For the first session of our three days trip to France, on 30/11/2017, we were at La Coudouliere. Coudou is always the Coudou ...., and even if not in perfect conditions, it was enough to get on the spot, to set our souls free .....
Windsurf session: Coudouliere and Marseille (France)
Techinical session data (Coudouliere):
Wind: North-West, 30 kts as average, gusts at 35 kts.
Water surface: Waves at about 2,5-3 meters offshore, about at 1,5-2 meters, those ones near Cap Negre, that were good to be surfed.
Sail: Ezzy Elite 4,2 2018
Board: Fanatic Quad TE 87 2013, with default fins set.
Rider's weight: 70 kgs
Clothing: 5 mm wetsuit, 3 mm surf shoes, mittens, neoprene hat (but gloves were not needed, and local riders wore only their wetsuit ....)
Because of the usual family commitments ...., I can not get to the spot before 2.30pm. The glance is, as usual, exciting: turquoise sea, the beautiful panorama of the Gulf of Sanary and Six Fours, good wind, lots of windsurfers already in the water, and some waves to have fun. The Coudou welcomes us with a still mild temperature (12-13 ° C), which, unfortunately, will collapse in the following days, due to the entrance of a cold tramontana. On the spot, there is also my friend, as well as our collaborator from Genoa, Max Rinaldi, in the water to have fun already from 11.30.
After measuring the wind on the shore (on average just under 30 knots, slightly higher on gusts), I decide to give the Ezzy Elite 4.2 2018, just arrived from Recharge-store.com, the first opportunity to be tested. Also as regards the board, it is a test day, as I have here with me the Fanatic Quad TE 87 2013; I have already tried it with satisfaction at Abbadia Lariana (Como Lake), last week. But this is the first opportunity to test it in wave serious conditions.
At the parking place, we are sheltered from the wind, and, at the sun, we feel pleasantly warm. Despite the weekday, there are many French riders on the spot. At 15.30, we enter into the water, and the sensations are immediately positive. The wind is well oriented from NW, near the exit point from the beach, and you can immediately get well away from the fearsome cliff of the port of La Coudou. Offshore, the wind turn a bit from W, but, at that point, it is no more a problem. Outside there are the usual huge and clean waves (usually not breaking).
Sometimes, I arrive on their lip slow, deliberately not to jump, and save energy. On their crest, I am hit by powerful bursts, and the Ezzy Elite, a 4 battens waves, works immediately well, and its leech properly opens. Other times, I can not resist, and I look for the jump. For the first time, I place a great jump with the bow of the board flying in the sky. Wonderful emotion.
While riding back, I go immediately to look for the waves surfing. The waves, today, are not very clean, and easy to be read, probably due a somewhat variable wind direction. The Quad results immediately very funny, in setting the bottom, with a tight, but very regular, curve, thanks to the 4 fins that determine a good grip. In surfing, I take a beautiful wave, and I really enjoy it.
It's a pity that then often lose too much speed when getting out of the jibe, and I fall, remedying my ordinary light wipe out. Still have to improve. At 16.30, I go out from the water, to rest for a while.
My friend Max has already left for Genoa. In the following days, he'll send me the beautiful photos you see in this article, which depict him and his friends, in action on the spot. The photos are taken by the professional photographer, Gabriele Ferrando (Pro action photo - you can find him on Facebook). I thank Max and Gabriele, for the kind concession of the photos (the others can be found in the Slidegallery at the end of the article).
After a little chatting at the beach with my friend Sergio, I went back to the water again. It's winter time, there is light about until 17.30, and there is not too much time to waste. I remain in the water another half hour, until the wind shows some signs of failure. I would not like to remain floating and underpowered at the Coudou, after the sunset .... (as a matter of fact, the wind will not get to much low, then, and the last riders, some white haired, will come out of the water almost in the dark ....). In front of the cliff, there are beautiful, huge and smooth waves. I exploit several to get the quad planing, despite the wind, sometimes, blows just from North, on my way bact to Cap Negre. I would like to let myself go and close some bottoms also on these beatiful waves, but you would end up straight on the cliff of the port, and that's not the case.
The Fanatic Quad test, in wave conditions, proves to be a success. I just have to get "psychological" confidence with the fact that, to get it into glide, you do not have to be afraid of riding at broad reach for a while; then, with a correct advanced stance, it rides close-hauled very well. Also, I really like the way it sails in sea rough conditions. The board always seems "soft" underfoot, that is, it never opposes too much resistance, and even in bursts, the wind energy is dispersed properly, without the board getting hard, or roughly accelerating at full speed. Well, the thing I like most is just the fact that the board always remains in control, without going too much fast. In addition to the fact that I do not like to go too fast, and jolting constantly, a contained speed, among the waves is essential to try to position yourselves at the best, to start surfing on the waves. However, if launched at a borad reach, and with some pumping, the board acquires the right speed to place some good jumps. I feel that with this board, I will have a lot of fun, and I will grow in level, as rider.
I like the Ezzy Elite 2018, too. If possible, Ezzy continues to improve. This four battens sail is exceptionally soft and light in the hands, and makes surfing always a very enjoyable experience. I'll take the chance to have other wave sessions, before publishing the results of an accurate test for Waterwind supporters.
In the evening, we dinner at "Giò" at Sanary sur Mer, with Sergio and Michele, who joined us from Switzerland (Zurich), to discover these spots.
The day after the forecasts are not very good for Coudou and Le Brusc. We decide to go to Marseilles, where the wind, which today is given more from the North, should blow well. We arrive at the Etang de Berre, at le Jai, exactly, and we are welcomed by 20-25 knots, 5 °C, and a local kiter, which tells us that the water temperature of the pond is 5 degrees, too.... Perhaps, we are not yet psychologically accustomed to winter..... For us, it's too cold, and we give up having our session here.
We go to explore Le Prado, Pointe Rouge, and Les Glissant, the Marseille spots at sea. The wind is not missing here. At Le Prado, there are only some wave surfers in the water, and the usual beautiful waves. At Pointe Rouge, an rubber boat follows three kids in the water who are doing windsurfing school ..... At Les Glissant, there are two guys in the water. The wind is again between 20 and 25 knots, the temperature is 3-4 °C (the sky is cloudy), the water should be around 13-15 degrees. I never thought it could be so cold in Marseille. I must say that Les Glissant and Pointe Rouge do not excite me, very much. They are in a port background, and downwind, in the water, there are cliffs everywhere (much than at La Coudou ....), even if waves are not that big. I like more Le Prado. In short, the context, and especially the cold temperature, makes us vanish the desire to enter into the water. In the parking of the port, in a car, two locals find the way to warm up with another kind of sport .....
We go to drink something warm in a bar at Cassis (on the road to Cassis, the car thermometer signs 2 °C ....).
At the end of these two days (byt, thankfully, there will be the next - third - day in Cannes), I can say that Windy.com confirms to be very reliable both for the wind and for general weather forecasts, and if it says that in Southern France Tramontana enters, and the temperature drops to a few degrees above zero, it is better to believe it.
We get away from Six Fours, with the beautiful images of La Coudouliere still in our eyes.
Click here, for the full slidegallery of the day.
Visit Waterwind forum, and join our community. Visit our YouTube Channel.
Become a supporter, to access to reserved contents!
Are you a passionate windsurfer? Do you want to collaborate with us? Read here, then!
If you want to sponsor Waterwind and advertise with us, or place your banner inside this article, contact us.