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15-12-10 // Road trip on the East Coast & PKRA

When I arrived in Sydney two weeks ago I joined Aidan from Windgenuity, the Australian Naish dealer, Chris Sal from Kite Republic and Ewan Jaspan, young local rider from Melbourne who were coming up from the Mambo Classic in Merimbula.

The next day was already the time to go on the water for a SUP session at Collaroy Beach, North Sydney (see map). The surf was a bit small but clean though. Just enough to try the new Hokua 8'5 which is absolutely amazing as the perfect combination between SUP and short board performances; quick positionning on the wave plus fast turning. At night we went for a ride in the city, checked out the Opera House and walked through the Sydney Harbour Bridge, that was astonishing.
Next morning Jalou join us from SA and we hit the road to the North along the Pacific Highway. The van was fully packed with gear. The weather was very stormy and we mainly drove under rain squalls. Our first night we spent it at Bulahdelah (see map), hoping to get some action the next day as the forecast did so.
And it finally happened. We caught an epic 12m session at the flat water lagoon of Old Bar (see map). It was really nice to share such a decent session with mates specially when you have a whole spot for yourself as there were only us on the water. After we had packed our kites, we hit the road a bit futher North and spend the night in Coffs Harbour (see map).
Next morning was again stormy deluge as we kept driving during the morning until we found some light and waves at Lennox Heads (see map). Jalou, Chris and I went for a surf and met with some very steep and punchy waves. Nevertheless it was so much fun to go out there and get worked out! You feel just washed after getting pounded take offs.
Before finishing the trip on the Gold Coast, we went visiting Byron cape (see map) which is the Easterly point of Australia. The view was amazing and the whole environment including the moist atmosphere, the ripped sky and the swell slowly coming in made the atmosphere really chilled out !

By the night as Aidan just booked a nice appartement 200m from the comp, we made our way to the Gold Coast and the last stop of the PKRA.

We were really unlucky with the conditions during the week of the event. We had rain almost every single day and wind was either light or no. Sometimes some gusts were coming in to the shore pushed by a storm and as soon as the race director had the flags went up, the deluge usually started and the wind died...
Finally by the end of the week we had a nice sunny and windy day. It was good for 14 or 12m and conditions were relevant with some kicker on the way out. I had a tough first heat against Marc Jacobs from New Zealand. I knew he is a really good rider so needed to go full power. I had few wipeouts during my heat and couldn't make it through. I was really disappointed as I couldn't perform my level during the 7 minutes. The organisation wasn't able to run a double elimination due to the lack of wind and had to stop the waves in the third round in which I was up against Sky Solbach USA. The last night we had a sweet party in the ball room of the Gold Coast International Hotel. Everyone was well classed suited and it was loads of fun !
Congrat to Tom Hebert, New Caledonia, for winning the event !

Watch the Photo Gallery of the Trip and the Comp

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29-11-10 // Driving around Perth

Last week was stunning here in Perth. My friend and photographer Richard Boudia joined me and we went on a trip on the west coast.

We had couple of good sessions in Woodies and down to Safety Bay (see map) with decent wind and flat water conditions. I had particularly a sweet 16m line sesh in Safety which ended up with pretty nice shots.

We went on Rottnest Island (see map) for a day and it was awesome. We took the first ferry early in the morning, then packed our surf boards and kites on the boat and after a 30 min cruise we were already on the island. Afterwards, we jumped on the basic bus and after a nice scenic drive along the south coast of the Island we stopped to a surf spot called Strickland. The surf was going off; about head high, pretty clean and uncrowded peak. We even met a pod of dolfins, which got close of about 1-2 meters from us, it was amazing. As the wind was picking, we hitched a ride on the bus again and hit to the North shore at a place called Stark Bay. The wind was coming side off shore and was a bit gusty close to the shore but the lagoon was absolutely wonderful, changing from green to blue. I had a quick wave session as the swell was way smaller then the South side and pretty shallow but still all right. We ended up the day riding around the island and checking out the Quokkas, an andemic animal of Rottnest mixed between a rat and a wallaby. They have a long tail but a nice face with a tiny snout which make them really funny. They are native of the Island and you actually only find them there. They are not afraid of humans and you can easily approach them. They give the name of the place as when the first explorer found them, they first called the Island Ratnest because they thought they were rats, finally the name came to Rottnest with the time.

On the week end we hit the road down south toward Margaret River. On the way we stopped for a kite session on a spot called the Estuary not far from Wannaup. The sun was coming down and a smooth and constant wind was blowing perfect for 12m. The water was completely flat as a result of the shallow bottom was filled up with sea weeds. The next days we had two really nice surf session. The first one at Lefthander close to Grace Town (see map) where we met again with dolfins. The second one at the Main Break in Margaret River where we also saw wales swimming through the spot out of the shore.

Between all those epic kiting/surfing sessions and wild animals meetings, the last few days in WA have just been outstanding.
Tomorrow I have to fly to the Sydney to meet up with the Naish crew for a road trip through the East Coast till the Gold Coast and the PKRA. Keep tuned !


