Gallery: France Ablaze for Best Session of the Winter

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 17d ago

The best run of wintry swell has just rifled into France, setting off that golden stretch of coastline for a bonafide barrel fest.

It has been a tough winter for the French coastline so far. Sure, there's been the odd good day but otherwise the colder months have been marred with inconsistent conditions.

© 2018 - Damian Davila

Making the trip from Belgium, and capturing a few of what you see below, was lensman Damian Davila, along with Dutch riper Roy van Eijk.

Last Friday night I got a text from Roy saying “Hey Damian it looks like it's gonna be pumping in France we should go!”, he tells MSW.

© 2018 - Damian Davila

“I went to check the charts and yep, indeed the forecast was looking incredible for three days straight from Sunday to Tuesday and it was worth it to make the drive.

“So Saturday morning I woke up and started preparing my gear because Roy was going to pick me up and make the 12-14 hr drive.

“We got there around 3am and slept like four hours, got up, grabbed a coffee and drove 15min to La Graviere, where all the magic happens.

© 2018 - Damian Davila

"We parked up and saw lines on the horizon, so we ran down the sand dunes and see these really sick barrels, we immediately got our gear together and went out to score.

Damian added: “Locals said they had some good surf last Wednesday, but this weekend was the best of the winter so far, saying it was the first sick three-days straight of epic surf of 2018. Lineup was crowed and everyone was so stoked and riding those 2-3 metre barrels. You could see big smiles and everyone being so chill.”

© 2018 - Damian Davila

Tragically, on Tuesday thoughts turned to Quiksilver CEO Pierre Agnes. His boat had washed up just down from la Grav at Culs Nus. Pierre was not aboard, sparking a huge rescue effort, which has since been stood down. “Lots of local people were showing up and asking where the boat was,” said Damian. “We just pointed at the direction we thought it was.

“We didn’t know what happened, or what was happening, even some ladies in their 50s showed up looking for the wreck. When people spoke to them in French, they started to cry we could tell something definitely was wrong.

Roy, claiming shelter in a throaty la Grav tunnel.

Roy, claiming shelter in a throaty la Grav tunnel.

© 2018 - Damian Davila

Then a few helicopters appeared and were flying all day above the ocean like they were looking for something.

“My thoughts and prayers for still with Pierre and his loved ones, I hope they find him.”

© 2018 - Damian Davila

© 2018 - Dan Hunter

© 2018 - Damian Davila

© 2018 - Damian Davila