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Kitesurfing in France

Although winter is just around the corner in the northern hemisphere, there is still time to get in some good kite surfing before the snowboards get dusted off and the mountains beckon.

So, since I live in France I thought I’d start there…

As you well know, any location is suitable for kitesurfing as long as it has consistent and steady winds. Large open stretches of water and good launch areas help too. Kite surfing is not restricted to seas and oceans, it can also be practiced on large lakes, inlets and, occasionally, rivers, but because of the requirement for guaranteed wind some locations become more popular than others.

St. Pierre La Mer, Narbonne.

This is a wide strip of sandy beach on the French Mediterranean coast, reserved for kitesurfing, with a safety boat as the wind is often off-shore. Lessons to all levels of kitesurfers are given by IKO qualified instructors in French and English. The prevailing wind direction is the north westerly Tramontane, which gives strong off-shore winds giving beautifully flat water. When the Tramontane doesn’t blow the seabreezes bring small waves and cross/onshore condition. Thanks silibleu for the video.

… and just for a bit of fun, melletamara posted this video on other highlights in the St. Pierre La Mer region:

Wissant, Calais

From one side of the country to the other, from the Meditteranean Sea to an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, Wissant is one of the most famous kite surfing areas in Europe and the main wave spot in France. It has a beautiful fine sandy beach although at low tide the sea is quite a distance from land. However, at high tide there is just a strip of sand and the world’s your oyster. There are no rocks and no problems with launching and landing a kite, but it is more for intermediates than beginners. Thanks sensibleblue

Mandelieu, Cannes

Also an intermediate beach, but beautiful blue skies, turquoise waters and all the lure of the Cote d’Azur. It has many fine sand beaches. Kite surfers tend to meet at the nautic centre beach. A school provides lifts to the outer sea if you wish provided you can safely stay upwind.

Beauduc, Camargues

Beauduc is a wonderful isolated beach in the salt-digging area of the Camargues. It is a long u-shaped beach with lots of space and shallow water for the first 100m offshore. As with most of the Meditteranean there are no tides and vitually no waves unless bad weather comes in. The beach is a fairly hard sand which means you can drive up to the water’s edge. Thanks fabdelob for the video. This area is suitable for all levels of kitesurfing.

Ste. Marguerite and Blanc-Sablons, Brest:

Ste. Marguerite, on the Brittany coast, is an excellent spot to kitesurf with reliable south west winds. This beach is suitable for all levels of kitesurfers. However, Blanc-Sablons is more for intermediates and experts when the wind is up. The waves can get up to 3m here and rocks can be a hazard. Thanks to moreimagination for the video.

La Franqui, Languedoc-Roussillon

La Franqui is one of the most popular spots to kite in the region. It is a beautiful long beach with soft sand and no rocks. There is a special kite zone as this area can be packed in the summer. If you find the off-shore Tramontane wind too much you can cross over to the lagoon side and surf in the more protected area of La Palme. It is easy to launch and land kites and is suitable for all levels of kitesurfers. Thank you sketokite for this video.

And that’s it for France. They are, of course, by no means the only kitesurfing beaches in France… just a handful of suggestions. If you go to any of them I hope you have perfect weather conditions, fabulous wind and a great time.

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