There is a large portion of the surfing population — the wisest among them, really — that associate fall with France. Awayco member Max Tabor is one of those people. The New Hampshire-born, Colorado-living outdoorsman recently wrapped his second annual trip to France’s southwest regions, enjoying the long days, glassy conditions and smorgasbord of sandbars along the Atlantic Coast.
“There were five of us this year,” Max said. “We set up in Biarritz, with a few days in Hossegor sprinkled in.”
Of course, they ventured to France without boards. (Otherwise we wouldn’t be telling this story.) Less money, less hassle, more options.
“Traveling light is the dream,” Max said. “Certainly cheaper and our minds were at ease knowing the airlines weren’t damaging our boards. Plus, we flew into Paris and went to the coast by train. Not dealing with boards was huge.”
When they arrived in the Landes region, Max and friends went to The Farm, a locally owned and operated surf shop in Hossegor. It’s run by legendary French surfers Alain Riou and Olivier “Buffalo” Cuissot. On any given day at The Farm, you’re likely to see Buffalo outside tending to boards, smoking a cigarette and looking like The Most Interesting Man In The World. When Max pulled up to The Farm, that’s exactly what he saw.
“Buffalo pointed us in the right direction with our boards, making sure we knew what would work for the upcoming forecast.”
They ended up booking a Chilli Rare Bird, Slater Designs Sci-Fi and a DHD 3DV. With boards in hand, they proceeded to have beach day after beach day, exploring the wave-rich coastline and surfing their brains out.
But you can only surf a few hours a day. And they were still in France. How about some culture?
“My best non-surf memories were espressos and red wine at Cafe de Paris in Hossegor, the food and culture in Biarritz, and hiking the cliffs at Mirador de Mendatagaina in Spain. It was all mental!”