Winter 2018 was proper. She came in the form of brutal wind blasts, days -- nay -- weeks of icy downpours, but also, mercifully, thick Atlantic swells pounding the coast.
Often, it was about about finding those sheltered nooks and crannies handling the raucous wave train beef.
Equipment for the all-season surfer of course, is paramount. And for all the rubber required to guard against the elements out in the lineup, you also need to get to there.
And that can mean going the extra mile, getting off the beaten path, taking a chance to see what's hiding down a muddy trail, beyond those trees, under that cliff.
That's exactly what Vans team riders Maud le Car and Ainara Aymat set about doing one grey, icy day this February in Iparralde - the French Basque Country.
Turns out Vans' latest UltraRange shoe -- Vans' most versatile shoe to date -- had both the comfort and the traction needed to deal with anything and everything the most rugged of trails would throw at them.
"off the beaten path, taking a chance to see what's hiding down a muddy trail, beyond those trees, under that cliff"
Now in its third season, in 2018 Vans' UltraRange combines bold new colorways with all the features and spec required to make the 'go anywhere' aspiration a reality on your spring surf adventures.
In terms of comfort, Vans Luxliner internal sock fit construction is second to none. A durable mesh upper gives breathability in any situation, while the UltraRange's signature co-molded midsole blends UltraCush™ Lite foam cushioning with Vans’ original waffle rubber compound. Whether rock-hopping low tide boulders, negotiating deep forest terrain or merely just pounding the 'crete in an urban setting, ride comfort is at a premium.
But if comfort is luxury, grip is an essential, and something the UltraRange delivers whatever the terrain. A reverse waffle lug sole offers increased traction and all the durability your adventures demand.
"Whether rock-hopping low tide boulders, negotiating deep forest terrain or merely just pounding the 'crete in an urban setting, ride comfort is at a premium"
Just days after we tested the Vans UltraRange, warmer weather hit SW France giving promise of a long, surf-blessed spring.
After training in heavy winter swells in SW France, Maud headed off to Australia to compete in the opening events of the pro season, while Ainara is currently in Bali scoring early dry season swells.
- Featured Shoe: UltraRange RapidWeld
- Price: €100 / £75
- Surfers: Maud le Car & Ainara Aymat
- Tested: 10/02/18
- Location: Somewhere in the Basque Country