Thursday, 22 September 2011

Frothin in France

2 days was simply not long enough to spend with the force du jour that is Gwen Spurlock. The Oakley team rider and UK womens champ kept us entertained with her boundless energy and funny accents, even managing to keep our spirits high whilst the tailend of Hurricane Irene meant conditions were just too dangerous for us to get in the water.

Gwen Babes .. frothin 
Gwen is clearly passionate about sharing her gift with others, and as the Surf Sistas gathered around Capbreton plage to watch the show, she taught the girls about the rules of etiquette, reading waves and identifying lefts and rights. Watching the surfers make it out of the barrels breaking close to shore, inspired the girls to get in the water once the waves had dropped and Gwen was enthusiastic to the max! Despite the tough conditions and strong currents, the girls gave it their all and were rewarded with some great rides.

how to do the perfect wax job by Gwen
Although the surf was huge by the Surf Sistas villa, the nearby Labenne beach provided the perfect sunset setting for beers and dips, with the surf crashing in the background.
Surf Sistas at Sunset
The next day the sistas had to say their goodbyes to Gwen, who had the ultimate comeback from a horrific head injury after being told she might never surf again. Her down to earth nature, determination and Welsh catchphrases made her a surefire hit with the Sistas - lets hope we get to hang out with her more!

Once Gwen had moved on the Surf Sistas enjoyed some more delights of South West France – travelling to the Basque country and not 1 but 3 trips to the shops and outlets; home to European surf industry headquarters. The constant sunshine made relaxing by the pool, morning pilates and evening yoga the perfect rejuvenation.

pool time
We were reminded of the all encompassing power of mother nature and how surfing depends so much on the cycles and currents of the natural world. Thankfully the only ill effects of Hurricane Irene were our usual fun September swells becoming more like mountains for more days than we would have liked.

the gorgeous cote des basque
Yet our patience paid off and on the last day we enjoyed a perfect session at Cotes des Basque; gorgeous sunshine and perfect waves, the surf sistas stoke was felt all round!


Thanks to Marie Claire Ferrer and Kate Czuczman for the photos .. more below and here in our flickr gallery


Amy showing us how its done 
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Sunset drinks in Hossegor