What does a surfer do when there are no waves? He takes his stand-up paddleboard and enjoy his local spot differently! And that’s exactly what Paul Bontemps, Brittany-based surfer and member of HOA Surf, a platform dedicated to surfing and skateboarding with tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, does. As an all-round waterman and ocean lover, Paul likes to be in the water even when the conditions aren’t suitable for surfing.
He sets off with his Nautilus 11’8” inflatable touring board, developed by French watersports brand Coasto, to enjoy stand-up paddleboarding sunset sessions in the Bay of La Baule, France or ventures out on his SUP for fishing trips. TotalSUP caught up with Paul to chat about his experience of the Coasto board and take a look at its key features.
Hi Paul, you are currently testing the Coasto Nautilus board. Where are you paddleboarding?
Hi, yes, I’m using the Nautilus 11’8” board from Coasto and the goal is to test it mainly in the ocean. I’ve dreamt of paddling with a dog but I don’t have one at the moment due to lack of time. I live 500 m from the beach, so I’m paddleboarding in the Bay of La Baule. It would be great to take it to Tahiti, because my brother lives there and paddle with my niece and all, it can be really great. In the meantime, we just paddle out with my girlfriend, chill in the middle of the bay and just enjoy a great sunset!
What’s your first impression of the Nautilus?
To be honest, I’ve always been a little sceptical of inflatable paddleboards but surprisingly the Nautilus is super rigid which makes it mega stable so perfect for paddleboarding around. Because it’s an inflatable board, it solves the storage issue and it really doesn’t take up any space, so I keep it in my apartment.
What are the key features of Nautilus?
Coasto used the technology called Drop Stitch Thermo Twin Skin so the board is pretty robust. The deckpad is thick and really comfortable. In terms of accessories that I’m looking for, there are mountings for cameras etc. The fin can be easily fixed in which I think it’s good for beginners as the whole set up is very simple and intuitive. The board is lighter than a standard model and fits into a small bag on wheels which can be easily it can be transported everywhere…For me, the product was really well thought out and well made, so frankly, I’m very satisfied.
You are a surfer at heart… What’s up with stand-up paddleboarding?
I live in an area where there’s a lot of surf in Winter but very little in Summer.So SUP is that little extra to really enjoy the summer. Take the board out in the evening, paddle around the bay with my girlfriend and enjoy those sunsets… Also, like any good surfer and ocean lover, I like to be in the water and I also like fishing.So what I do is I take my rod, I have my little equipment that I take with me on the board and I’m fishing right from it in the middleof the bay in the evenings. Very often, I bring a sea bass back and I can tell you that cooking it feels really good – we are proud to eat what we catch.
Have you tried surfing on Nautilus? We saw you trying to switch the boards on a wave, from the Coasto SUP to your surfboard… Did it work? 😀
So yes, I tried to surf on the Nautilus and in fact the goal was to transfer from the paddleboard to surf! I tried once, I almost succeeded, I took quite a few falls too, it was very funny. But I think that as soon as the conditions are right, I’ll try again, because it makes me laugh and then it’s incredible how easily it goes in the waves. The fact that this SUP board is so rigid, it really holds up in the waves and I find it quite impressive.
You are part of the HOA Surf, which on insta has 17k followers, but above all a YouTube channel with 64k subscribers! Could you tell us more?
So, it makes me laugh, the number of subscribers, followers etc… I don’t really care and if you want something extra, I think we have 150,000 subscribers on TikTok! But that all is a bit secondary. It’s all about sharing your experience on that water that I really like, when you meet people everywhere and share that stoke.
But basically the goal of HOA Surf is to make people discover surfing, to show that it’s accessible to everyone. There’s of course the safety side of it which you have to learn and go through several stages before reaching that certain level of surf… There are obviously some things not that easily accessible like the big waves etc. Then there’s the respect for all the people in the water, that’s really important, and then it’s just travelling and sharing! That’s basically it, travelling and sharing it with lots of people, having fun, coming up with concepts, we have heaps of ideas… HOA is about skateboarding too, and here we are trying to meet as many people as possible just to have fun.
To sum it all up…
That’s a tough one! It’s great that Coasto SUP brand has decided to trust me to share all the adventures. I wasn’t expecting it at all as I have my partnerships with UWL and then Saint-Jacques Wetsuits… But I like companies that have values, and with whom I can share a lot, by becoming almost friends… So there ! Anyway, the purpose of life is to enjoy it, travel a lot, whether near or far… And in short, to just be happy, enjoy being in the water – it’s very easy!
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