Watch the Photo Gallery of the Trip.

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27-10-10 // A domestic flight in Greece

Meanwhile I am still in Australia, I just received an email from CHS production which told me the edit of the Greece cliff jump was done. I've done it back in June during a sailing boat trip in the Cyclades islands. The conditions were perfect for a domestic flight from the rock to the sea.
Please fasten your seat belt and make sure your seat back is in the full upright position.
Thanks you for cooperation and watching.




10-10-10 // Boracay video update

I just got the link of the Boracay video I shot with Mallory Delavillemarqué this winter. It performed the edit which came out really nice. Basically you will find Philippines lifestyle, wonderful scenery and sick action. Big thanks to Mallo who did a great job.
Hope you will enjoy it.




10-10 // Australia, Perth - Here I am

Goo 'day mate ! This how they say Hi, here in Australia where I landed a few weeks ago and will stay until mid of January.
Basically, I am here for learning English at UWA (University of Western Australia), training and traveling. The final of the PKRA World Cup will be going on at the East Coast so I may go there too. Since I arrived in Perth, I've loved this place. First of all kiting conditions are absolutely amazing. I didn't try so much spots yet, but I went to this place called Woodman Point (South of Perth) alias Woodies and it was one of the best spot I've ever rode in my entire life, and I've rode quite a lot of different places so let me tell you this place is really worth ! People are super friendly, the city is great and the ambiance is awesome. I've found a really nice place to stay close to the beach and I bought a pretty local Australian car, an Holden Commodore V6 3.8L. There are so many things to see here, I can wait to go on a trip. I've heard about a place, Marget River where the best surf of Australia is going on...

I will let you know how it goes but it sounds EPIC !

Photo : Paul Smyth, http://paulskitesurfingpictures.com - Thanks to him. (click on the photo to see the sequence)




09-10 // Secret spot session, a day of work

Conditions at home have been pretty epic the last month. The weather still nice and warm and we get a good average of 4 day's wind a week.
One day, I and Hugo, photographer of the Kitesurf French magazine, had a little road trip around a big lake which had never been rode before to try to find a new spot and we did ! I knew that this place had really good possibilities of spot as I had checked few times on google earth and saw it was looking great. Conditions were decent with flat water and uncrowded place even though the bottom was pretty muddy but fun. Although the Police quickly came by to advise us that kiting was forbidden there, they were cool and let us finish the session.
Me and my friends, we are used to talk about this lake and the fact that it's rideable for sure. Then, it was funny that I finally did.


Check out the pictures here : day of work at a secret spot.







07-10 // Brittany - Road Trip

It started at Guissény, a very small village located up North Brest in the Brittany country. There I met Mallory de la Villemarqué, Thomas Paris and the rest of Children of the Revolution crew alias COR. Initiated by Thomas, this project aims for promoting the French kite scene. It is composed of young riders between 15 and 25. The spirit is about our brotherhood. Tripping around all together, having adventures and fun everywhere, anywhere. It is produced in association with Stance magazine. It’ll came out through episode and look forward to get the sickest shot of new school freestyle, intense wave riding and hardcore obstacles. Unfortunately we didn’t get too much wind for the first episode but just slightly enough to try the slider and the crane shot which look unreal! Next episode in Fuerte… 

After few days we hit the road down south to Quiberon. The swell forecast was epic and it is exactly what we get. We had maybe the most beautiful surf we can get in France.
There I hooked up with Richard Boudia, the Soöruz team manager.
As the swell was getting stronger and stronger we decided to spend few days at Ile aux Vaches which is a very famous surf spot. On the way I stopped at the French Naish Office and grab a SUP. The next two days were just about glassy head high reef break.
Then we just basically drove southern the west coast and stopped either for a kite or surf session. We got nice kiting condition in Saint Brevin with a really decent thermal wind, 10m and flat water behind a sand bar. Finally our road ended up in La Rochelle at Soöruz’s office. We got lucky with the wind and had an awesome last session at Ile de Ré with side shore wind and perfect kickers.

Check out the maps to see our trip.
Otherwise you can find here some action shots from the session on Ile de Ré : Ile de Ré gallery.


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06-10 // OMFC, Marseille

Basically, the Orange Massilia Freestyle Cup is an invitational event organised by Mouss Brothers (pro windsurfer) in Marseille. The spirit is about pool together a bunch of 5 riders, this year was Sam Light, Mallory de la Villemarqué, Jérémie Tronet and Jalou Langeree, and give a sick show on Prado cost. I definitely like this kind of format, no stress, chill out ambiance and people who are keen on watching extreme action.
The judging was done between windsurfers and kiters. So we had been judged by windsurfers and then we judged them, which was pretty funny.
Conditions through the week were just on!! We had smooth 12m day, perfect for freestyle and stormy mistral blowing to 40 knots on the last day for huge loops.
Every night was the time for the Music Festival to switch on the beach and we had crazy nights.

