Session reports

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The call of the Coudouliere and a windsurfing session in the waves was irresistible. On Monday and Tuesday, we were in France, to catch the Mistral wind, brought by one of the few summer Atlantic disturbances. On Monday, La Coudou gave us wind all day long, and a really fun session, with the added value of absolutely pleasant temperatures.

 

Windsurfing, session report: Coudouliere, Six Fours Les Plages, France

I was missing from the sea and the waves since the beautiful sessions in Sardinia last June (read report). The waves are addictive, and a month without them is already too much. So, I didn't think about it too much, and on Sunday afternoon I left for Six Fours Les Plages. I took the decision also because, with regard to this Covid affair, the situation is not very reassuring, and I would not like that they stop us from traveling between the different European states, again, next autumn.

The wind came in on Sunday (and those who were already on the spot, in fact, told of a first fun afternoon session).

I reached at the Coudouliere beach early Monday morning, and first I had a cappuccino to wake up well. Needless to say, immediately, I met other Italian guys on the spot: Simone, Alessio, and Edoardo. We started to study the situation.

On Monday, the Coudouliere gave the classic Mistral day (actually, more oriented from the west), with the wind growing as speed, with the passing of the hours. We had a quiet morning (wind around 25 knots), and then, from mid-day, wind higher than 30-35 knots, and waves of excellent size (at least a couple of meters). Warm water. Short wetsuit, or swimsuit and Lycra.

Throughout the day, the wind turned out to be very onshore. In fact, I never happened to surf here at Coudouliere with wind so much oriented from the West (sometimes, even W/SW). But in the end, apart from the exit from the beach and the first ride that require attention so as not to visit the cliff of the port, these are conditions that I don't dislike at all. The strong wind made it possible to immediately glide after the departure from the beach, thus avoiding easily ending up near the cliff, and on the port tack, it was possible to sail up wind very well, towards Cap Negre, to go and get even more waves. Moreover, I have the impression that, with a westerly wind, higher and more regular waves also rise.

 

Windsurf Coudouliere France 1

 

Click here, for Monday's slidegallery (low resolution photos can be downloaded for free). 

 

In the morning I went out with the Goya Guru X Pro 2020 4.7. Since there was still small waves, as for the board, I used the Tabou Pocket 94 2016, which also on this occasion, as in Sardinia, proved to be an excellent board, capable of handling even good-sized waves. To make it more responsive, I prepared it with the K4 fins (central Scorcher 18, and 11 Stubby at sides, which are giving me a lot of satisfaction).

The two morning sessions were very fun for me, also thanks to the greater physical freshness.

The good volume under my feet allowed me to maneuver decently, tacking (not easy for me in the waves) and jibing quite well. But above all, I have tried and tried many times to surf the waves. I caught a lot of waves, this time. The more I ride at the Coudouliere, the more I know it, the more I sail and surf better, and I enjoy the spot.

Moreover, with Coudouliere I had an open account to close, since the last time I was here, in December 2019 (read report), I went to socialize with the harbour cliff, and someone had "definitively borrowed" one of my mast....

As I said, I made peace again with the Coudouliere.

The morning waves, although not high (1.5 - maximum 2 meters), were rather clean. I practiced surfing a lot, and often went to look for the steepest wave section close to Cap Negre, where the seabottom is not so deep....

With the wind so onshore, my difficulty is not to take too much speed descending the wave and performing the bottom turn. Often, I came out from the bottom 10 meters ahead of the wave lip, and definitely out of time, to place the cut back. I must also learn to ride in switch stance longer and almost clew first, to look for the wave crest when it is about to break. In this skill, many local (Loick Lesauvage and Antony Ruenes, but not only), are masters and can also surf a good part of the wave down the line in switch, to wait for it to become steep, and maybe performe a nice Gu Screw, as you can see to do by Loick, in the video below.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun, and also Simone from Turin (who is really good at riding in switch stance after the bottom), with Fanatic Stubby and Duotone sail, enjoyed the morning very much. He also advised me, as for the cut back, to wait for the lip of the wave to move the board ahead, before sheeting the sail.

I stayed in the water until I managed to hold 4.7. Then, the wind started to rise. I quickly rigged the Ezzy Elite 4.2 2019, and went back into the water again with the Pocket 94. But the wind had already become strong, requiring a 3.7 sail and an 80 liters board. And the waves were even more than 2 meters, in some cases.

Not being in control with 4.2 and 94, I came back to the beach after half an hour, to avoid getting tired.

 

Windsurf Coudouliere France 4 

At the beach and in the water, I met the usual group of French riders, usually very kind and nice, including Guillame, who lives 5 minutes from Coudou (lucky him). I'm sorry to speak little French. I'd like to socialize more. Anyway, if nothing else, by dint of coming to France, at least, I understand what they tell me, and I managed to help a boy who needed a key for the sail battens, and to give some advice on the right size of the sail to use to another one. I should convince myself to study French a bit .... or stay in France for a few months!

Guillame (Simmer equipment) also, after a first session with strong wind, in the central hours of the day, went out from the water to wait for the wind to drop in the late afternoon.

I went to eat and then take pictures from the cliff, to those who remained in the water, and didn't give up even for a minute. And suddenly, Federico Morisio, I-676, appeared at the spot, just returned from his lockdown spent in Chile, where he went to train. It was nice to meet Federico again and have a chat about his, and my, future plans, and adaptations that this Covid emergency requires (we will meet again for sure in Sardinia in Autumn).

In the afternoon, the wind apart from a few momentary drops, further strengthened, touching almost 40 knots at the end of the day.

I never went back to the water again, and we ended the evening with a nice dinner with Simone, based on mussels, at the "Galeon" in Sanary Sur Mer, full of tourists on vacation, and beautiful as usual. Simone, passionate about wave surfing, has told me extensively how easy it is to "make friends" in the various spots of the world, thanks to surfing ...

For the record, the day after, Tuesday 4, the Coudouliere did not work well: the mistral wind was mainly too north oriented. The wind was too unstable. I made a session with the 4.2 and the Tabou Da Curve 80 first, and the 4.7 and the Tabou Pocket 94 then, but without great satisfaction, and with a lot of effort. In hindsight, it would probably have been better to settle for a funboard or freestyle training session in Le Brusc, where, with NW, wind is always 5 knots stronger.

In the middle of the afternoon, eating some grapes on a port bench, facing the panorama of the Coudouliere, before leaving, I thought, once again, of how difficult it is to get away from Six Fours.

Hang Loose.

Fabio Muriano

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Click here, for Monday's slidegallery (low resolution photos can be downloaded for free).

 

Monday's session video

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