Francija akcija

Francija akcija
August 13, 2007 Klemen Surk

Tole je mal za foro, ker tokrat ne objavljamo fotk iz Surf Kempa v Franciji ampak eno galerijo jesensko – zimsko – pomladnega časa v Franciji. Mogoče še komu po ogledu teh slik ne bo jasno zakaj je tak naval na Francijo poleti. Aja… mogoče zato, ker ima pozimi voda 10 stopinj in zimski 3x swell ni ravno za vsakega. Slike.
Zraven pa še SW Franace guide.
SW France Introduction
It's been said that memory is 80 percent smell. If that's true, an
elegy to Southwest France in August might comprise bitter coffee and
ripe dog shit; coconut sunscreen and sticky-sweet Orangina; melted root
beer wax and stale diesel fumes; saltwatery brine and eau de toilette.
The other 20 percent would be slightly more visceral: diamond green
barrels spitting close enough to shore to drench the lovely naked asses
everywhere; 4 p.m. thunderstorms and 10 p.m. sunsets; waking up in the
pine needles and looking for trees bending eastward — and that's all
in one day. Despite the recent onslaught of two-week, perfect-wave boat
trips that are closer to Club Med than Kerouac, there's more to surf
travel than getting mindlessly pitted all day, gorging yourself and
then going to sleep. If you don't have the time or inclination to
immerse yourself in a foreign culture, buy a Game Boy and a ticket to
Indo and leave Southwest France to those with a little bit of time and
curiosity. That said, you can score perfect waves in France. With a
little luck, you could be surfing green beachbreak barrels, solid rock
shelf peaks and (if you're really lucky) perhaps the best rivermouth
left in the whole freaking universe. Couple that with fine wine,
gorgeous women, hundreds of years of history and architecture, and
you've got the potential for the surf trip of a lifetime. HISTORY
Hollywood screenwriter Peter Viertel brought surfing to France back in 1956, when he was on the Basque coast filming The Sun also Rises.
After seeing the untapped surf potential in the Biarritz area, he had a
board sent over from California and quickly made friends with Biarritz
locals George Hennebutte and Joel de Rosnay. By the time surf travel
was gathering stem in the '60s, guys like Billy Hamilton, Wayne Lynch
and Nat Young were coming over to the Bay of Biscay and documenting
their amazing discoveries with movies like Evolution and Waves of Change.
After American and Australian audiences saw that there was more to
France than the Eiffel Tower, travelers starting filtering through in
small groups (a la Naughton and Peterson) in the '70s. By 1979, with
the inception of the Lacanau Pro, surfing in France had come of age and
began to gain respect as a serious sport. Through the '80s, French
people started surfing in droves, the industry began to take shape in
the Basque region and more contests started happening up and down the
By the early '90s, France's civilized nature and still relatively
uncrowded surf became an escapist cliche for disillusioned American and
Australian pros. Guys like Tom Curren, Gary Elkerton, Robbie Page and
Maurice Cole started up new lives (Curren in Anglet, Elkerton in
Lacanau) in the Old World, legitimizing France's spot on the surf map
even further.
The '90s have seen a jump in the competitive French surfing population,
with guys like Mickey Picon, Didier Pitier and Laurence Pujol heading
out on tour and making a name for themselves in Hawaii and abroad.
(Click here for more on Europeans in Hawaii in 2000.)

The days of perfect empty French beachbreak are pretty much over.
Unless you don't mind walking (the beach does extend about 130 miles
north of Hossegor, with few access points — you do the math) or don't
mind donning some serious rubber (water temps in winter hover in the
mid to high 40s), you'll be dealing with other surfers, just like most
any other so-called First World country with surf. The crowds you'll
run across in season (June-October) are a wildly eclectic mix, from
traveling pros to feral six-to-a-van parking lot dwellers to talented
locals. Sometimes it seems all the flotsam of Europe has ended up in
Southwest France, particularly during August where the lineups are
littered with all manners of surf craft, ability level and fashion
disasters (you know how the Euros like their grape-smugglers). It's
best to work on your whistle, as "going left" may not actually be
understood in the saltwatery Tower of Babel. But if you're able to pry
yourself out of the all-night party scene early enough to hit the sand
at dawn, you could be rewarded with silky green-blue barrels with just
a few hearty souls. Frenchmen hate the dawn patrol.

