User Tools

Site Tools


France Surfski

Mathis Roudaut in Bretagne


Nicolas Lambert at Palavas


With much of the country bounded by sea, many of the cities and regions not on the coast are still conveniently close for outings to marine shores for paddles and downwinders. Some of the more active sprint kayak programs that also foster surfski paddling take trips farther afield to visit classic downwind centers like South Africa.

North & Northwest (Atlantic, English Channel, North Sea)

Bretagne (Brittany)

Downwinders (Sous le vent)/Paddles

  • Brest (get local knowledge about the port and naval base traffic to watch for)
    • Le Conquet - Brest approx. 25 km
    • Le Fret - Landévennec 20 km Downwindfun
    • Freight Port of Brest - Landévennec 18 km
      • Best wind direction: West
      • Season: All year round with at least 15 knots of wind
    • Ile Longue - Tinduff approx 10 km video (started upwind before turning onto this course for downwind)
    • Port de l'Auberlac'h
    • Port de Porzmeur (Plougastel Daoulas)
      • Port de Porzmeur - Ile de Tibidy 16.5 km video, Downwindfun
      • Port de Porzmeur - Le Passage 10 km Downwindfun
      • Port de Porzmeur - la bouée du Renard - Moulin Blanc 15 km (paddle west to buoy then turn east to get more downwind) video
    • Port de Tinduff - Brest approx.15 km
    • Moulin Blanc
      • Île Ronde - Moulin Blanc 8-9 km video
      • Rade de Brest Run (Brest Bay Maison Blanche to Moulin Blanc) 10 km, Downwindfunvideo, video2
      • Radiliko Run - Roscanvel - Moulin Blanc 11 km “The further you go into the middle of the channel, the more ‘engaged’ the paddling is! If you are in the mood for something calmer you can keep to the channel’s side, and you will still be able to connect to the bumps.” (crosses Brest Bay)
    • Trez Hir - Moulin Blanc 23 km Downwindfun
  • Concarneau - downwind video Valentin Henot (no sound after 4:05)
  • Guisseny
  • Kerfanny Beach (Plage de Kerfanny) - Plage de Kerrou (Le Roux's Downwind) 12.4 km
  • La Rance River
  • Ploudalmézeau - various windy beaches

Saturday afternoon at the Seashore - Ploudalmézeau

  • Plougurneau
    • Aberliko Run - (tidal river) Port Perros - Pont de Diable (Only works on mid and high tide. Low tide and low spring tides there are oyster cages exposed.)
  • Quiberon - site of 2019 Surfski World Championships
    • Port-Louis - Plage Chateau Rouge ~23 km
    • Penthievre - Locmariaquer ~15 km
    • Quiberon - Kerhilio ~21 km



  • BeKayak Brest, Surfskis - Nordic Kayak, Nelo & accessories
  • Barrachou Paddle 4 Rue de Lesneven, 29880 Guissény
  • Idoine Kayak - Epic, Vajda Surfskis, Rue du Blavet, 56650 Inzinzac Lochrist

Haut-de-France (Heights of France)


  • Bray-Dunes, France - Nieuwpoort, Belgium 16+ km
  • ….

Bray-Dunes - Nieuwpoort (This video shows a skilled sea kayaker paddling a sea kayak with a hull shape similar to surfskis - built better for downwind surfing. The conditions and shore break are not for beginner surfskiers, but a skilled surfskier with good preparation and safety support would love such a downwinder)





Normandie (Normandy)


  • Cherbourg-en-Cotentin
    • Le Perrey - Le Becquet approx. 7-8 km
      • (equivalent) Plage de Collignon - Port de Fermanville video
    • Querqueville - l'Anse du Brick approx. 14.5 km video
    • Plage d'Urville - Plage de Collignon ~12-13 km (ship traffic from harbor?)
  • See also Jersey Channel Islands Surfski. While not part of France they are quite close to the Cotentin Peninsula and share many of the favorable characteristics for downwinders, surf, and tide races.

Tidal Races

About Safety

  • Raz Blanchard (Alderney Race)



Nouvelle-Aquitane (New Aquitaine)



  • Anglet
  • Bay of Txngudi (Chingoudy)
    • Hondarribia (Spain) or Hendaye- Fort de Socoa 10 km video
    • Hondarribia (Spain) or Hendaye - Géthary 16 km video


  • Bay of Txngudi (Chingoudy) video, video2 border of France/Spain at the mouth of Bidasoa river


South (Mediterranean Sea)

Occitanie (Occitany or Occitania)



Downwinding at Le Grau-du-Roi

Provence - Alpes - Côte d'Azur

(Côte d'Azur is the French Riviera)


  • Hyères - Oursinières 10 km Downwindfun
  • Marseilles
    • Downwind
      • (Marseilles harbor gets downwindable swell for laps)
      • Étang de Berre Run 17 - 19 km, Smoking SUP downwind video
        • Best wind direction: Wind from the North, from full North to North-West, (very rare North-East)
          Best season: From April / May to September / October. July / August: perfect to try it out for the first time. Be careful in the winter months with the strong winds of the Mistral because the water is very cold, between 5 and 7 °C. And this run gets far from land, working with a wind that is more off shore the more northerly the wind is.
        • Put-in: St Chamas 19.3 km paddle, Istres (Pointe Monteau) 17.5 km paddle
        • Take-out: Jaï beach, Côté la Mède
      • La Ciotat
    • Surf
      • Épluchures Beach & Pointe Rouge - crowds and parking can be a challenge
    • Clubs
    • Dealers/Equipment
  • Toulon

Tidal Races

About Safety

Tidal Bores

(Le Mascaret = tidal bore)

  • Gironde Estuary - also sometimes referred to as “La Gironde” river is formed from the meeting of the Garonne and the Dordogne

OC and surfers on La Gironde Mascaret





Clubs and Groups


Local Water Conditions


(There are also local dealers listed above under paddling locales)



france.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/11 14:44 by preavley