With a little more than a month to go until one of the biggest ASP contest in Europe goes down on the Atlantic Coast of France, we take a look at the surf spots available for the contest, which are supposed to be among the best beach breaks of the world. So this might well be another reason why so many high ranked surfers attend the Swatch Girls Pro France year after year, besides rather valuable points for the ASP World Qualifying Series of course, that determines which surfers move up to the Women's World Championship Tour, and which have to descend down...
So here's the low down on the best areas of the Landes Coast
The Landes South Coast, where green expanses of pine forest meet the blue Atlantic, is the favoured holiday destination for visitors from France, Europe and all over the world. With a choice of accommodation to suit any budget, including campsites, holiday villages, guest houses and hotels, this unspoilt, undeveloped coast has it all. From endless sandy beaches loved by water sports enthusiasts, to quiet villages and farm communities selling celebrated local produce, deep enchanting forests home to unique wildlife and a traditional way of life, to world class golf courses, and over 50km of bike path linking facilities together. Blessed with long, warm summer that often extend from spring through to late autumn, Landes South Coast is the outdoor holiday venue to suit all ages and all tastes.
Why ‘Worlds Best Beachbreaks’?
Powerful Atlantic swells generated as far away as off the coast of Greenland travel unhindered through a submarine canyon off the coast to break with spectacular results in the Hossegor-Seignosse area. International pro surf competitions have been hosted on these shores since the early 1980s, bringing the world’s finest surfers to pit their skills against the Landais surf, a tradition the Swatch Girls Pro France proudly continues.
LA SUD. Mellow beginner’s / intermediate peaks close to the Capbreton harbour entrance. Can be prone to a southbound current, sheltered on big days.
LA GRAVIÈRE. One of the most famous stretches of beachbreak in the world, famed for powerful, hollow peaks detonating just a few metres from the beach.
LA NORD. Big wave break that can hold W or NW swells up to 5m. Breaks 200-300m from the beach to the north of la Centrale.
LES CULS NUS. Not as famous as la Gravière, but can have some of the best sandbanks in the region. Summer beach goers will notice the amount of flesh - often of retirement age – on display. ‘Culs Nus’ means bare bum and is a naturist spot.
LES ESTAGNOTS. Reliable beachbreaks with big car park, usually some kind of north to south current on swells over 1m. Variety of peaks across broad beach.
LES BOURDAINES. Often the biggest swell puller on small days, similar to Estagnots. North end of the beach towards a jetty ‘le wharf’ can have great peaks with less crowds than in front of the car park.LE PENON. On a corner where the coast bends more north, exposed to all Biscay swell and perhaps a foot bigger on small summer swells.
LE PENON. On a corner where the coast bends more north, exposed to all Biscay swell and perhaps a foot bigger on small summer swells.
Wind & Tide
Most of the breaks in the region favour small tides (when high tide is around the middle of the day), and while they can offer fun peaks on all stages, generally mid tide is a safe bet. Light east winds are offshore and best. Often, especially on warm sunny days, a strong NW seabreeze will blow from around lunchtime making conditions more favourable in the mornings.