point la torche

You wouldn't think that la Torche is 300 miles away from la havre, just by looking at the map. It's a bloody long drive especially with a 4 month old. However we got there eventually to the smallest surfable wave, which after such a long journey was almost the best wave I have ever seen!

In the van I took only 3 boards, my 6 2 resin8 surf board, 82 mistral twinser and 8 5 starboard pocket rocket SUP. The ideal quiver to cover all conditions was the thinking, realistically I only expected to be using the SUP.

This was the first time I have used it in really good waves, perhaps good solid 3ft (head high), peeling walls of Atlantic swell. The board is amazing, I think I probably had the longest wave rides I have had on either a surfboard or a windsurf board. The beauty was how far out to sea you could pick up the wave, perhaps twice as far out as the surfboard line up. The board actually lets you do proper bottom turns, cutbacks, floaters and off the lips. And just like you would pump a windsurf sail  to get to the next section you can use the paddle. I would say that the way you approach a waveride path is more akin to a waveboard than a surfboard, as is the commitment to turn the larger board. Although I did point out to a couple of British longboarders who were trying to take the piss out of me for having a SUP that my board was actually a foot and half shorter than their mals - and more maneuverable - they still didn't like it!

What is also noticeable in France is just how many surf schools have embraced SUP and have 'foamy' paddle boards! It's quite a common sight, although funnily enough never crowded. The paddleboarders are not like surfers, I never once had anyone paddling for the same wave, as such the atmosphere is way more friendly.

The reason for this is very obvious, every SUP session you get more waves than you can remember, on a surfboard the surfable waves are so few and far between that there is a battle to get them. I honestly think a week's SUPing in somewhere like France, you could probably amass way more time actually riding a wave, than 15 years in shortboard surfing (adding up the actual seconds on a wave)

The other noticeable thing was that most people were on short SUP's like my one. There were NahSKwells, and Naishes predominantly. A couple of the really short jimmy lewis's (that are glass/epoxy and look just like a custom windsurf board from the 80's).

I also read the first ever SUP magazine. The most interesting thing about this is the number of surfboard manufacturers making SUP's. I never noticed this all until the magazine brought it together. There are foamy sups, fishing sups, race sups - the question is can one be made cheap enough to appeal to people who don't understand the surfing/windsurfing market - it appears not. However I wasn't sure about the mag itself, reading it just wound me up for some reason - I'm not sure why, but there was quite an arrogant atmosphere about it all. Does it actually need a mag with lots of people from windsurfing and kiting world jumping on the bandwagon again and rehashing loads of boring articles of self fascination, I don't know who the editor is, but the editorial itself is disgraceful? The best piece was the Jason Polokow piece, which we have seen the video for on the boards website.

Right now it looks like we are in for some proper windsurfing action over the weekend, and a possible Kimmeridge session on Monday

I can't wait.


  1. Hey, Sounds fun-I'll be out that way in September I hope.......Anyway, back in Swansea if you see a good forecast and fancy a trip-Ian

  2. definitely in a couple of weeks time probably!


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