Reef Free Tour by Volkswagen rolls on through France

Monday 13th July

The Reef Free Tour crew led by Manu Portet along with French surfers Arthur Bourbon and Thomas Lafonta stopped at Le Spot Surf Shop in St Palais (near Royan) to pick up five surf stoked grommets, along with Llionel the manager of the shop. The team were quick to hit the beach and on arrival were greeted by perfect two to three feet waves. After sharing a great surf session together, the kids were treated to a private autograph signing session , received loads of giveaways and all in all had a great day.

Tuesday 14th July

Next stop was the surf school Kabana on the Grand Village beach at Ile d’Oleron. Unfortunately the weather was not really on our side with heavy rain prevailing and and onshore wind wasn’t doing much to make the three to four feet waves look particularly inviting. Despite the poor conditions, Arthur Bourbon and Thomas Lafonta had a surf and the local surfers were stoked to watch them blowing up. The day was finished with a visit to Tamarindo Surf Shop and a “mini” autograph session.

Wednesday 15th July

The BCA Surf Shop was the next point of passage in Montalivet, where the day was spent with all the kids from the local surf club. The local surf spot was on the verge of saturation with the six to eight feet swell that was breaking out the back. In the morning we surfed a nice little reforming right with all the kids and cranked up the BBQ immediately after to feed the starving groms. All the kids were fed, followed by a second session on the right later that afternoon. The day was completed with another autograph signing session and all the groms left the beach with a gift of some sort – a poster, t’shirt, pair of sandals etc. The smiles on the faces of all those who had participated in the days events were testimony to a great day enjoyed by all.

Thursday 16th July

The Reef Store in Bordeaux was our next stop. Five of the stores lucky customers (including 2 Venezualians, 2 Tahitiens and one Frenchman) were amongst the chosen few to spend the day on the beach with the Reef Free Tour. The Ocean is a fair distance from Bordeaux. Given the swell / winds / tides on the day, it was decided to drive to Soulac, one hundred km’s up the coast, to get the best surf conditions possible. Upon arrival, we discovered an insane beach break with light offshore winds fanning three feet hollow peaks and hardly any other surfers out. We spent three hours in the water surfing together until everybody was exhausted and decided it was time to make the long trip back to Bordeaux. Before leaving, the fortunate five surfers each received T’s, caps, sandals, board shorts and other gifts as a reminder of their day onboard the Reef Free Tour.

Saturday 18th July

Some friends from Russia made the long trip down from Moscow to come and check out the Basque Coast. After a visit of the region including Bayonne, Anglet and Biarritz, they were frothing to try surfing for the first time and the Reef Free Tour took them to Hendaye for their initiation. There were perfect waves for beginners and under the experienced supervision of Manu Portet, they all managed to get to their feet and experience the rush of riding their very first wave. After two hours, they were having such a good time, Manu had difficulty to get the surf stoked Russians out of the water! Tired but happy, another great day enjoyed by all.

Wednesay 22nd July

After a few days break to recharge the batteries, the Reef Free Tour crew rolled into Biarritz. First stop was More & Less Surf shop, where six surfers were thrown in the back of the van with Arthur Bourbon and taken directly to Anglet. Cavailers was the chosen spot with perfect three to four feet peaks on offer. The crew wasted no time getting out there and surfed for three straight hours. Tim Boal was in the water preparing for the next dream tour event and not surprisingly, scored all the best set waves! After a quick snack at Sable d’Or, gifts were distributed to all before they were dropped back at the shop – tired but stoked none the less after a great days surfing.

The Reef Free Tour is currently still in France for most of this week. The swell charts are looking good for some action in the South West over the next few days, so keep your eyes open and don’t be surprised if you see the van between Guethary and Hossegor all this week.

Next week the Reef Free Tour heads back to the UK, where it will be in Newquay from the 4th – 9th of August for the Relentless Boardmasters in association with Vans. Be sure to come down to the North Fistral carpark and say hello, there will be loads of prizes to be won so don’t miss out.

There is loads of new content recently posted on the event website. Check out the Reef videos “free to experiment” & “free to run with the bulls”, along with slideshows from all the tour stops over the past month. There are also plenty of new entries from people hoping to win the van, with some great videos posted including “Motorbike Surf Trip” and “Story of Freedom.” You could win the Reef FREE Tour van (Volkswagen California Beach) at the end of this summer – simply upload a video showing what being free means to you on our website and you’ll be in the running to let Reef offer you the chance to be FREE. Check out “about” and “how to play” for more details. Good luck.


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