Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
Tel : 01792 446511

lle de Re….lost in the Cloud

Thanks to John – our Southwest GONG SUP ambassador for this little piece on a recent trip to France.

Hi, Last week we got back from a little holiday on the Ile de Re, in south west France, not the first place on the south west coast that you would think of to find good waves, but maybe we were just lucky, and the Island is beautiful,
The journey from Cherbourg to La Rochelle takes around five hours, but this time we called in at Gong HQ to collect one of the new board bags for my Faking 6’11, this was part of a consignment for Matt at SUPGOWER in the UK, but I was in France and couldn’t wait, they are now in stock with Matt, we added an extra hour onto the journey but who cares.
The new bags are superb, look great and the construction is well done, also the Logos are big, which is good as we are proud of the boards we ride!
Ile de Re has two main surf beaches, at Gros Jonc on the south coast and Phare des Baleines on the west tip, there are some fast point breaks close to Phare des Baleines, but these need high tide to be workable and safe, a little rocky.

After an initial look at Phare, I figured it would be good tomorrow as the wind was predicted to be offshore and waves overhead on the bigger sets, maybe some sunshine too, this would be Friday 16th, and I think the whole west coast got good surf that day.
We were lucky, but we were the only ones on the beach when we returned the next morning, was this a bad sign, did the local guys know something I didn’t….probably!
Anyway got suited up and picked up the 666 8’6, at that point this French guy turns up, good some company, He is Eric George and turns out to be a Gong rider, and a thoroughly nice guy, its his local break, and he surfs there with his son Dimitri, who is seventeen, talented, and who rode my 6’11 for the first time and made it look easy, a future winner?
Eric and I paddle out and start to pick up some waves, I’m glad he’s here as I can follow him deeper into the better positions near the rock reef, and with the strong offshore wind we are getting some late drops, but also some nice steep walls, so far so good.
The 666 is just so damn good at so many things, it drops in easily, very responsive, carves and glides, it does everything that I can, and a lot more with a better rider, I won’t go into every detail, but the board is “better than you are” maybe not a good strap line for an advertisement but it’s true.

Five more prone surfers arrived, there was a good atmosphere on the water, the sun shone, the sets kept rolling in, with lots of shouting, laughing, and encouragement, Katie got some good photos, but had some problem with the 70/300 lens so the distance shots are out of focus, we’ll get that fixed for next time.

Back on the beach, some high fives, some beers,
The next day, rubbish
The next day, Sunshine, little two foot waves, no wind, time to take out the Faking 6’11, and Dimitri is riding a big old Naish, we are catching the same waves, a different style, the young guy doing old school, the old guy doing new school…. I’ve ridden the Faking in ankle biters to head high, a whole load of fun, It’s hard work in chop, but I am surprised how easy it is to paddle out through white water, and how easy it paddles distances between breaks…..maybe not the best choice as your only board, but a short sup as a second board, definitely.

After five days we had to leave Ile de Re, it was our third visit, we’re coming back!!

if you want info on a good campsite, or some nice hotels, give Katie and I a ring on 07768095818


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Here at SUP Gower We offer Stand up paddle lessons & Foiling Lessons ( wing sup - wing foil - sup foil -surf-foil & Efoil ) Plus Hire & Clinics. Our showroom and Plant based Cafe is stocked with boards, paddles, coffee & cake and all the food and gear you need to get on the water. GROUND plant based & much more.
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