Flores, Jeremy

Globetrotting European pro surfer; world-ranked #8 in 2007. Flores was born (1988) on Reunion Island, moved with his family to Madagascar at age six and, under the tutelage of his father, the intense young regularfooter worked tirelessly to emulate the body language of Tom Curren and Kelly Slater. He was a prodigy, and by age 10 the French-speaking Flores had already signed a contract with Quiksilver and was dividing his time between Australia, France, and Reunion Island.

Medium-framed (5'8", 150 lbs), and extraordinarily lithe, Flores' style is smooth and precise, and he's the picture of calm in heaving left tubes like Teahupoo. He originally came to the surf world's attention in 2004 as a featured performer in Quiksilver's Young Guns video series. Elite-level competitive success followed, and in 2006 Flores added a World Qualifying Series championship to a host of major junior titles. The following season Flores, 18, ran away with world tour Rookie of the Year honors and finished his 2007 campaign in eighth place. Buoyed by a decade of strong contest results, the ambitious yet pensive Flores told Stab magazine in 2008 "I'm not sure I'd enjoy surfing without competing."

After  a slide down the world rankings to 24th in 2009, Flores bounced back the next year with a win in the 2010 Billabong Pipe Masters (the only European ever to take a Pipe Masters title) and a ninth-place year-end finish.

Flores' aggressive instincts played him wrong during the early rounds of the 2011 Burleigh Breaka Pro in Australia, when he and Hawaiian heavyweight pro surfer Sunny Garcia together punched out a local surfer in the shorebreak. The incident was caught on video, broadcast on the news, and posted to YouTube. Flores was disqualified from the event.

In 2013, Flores made surf history by becoming the first pro to ever sponsor another tour pro when he committed to financially support fellow Reunion Island surfer, and sponsorless women's tour rookie, Johanne Defay.

In 2014, Flores verbally abused the judging panel after a close loss at the Jeffreys Bay Open, and was briefly suspended from world tour competition. He finished the year ranked #33.