Situated in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France, which is primarily known for its pine forests, expansive sandy beaches and vertiginous sand dunes, Hossegor is regarded as something of a Mecca for French surfing and SUP Surf aficionados. With many well-known surf spots, including La Gravière, L’Estacade and Le Santocha, among others, the local area attracts surfers from all across Europe (and beyond), who are drawn in by the relatively unspoiled coastal landscapes and the French Atlantic’s capacity to produce formidable waves.
While the local surf scene here has been thriving for many years, the advent of stand-up paddle in Hossegor, with its host of enthusiastic disciples, has recently rejuvenated the locality’s propensity to entice crowds in search of exciting board sport activities. Indeed, the prime cruising conditions provided by Hossegor’s local lake, which is linked to the ocean via canal, have been instrumental in attracting a new kind of tourism inextricably linked to SUP. Though locals have been getting in on the action too. The nearby town of Vieux Boucau has notably produced well-known riders such as Florent Dode and Olivier Darrieumerlou, who are both famed for their love of extreme long-distance endurance races. With growing pedigree, Hossegor has become particularly renowned for flatwater as well as SUP surf, as the lake’s ample dimensions and favourable conditions provide the perfect aquatic playground.
The growing popularity of SUP in the area has also given rise to new local SUP brands and manufacturers. Chief among these is Anonym SUP. So proud is Anonym of its Hossegor provenance that it eagerly emblazons the town’s name on its official seal, nobly proclaiming that it is not merely where the brand’s inflatable boards and accessories are designed, but also where they are “tested and approved”. And this within the good company of the local SUP scene’s major players.
The highlight of the SUP year in Hossegor now comes in May, as May 2017 kicked off the inaugural annual Hossegor Paddle Games. For this first edition, held between 26 and 28 May 2017, the EuroTour SUP, the French Surfing Federation (FFS), the municipal authorities and the Hossegor Surf Club organised a series of competitive SUP events expected to turn into an annual event. Focusing on three separate sprint, long-distance and technical showdowns, all the ingredients were there to make this first edition the start of something really wonderful, which is sure to draw in crowds for many editions to come.