"It's been so rare to have all of France's best surfers all here for the whole summer," QS shredder Andy Criere told the WSL. "Last week I surfed a fun right bank with Jeremy Flores, Leo Fioravanti, Joan Duru, Maxime Huscenot, Marc Lacomare and another half dozen local QS rippers. The standard of surfing was insane!"
The south-west of France has endured a month-long run of swells and hot weather that has many locals captioning their Instagram posts with #EndlessSummer.
Usually, by mid-September, France starts to expect Fall conditions. Cold mornings require full suits and the forerunners to the massive winter storms start to build in the North Atlantic.
Not this year though. Locals have had a months of waking up to dry and hot offshore winds, with temperatures often reaching 100 °F by mid morning. And instead of the long-period swells rattling into the hard-packed sandbanks at La Graviere, consistent, shorter period lines have been roping endlessly down Hossegor's famed rip-bowl banks.
When asked to describe the recent conditions, Capbreton-based part-time WSL Commentator and surf scribe Paul Evans became animated.
"Swells of all shapes and sizes hit the SW coast between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox this year," Evans panted. "Girls, boys, silverfox legends, pro rippers, surf school lycra sausages, determined intermediates and everything between swung their arms at the incoming swells. Pungent stoke hung over the lineups in a cloud, something between an aura and an aroma; like the intoxicating siren of fresh Viennoiseries emitting from a daybreak patisserie."
"We've been surfing in boardshorts which is unheard of," continued Criere, more to the point. "The banks up in the forest have been great, and down in Anglet too. It's been the same, day after day."
The monotony, if you can call surfing perfect, head-high beachbreaks under cloudless blue skies monotonous, has been broken by two stronger swells. We covered one of those summer swell events in August, where the banks of La Graviere and Les Culs Nuls offered up their trademark sand crunching barrels to paddle and tow surfers alike.
Another solid swell also hit in time for the weekend just passed. For a few hours each day around the right rides the famous French shorebreaks offered up their trademark mix of random perfection. As usual local standouts like Mikey Picon, Jeremy Flores and Joan Duru were on hand to make the most of the conditions.
However at the time of writing the Endless Summer showed no sign of ending. With the rest of Europe's best surfers currently travelling to Anglet to compete in the speciality event French Rendez-Vous of Surfing, that's no bad thing.
"We've a long period swell coming our way that might provide some solid surf," forecasts Criere, who is an alternate for the event, "but then we are back to consistent surf, great weather and offshore winds. We should score some great waves for our first return to competitive surfing."