Apart from an errant beginner's longboard smashing your face or
booty-burn from nude sunbathing, France is not such an overtly
dangerous place to surf. There are no great whites waiting to take a
chunk of flesh; there are no stonefish or stingrays and the last time
someone got stung by a sea snake, the snake's name was Francois. The
biggest danger surfing in France is far more subtle — many a traveling
surfer has found himself or herself stumbling back to the parking
lot/hotel room at dawn, reeking of cigarettes and overpriced beer,
paralytic and completely unable to do anything but vomit and pass out,
let alone surf hollow beachbreak. Couple that with maddening month-long
summer flat spells and you could end up coming home from a month in
Hossegor with a beer belly and some strange sexually transmitted
disease instead of a snapped board and a gleam in your eyes.

A fall morning after a storm in Hossegor will reveal an entirely
international array of detritus washed up on the beach. There are
bleach bottles in Spanish, bits of tire with Portuguese writing, German
candy wrappers, French perfume bottles, pieces of boat hull with Arabic
lettering — it's as though all of Europe decided that the Bay of
Biscay would be the best place for a garbage dump. Up until the last
decade or so, the Atlantic wasn't really used in the winter months, so
nobody really cared what it looked like. The bulldozers cleaned all the
trash for the summer tourists, but as soon as September came around,
you had to walk through a minefield of shit to get to the beautiful
offshore (and potentially hepatitis-ridden) barrels. All this is slowly
beginning to change. Surfrider Europe and Greenpeace have been working
with the French public and politicians to change their traditional
"throw-all-the-shit-in-the-river" ways. Surfrider Europe has a program
called "Black Flags" where they monitor water quality at the French
surfing beaches and post black flags up when the water's bacteria count
exceeds a standardized safety level. Gives a whole new meaning to the
concept of blackball, eh?

The Seasons

Where else can you surf completely butt-ass naked (if you're into that
sort of thing) all morning, walk up the beach and grab a cafe creme and a pain au chocolate
for breakfast, smile at perhaps the most genetically perfect women on
the face of the planet (if you're into that sort of thing) check out a
16th century castle after lunch, grab the glass off (which lasts till
10 p.m.), have dinner and then proceed to dance all night? Welcome to
the fantasy of Southwest France in summertime.
While the fantasy most definitely happens, the reality tends to be
different. The Atlantic has an annoying tendency to go completely dead
flat for weeks on end between May and September, and it can (and most
certainly will) rain for days on end at some point in the middle of
summer. Sometimes, the flat spell and the rain storm can happen over
the same two-week stretch, and then you'll find out how much you really
like French coffee and whatever novel you brought along.

Fall is why you came to the Bay of Biscay. The weather patterns begin
to shift sometime in September — low-pressure systems start forming up
in the North Atlantic and send lines of swell marching straight into
France's beachbreaks, the water starts to get a little chillier, the
tourists have all pretty much left and the summertime sea breeze starts
to clock around offshore. Fall is when you're stoked you brought a good
3/2mm fullsuit and a 6'8" pintail.

Up until fairly recently, only cold-water hellmen and crazy people
surfed in France in the winter. With water temps hovering in the mid to
low 40s and giant, shifting beachbreak that's sure to catch you inside,
December in the Bay of Biscay is about as far from golden Waikiki as
you can get. But with the advent of new wetsuit technology and a
steadily increasing local surfing population not content to surf just
eight months a year, crowds have increased. At spots with defined peaks
and channels like Guethary and Lafitena and La Piste, you will be
surfing with others on any given midwinter's day.
From November to February, size will not be an issue — strap on your
5/3mm, grab your 7'6" and drive around till you find a peak that won't
kill you.

Spring is a quirky time on the Atlantic coast. The water starts to warm
back up (though it can chill right out with one overnight storm); a few
sporadic residual North Atlantic swells stagger down the coast; the
sandbars are ragged from winter's onslaught; the wind doesn't really
know which direction to blow from and one day will see 30 guys to a
peak, while the next day will be totally empty. But if you're feeling
lucky and have a little bit of time to sit right on it, spring can be a
damn rewarding time to hop on a plane.

Comments (4)

  1. mm
    Marko Odič 2026 years ago

    fotke so noro lepe… (al sm js tok romantično razpoložen? :D)

  2. dejan 2026 years ago

    From November to February ,size will not be an issue- strap on your 5/3mm grab your 7.6 and drive around till you found a peak that wont;t kill you.Ps:samo zaradi tega sem dal še guide

  3. primož 2026 years ago

    nekaj teh spotov sem surfal tudi sam in prav v tem nepoletnem času. moram rečt, da je neprimerljivo večje, konstantno, boljše, kot poleti. pa saj to že vsi veste.

  4. primož 2026 years ago

    aja….je mal bolj mrzlo, ampak sploh ni panike, tako da nč bat pa kr it. pa še gužve ni

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