Why Hossegor is the mecca destination for surfers stoke
Contrary to the popular belief of France renowned for its savoury baguettes and fine wine, their true nature reveals to be the epicentre for surfers stoke.
Hossegor, located in southern France is not just the place to surf; it is the place to surf in Europe. Surfers across the globe flock to get a taste of all three kilometres of pristine French coastline. And with such crowds comes array of people, the ultimate mecca destination for diversity and surfer’s soul connection.
"So, is Hossegor the right break for you?"
With its French culture remixed with Californian surf vibes, it is one of Europe’s capitals of surfing. Where you’ll discover the best beach breaks with a dose of French lifestyle, croissants, wine and pumping apres-surf, so there is no wonder surf past timers, Kevin Olsen never left.
What makes the stoke of Hossegor, is its grand beach break which is the largest trench that lies deep in this bay of Biscay whilst gripping 10 + foot waves in spite of its sandy bottom. But with this also comes its gnarly currents, often harsh shore break and no sheltered covers.
"Hossegor was unique to me because in Southern California we rarely often get double-overhead swells like that, it was pretty special to witness that" - says 27 yr old, Californian surfer, Justin
Hossegor is not a place for the faint-hearted in search of mellow waves rather storm riders.
Winter season circulates endless grand swell and strong onshore winds. This makes September and October arguably the best time of year, waters are warm enough, ideal winds and the waves start to pick up in size as tourists make their way home. To top it off, the WSL Quik Pro taking place, where you can watch international professional surfers take the stage in the water. This global event infuses true energy of stoke in town, shortly extending into the Newave Festival celebrating values of board culture through art, music, skate and surf.
If you're trying to choose the right spot and level at Hossegor, here are the top 3 hotspots to ride the French break:
1) For beginner’s head to Les Bourdains, La Sud or Estagnots – easy access waves and plenty of surf hire places
2) For intermediate to advanced head to La Nord, the most famous break – can be a heavier wave on certain swells
3) For advanced head to even the legendary board-snapping barrels at La Graviere
Hot tip: Download Tide Data app for tide charts and ask for advice from locals
Otherwise, La Gravaries, Le Culs Nus and Les Estagnots located side by side offer fun peaks but can get heavy on large swells. Regardless, even if you are not a storm rider Hossegor has a wave for anyone at any level.
After all, the sea knows no borders, no limits, no gender and with women on the rise breaking the surf Hossegor may not be a bad place to start ripping the waves to gender equality.
Hossegor not only does have some impressive breaks but offers rich forestry surrounded with distant views of the world-renowned, Pyrenees mountain range. Perfect for hiring a local bike to explore over 40 kilometres of cycle tracks around pine forest trails and hard sand at Les Casernes during low tide. This is why it attracts not only surfers, tourists but adventurers and travellers.
Not to mention the abundance of surf shops such as Quicksilver, Roxy, Ripcurl, Billabong, Hurley, Patagonia and Oneill. There is no wonder why surfing is on everyone’s mind and where there is surf there is usually stoke or as the French would call it ‘Joie De Virvre –' meaning the joy for living and zest for life.
But with the ocean being the core connection to a surfers heart, it’s important to surf mindfully in the environment in which they thrive.
Here are the top 4 tips to minimize your footprint in the water and ultimately become a green surfer.
1) Petrochemicals are used to 95 perfect of surf waxes, you can opt for eco-friendly options such as Matuna, Bubble Gum and Bees Knees
2) Buy planet-friendly wetsuits made of neoprene alternatives
3) Apply reef such sunscreen such as https://aethic.com/
4) Download the app ‘Surfr’ a philanthropic surfer session logging app, crowdsourcing users login determining clean water, sanitation, and conservation needs across the global coastal communities whilst allowing surfers to connect and share
Now, you can leave your green mark whilst riding out the infamous barrels of Hossegor.
In saying this, it truly is a special place attracting people with its vibrant mix of surf, skate, bars, live music and legendary surfer’s events the WSL Quik Pro all while expressing a French sense of cool. The destination ticks all the right boxes and is no wonder surfers have become hungry for Hossegor. Whether it be to challenger yourself to ride uncanny barrels or watch legendary pro surfers ride the break, this special place will fulfil just that or even more.
So, are you ready to get your apres-surf on and be stoked in Hossegor?
By Marika Suzuki