  that does not care distances nor years. It is an invisible and indestructible link connecting people on the earth or in heaven.”  That is why I often look upwards. »


Want to know more about my sports activites ?