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I had been missing from the Cannes Palm beach spot for three years. Yesterday, the well-known spot in France gave us a good day with East wind, which allowed us to go windsurfing with moderately sized waves.


Windsurfing, report: Cannes Palm Beach (France), 24/01/2023

How many things have happened because of the pandemic, and we never imagined....

This one is certainly more trivial than others, but I've been reflecting for a long time on how much time has passed since my last windsurfing session at Cannes Palm beach, a spot where, in recent years, I've cut my teeth .... in the waves.

Yesterday, finally, the "fast" has finished and I returned to Cannes with Alessandro (aka Scuffia, here in the Waterwind forum). And I felt different sensations compared to first times here ... Read the review of the spot.

The forecasts gave Tramontana on the Gulf of Genoa, but a center of low pressure to the West of Sardinia (with counterclockwise air circulation around it) pushed the wind to veer from the East on the coast of Southern France.

Once emerged from the traffic of Milan, and from the endless construction sites of Ligurian highway, we arrived in Cannes just before 12,00. Upon our arrival, the wind was quite strong, with lots of foam and fun waves to play with, even if not as high as I have seen here on other occasions.

For a moment, we assumed we were going to rig the 3.7. Then, having noticed a slight drop in the wind, we opted for the 4.2. I rigged the Ezzy Elite 4.2 2019, which I paired with the Tabou Da Curve 80 2016, set up as Trifin with MFC fins in G10.

Despite the beautiful sunny day, and the temperature of 12-13 degrees, the nice fresh wind led me to wear the 6/5/4 wetsuit with integrated hood, and the surf shoes (with bare hands, instead). At Lake Garda, last Saturday (read report), I felt less cold


Windsurf Cannes Francia2 Windsurf Cannes Francia3



Having managed to park in Boulevard Gazagnaire, we conveniently started the session from the sandy beach in front of it. Too bad only for the seagrass "soup", near the shore (which I then found everywhere in the car ...). Relatively crowded spot, considering we are in January, with 20-30 people in the water in rotation, including windsurfers, kiters, and wing foilers (see complete slidegallery, and the video at the end of this page). 



The session started well. The equipment was adequate for the wind and waves conditions. It took me a while to remember which are the points where the best waves rise, and to remember where the dangers are (submerged rocks), near the shore. Beautiful and good-sized waves (abundant 1.5 meters) rose yesterday especially in front of the cliff of the parking lot. But this remains a somewhat risky area for surfing, because in front of the cliff, there is an area with a rather irregular rocky low bottom, where there is the risk of breaking your equipment.... Better to surf the waves to the South West of the large square of the parking lot: in case of a fall, the current carries you into the channel between Palm Beach and L'Iles de Lerins. In front of Boulevard Gazagnaire, the sea appeared more orderly, and smooth, among the waves. Even in that area, therefore, it was fun to surf the waves. I have to say, however, that the onshore wind (slightly side) made the cut back really complicated to perform for me, with clew first.... Well, compared to the first few times I came here, after having surfed in so many spots around the world, with side off wind on the waves, I find it hard to appreciate again spots with onshore wind....

With Alessandro, we often found ourselves riding close together in the channel.


Windsurf Cannes Francia 4

Windsurf Cannes Francia 5


After half an hour, the wind dropped for about an hour, and it also started to jump often in direction, making us sweat blood not to drift, or to try sailing upwind... The session became physically demanding: riding close-hauled or floating on the 80-litre was tiring. At this stage, I would have had an 88 board under my feet, and a 4.7 as a sail.

After another hour in the water, I decided to go back to shore to rest, eat something, and take some pictures.

For Alessandro, it was his baptism here in Cannes, with rough seas. He started to get familiar with the first waves, and came out unscathed without damage. He reminded me of my first sessions here.

Around 15.00, I went back into the water for another hour, with the wind, in the meantime, which got back pretty strong.... In this second part of the session, I wish I had the 3.7! No problem riding upwind, so much so that I often went up to the sailing club north of the exit beach, but it became difficult to surf the waves due to the excess power in the sail when surfing, and it also became problematic to maneuver. I definitely don't like being overpowered....

I grit my teeth, because I wouldn't have had time to change sails.... having to leave for 5.00 pm, to go home. I got some good wipes out, and in one of these the tip of the mast planted itself on the seabed. The Ezzy mast obviously didn't break, but the Aeron carbon extension cracked.... Drawbacks of the game.


I got out of the water, exhausted, around 16.00. We unrigged and put everything in order, trying to bring home as few Posidonia as possible.... Taking off the wetsuit in the wind was perhaps the most unpleasant thing of the whole day....

Now, for a while, no more sessions in the cold! From February 4th, the wind, the waves, and the hot South African summer await me!

Aloha. Fabio


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