Can’t wait next year event.
More info : http://www.omfc.fr/

Stay tuned.





06-10 // Cyclades Islands, Greece

I went to Greece in the Cyclades Islands with a bunch of friends. We went on a cruise aboard a sailing boat for a week. I had never done that before and it was unbelievable. The boat was about 40 feet long and the goal was to sleep every night in a different cove. So we basically just sailed according to the wind and it was fantastic.

I had a really good session in the Small Cyclades, on a spot which hadn’t been rode so far. It was just me and my friends with epic conditions: clear water, board short and flat. After the session I found a big cliff with the perfect wind orientation so why not a 20m jump into space. And it’s exactly what I did; just grabbed my 12m Torch put my boards on the top of the rock and got this few seconds flight to the water. I could shot the jump on video so I’ll try to edit a short clip so you could see how it looks.

Here is also a gallery with action and sailing : cyclades gallery.











03-10 // Boracay Island, Philippines

After only one night at home, I jumped again in a plane. This time I went toward Asia, in the Philippines.

The Philippines archipelago is located 1000 km South-East of the Asian continent. It is composed of 7000 islands of which only 2000 are inhabited. More than 2500 islands don’t even have a name, and I went on one of the smallest one’s. Let me tell you that the length of the trip is nothing to compare of the size of the island. From Europe, take a plain to Manila, Philippines’ Capital, then take a taxi to change airport, board in a propeller plane to Panay Island, then take a tricycle to the port then a boat that you don’t even know how it floats, then an other tricycle and you are finally arrived on Boracay !
It’s a pretty long trip but it’s forgotten as soon as you put one foot on this absolutely wonderful island. The landscape and kite conditions make you realise straight away that the trip was worth.

Kiting conditions are just awesome. The main kite spot, called Bulabog Beach, is composed by few different bays protected by a long reef. The major wind comes onshore and it is super steady. When low tide, the spot gets flat and with a smooth wind you get epic sessions. The wind can blow from 15 to 25 knots. During my stay it wasn’t too strong so we usually rode 12 or 14m but it was good though.

There I hooked up with Mallory and Hugo photographer and owner of the French Magazine Kitesurf Mag’. Susi also joined us for few days and we could shot different places around. Basically we cruised around the island on tricycle and found amazing places; uncrowded spot, flat water and incredible colour. The shots we get are insane and it will pull out a sick trip that you could see in the magazine.   

After the trip I joined a pretty cool event as a stop of the KTA (Kite Tour Asia). The ambiance and spirit were really nice, like really different of the world tour and it was great to see something different. Those guys are definitely motivated to mix riding, lifestyle and parties which are the perfect combination! I could manage to pull out some good tricks and ended up 3rd.

Boracay is obviously a really cool chill out place. There are few nice things you should do if you hit this rock so here is a list of what you can do there:

  • Climb Luho Mount and check out the view. On the way meet monkeys, koalas, parrot.
  • Have a Pina Colada at White Beach and look at the sunset diving into the ocean
  • Go to the fish market and choose between the tastiest fresh fish
  • Have a proper relaxing Asian massage
  • Have drinks for the whole night at the beach parties of White Beach…

Here is a link of a gallery with some action and lifestyle : boracay gallery.
Check out your magazines for more.

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Photos: Loic de Collasson
Damien Francis, www.bluebayouboracay.com 







02-10 // South Africa, Cape Town - Stance Trip

I flew to South Africa to take part to a Stance video shoot.

We have not been too lucky with the wind after which we ran for 15 days over 2000 km around Cape Town.

In Freestyle we had a great session at Langebaan (check map below) which is located up north to Table View. The spot is a kind of big lagoon with blue and flat water. The wind was blowing off-shore at around 20 knots with nice kickers so it was pretty epic.

As the wind was used to pick up a little bit at the end of the day we also had some sessions at the famous beach of Big Bay.

About wave ridding, our best session took place at Scarborough which is very close to the Cape of Good hope. The wind was coming side side-off from the right and blowind around 30 knots. Waves were about 2m height but pretty deep and powerful. Scarborough is a fishman village built at the top of a cliff and such a lovely place to chill out. The atmosphere is so cool and quiet so if you pass by you should obviously have a breakfast in front of the ocean, it's really awesome.

On the way back to Table View we visited the National Reserve of the Cape of Good Hope. We very closely approached monkeys, ostriches and antelopes so that was good fun.
It was also a pretty weird feeling to know that we were at the southernmost place in Africa.

I also had a sick SUP sun set session in Table View at the Ship Wreck Beach. The waves were tight and super long, and I almost surfed with a seal which was slowly swimming at the pick.

During the trip we could also enjoy some insane parties around Cape Town.

Here are some photos I joined to south africa gallery

Check out the next Stance DVD in which you will find a complete report about every spot around 2 hours driving from Table View and sick action on the water and in the bars.







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