It’s Bastille Day in France today, so we’re bringing you a celebration of all things French, from homegrown brands and heroes to the numerous international surf co’s headquartered in Hossegor, via the world-class beach breaks all along that SW Coast and what to ride there. Allez-y!
Hailing from Toulouse, Lucas Puig is responsible for some of the most iconic video parts (and best-looking shoes) in skateboarding history. His pro model with Adidas is inspired by his adopted hometown of Biarritz, where he also surfs regularly.
Explore ’em all here.
Named after the part of Paris where they grew up, Magenta is the brainchild of team riders Soy Panday (who designs the epic graphics) and Vivien Feil (who takes care of biz). Expect lush colour palettes, effortless Parisian cool, and a certain je ne sais quoi from their hardware and clothing alike.
You will need: A mid-length for its versatility and paddle power, to neutralise the conveyer-belt current of the classic French rip bowl. Some sort of step-up for when it gets big & heavy, which it will do – the new addition to the Hypto family is designed for 3ft–10ft. A short-sleeve 2mm is the suit of choice in these parts for much of the year (Vissla, whose head office and flagship store are in Hossegor, is always a safe bet). Lastly, a beach towel-cum-blanket by Slowtide, because eating baguettes on the beach in between surfs is mandatory.
Last year the straight-talking, hard-charging Pipe Master (x2) from Réunion became the first French surfer to win the Quik Pro France. Then he led the whole beach in an impromptu rendition of ‘La Marseillaise’. The French at their finest.
Founders: The Bichs | Year: 1979 | HQ: Vannes, Brittany
After mastering the biro, the Bich family (of BIC pen fame) moved onto their true passion: watersports. Sturdy, reliable, impressively light and nimble, the BIC surfboards we sell at Surfdome come in DURA-TEC construction. It’s the ultimate in ding-free performance – ideal for beginners and intermediates, and still able to hold its own under the feet of more experienced surfers. All are 100% made in France.
Founders: Julien Durant, Jérémy Rochette, Vincent Andre | Year: 2008
HQ: Clermont-Ferrond, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Picture started off as a bunch of twenty-something friends with a shared vision: clothing and technical gear made as sustainably as possible without sacrificing performance. Inspired not just by snow but also skate, surf and the outdoors, their range embodies that vision more fully every year.
Founder: Francois Salomon | Year: 1947 | Headquarters: Annecy, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Salomon has been playing in the French Alps since the ’40s. You can still shop goggles, helmets, snowboards, boots, and more at off-season prices… there are bargains to be had!