• The Billabong Guide to Hossegor, France

The Billabong Guide to Hossegor, France

They say that the wine in France is unrivaled because of that certain something living deep within the soil. And no, the French are not referring to the fact that the earth there is fertile, well-irrigated or sublimely temperate…but because of the blood. Soil mixed for centuries with the blood of fallen empires, revolutions, world wars, armies, movements and eras all sown with the nutrient-rich plasma of the human experience. Soil lush with history.

Perhaps the same could be said for French beach breaks. Perhaps the many bars and banks along the shores of Hossegor are rich with the sands of time. The heaving, spitting barrels at La Graviere charged with mankind’s past and present glory. Whatever the reason, October/November are the scoring months and you will find your ancient sandbar and you will get barreled and just maybe you’ll hear the whispers of millennia-passed within those tubes. And even if you don’t hear it, nor even get barreled, there’s always the wine. Apparently it’s good there.

Surf spots not listed to protect the locals (explore for yourself!)

When to Go: May/June or October/November

How to Get There: Land at the Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne Airport in Southwest France and from there rent a car and drive 30 minutes north up the A63 to Hossegor.

The Boards You'll Want in Your Bag: A few shortboards (she’s a maneater!), a step-up (she holds!)

Where to Eat: Breakfast at Meg’s in downtown Hossegor is a new must. Healthy and the freshest of ingredients. If you’re closer to the sandbars north of Hossegor, go to Happy Belly (cash only) near Les Estagnots. Place is organic and delicious. For lunch, go Louvine, a fishing and surfing label that doubles as a great café and make an epic quinoa salad and Hawaiian meals. For dinner, try Le Touring Cafe for those DIY hot-rock steaks. And the one thing you can't miss…Chez Minus near Capbreton for cheap buckets of steamed mussels.

Where to Stay: AirBnb in Hossegor or Capbreton is readily available but electricity in France is pretty pricey so that gets tacked on and will increase the price of your spot. The reasonably priced Koala Surf Camp is close to some good sandbars in Hossegor and there’s a few hotels in downtown Hossegor, too.

Where to Mingle: Hossegor’s “Centrale” zone has a ton of bars to hop around all night, one quite popular being the Rock Food Bar. North of that, Le Surfing near Les Estagnots has been hosting some pretty epic dance parties with an excess of French babes.

Where to Take Your Chick Post-surf: Impress your woman with delicious, iced oysters and white wine at Lac d'Hossegor at dusk. She’ll think you’re suddenly cultured (and supposedly oysters are an aphrodisiac). Red wine on the beach at Le Piste near the WWII bunkers is a baller move, too. So is a stroll through the forest north of Penon for empty beaches. Honestly, if you took your chick to France, you’re already scoring brownie points and you can't really go wrong going anywhere. For an easy escape, San Sebastian’s 1 ½ hours south of Hossegor down the A63 and into Spain and is gorgeous and different, plus she can say she’s been to Spain. Biarritz and Bordeaux are also short drives from Hossegor and are lovely French medieval cities.

Insider Tip: Tides in France are the most important thing to be aware of to get a good session. Know what the banks are doing then know what tide it is in order to score.

Strike Mission: If it’s gigantic and stormy in Hossegor, Anglet and Biarritz to the south manage the size better. Hossegor not working for you? A couple hours south of the border is that lefthander that starts with an “M”…

Planning a trip to France to get some culture and some barrels? Be sure to shop our new arrivals and gear up.