Quote of the day: Life's a mountain, not a beach. Or the other way around. - Arjen
Hossegor might be the epicenter of the surf in Europe during summer, there aren’t that much people around during winter. And not only in the water, but also in the village itself. Nevertheless, the Café de Paris is always cozy. Guests tell about surf trips to exotic locations and others are talking about the best wave they had this morning. We are particularly tired of the impressions that the Pyrenees have left behind. The text of Quiksilver came as a salvation. "Guys, you can take a look at Euroglass tomorrow. Okay?'
Euroglass is located in Hossegor and is one of the larger producers of surfboards in Europe. They make about 12 surfboards per day. And that's a good deal when you consider that much of the process is done by hand. Only Quiksilver boards are made here by several shapers. We meet the famous Australian shaper Christian Bradley who is responsible for many different boards.
We follow the whole process of the coming into being of a surfboard. From the computer cutting out the first shape, to the shaping, glassing and designing by hand. A number of standard shapes are created (including the Mosselman from my hometown Scheveningen), but you can also ask them to shape a custom board for you. Legends have won surfing contests on the boards of Euroglass. We see a lot of bibs of Kelly Slater (11-time world champion and probably the best of all time). The Mountain and The Wave. That's what it's about at Quiksilver.
But we wanted to surf for ourselves as well. The conditions in Hossegor were crappy and we decided to drive south for an hour to the sheltered bay of Hendaye. The conditions were perfect. Pumping surf, light off-shore wind and not too crowded in the water. After two hours the arms turned into spaghetti and it was time to drive back home. Twelve hours from Hossegor, via Hendaye, back to The Hague.
What a great trip. Although the conditions in the mountains could have been better, the surf was fantastic. And, you know, the Pyrenees are a bit of a drive, but we can recommend this combination to anyone. We have been away for five days, but it felt like two weeks! You’ll find some tips below if you want to make such a trip this season yourself (and believe me, you want that!).
1) Be flexible Flexibility is key. Be flexible about when to leave, where to surf (make sure you're south of Hossegor, you have so much more options than north of Hossegor) and in which resorts you want to ski or ride. Keep an eye on the weather!
2) Plenty of accommodation March is an ideal month to do a surf & snow trip. The weather can be pretty good in the Basque Country (we had 18 degrees) and the surf can be pretty good as well. Accommodation comes cheap, especially if you pick those a bit further away from the beach. In addition, the peak season in the Pyrenees is over, so last minute arrivals shouldn’t be a problem.
3) Guides are recommended Especially on the Pic du Midi it is advisable to ride with a guide. In that way you get the most out of your day. Also, keep in mind that in March you should be there when it’s snowing. Chances are that the snow has already transformed because of the stronger sun or simply got tracked by the locals.
But there’s a risk, because former Quiksilver icon Kelly Slater already mentioned: "Surfing is like the mafia. Once you're in, there's no getting out".