Surfing in France, September 2006

Sarah and I got back last night from a couple of weeks in France with our surfboards. We had a great time, of course. We booked very last minute, driving a Streetcar down to Newhaven, taking a ferry over to Dieppe overnight, and driving down for a few days in Ollone Sur Mer. We stayed in a ‘chalet’ on a campsite, which was an excellent move – all the fun of a campsite but with your own shower. The area was nice, and the beach was close to the campsite and very friendly indeed. We were novelty figures because we were women with our own surfboards. The only other women in the water were in lessons or on bodyboards. That said, everyone was very welcoming and we really liked the beach.

We then headed down to Lacanau for just over a week. We started well, with a day in the sun on the beach but then the weather prevented us surfing for a couple of days, and meant we could only surf white water for the last two days. We headed into Bordeaux on one of our no-surf days, which was quite good, but we got a bit lost driving about. The other day without surf we cleaned and waxed our boards and indulged in our books. This was actually really cool because despite being very windy, there was a lot of sun, which melted the glue off my surfboard from the deck grip that had been on it. This meant I got the board almost completely clean, and gave it a clean layer of wax for the first time in my ownership of the board – it was transformed and I feel a lot more as if it’s my board now.

The other project was my drawing. I recently read a book about unleashing your creativity by drawing (a little bit self-help for my tastes but interesting none-the-less) and have been playing with the idea of drawing a bit. I bought some fantastic pens with brush tips, and played about with a picture diary of the trip. I also drew postcards for some lucky (or not so lucky) recipients. Drawing’s hard, for sure, but it’s also great fun and I’ve enjoyed the process. I’ve scanned some of them for your viewing pleasure (and other pics are online too).

We also read a lot. We both read Fifth Business by Robertson Davis and I re-read The Thin Man by Dashiel Hammett. They’re both excellent books. Also on the reading list: Under the Skin by Michel Faber (interesting, but slightly disappointing distopian sci-fi) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (I cried through most of it, but it’s not stayed with me like the History of Love, which is essentially the same book, did).

Probably the most depressing thing was driving back from Newhaven through south London and meeting aggression and nastiness in Brixton traffic. Welcome home, we thought, and went to our local for a decent pint and good meal.

One Reply to “Surfing in France, September 2006”

  1. Sounds like fun,

    I just got into surfing about a year ago so as a relative beginner I still have a bunch of questions I was hoping you or someone else reading this could answer for me. In general, what is the best kind of board to use from a sheer performance standpoint? Wood, Composite or Epoxy? I am expecting there to be a difference in price, but is there also a differnece in terms of upkeep? Is one type of board easier to maintain and care for than the others? Any ideas on the average lifespan of a board made from each material (taking regular wear and tear into account)? I’ve heard good and bad things about Epoxy, and that’s the choice I was leaning towards, but I’m still unsure whether or not the good outweights the bad enough to justify the extra spending. Any insight that could provided would be greatly appreciated. Particularly something of a guide or article that outlines the pros and cons of each kind of board. Here is an example of the kind of article ( I’m talking about, except this one is more of a novice’s guide to surfing in general. If possible, I’d like to find something similar to this that’s geared more towards discussing the differences in the various types of boards themselves. Anyone have anything like that on hand? Thanks in advance for any help.

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