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The minimum recommended age is 14 years

Lacanau

Lacanau

Gironde - Aquitaine , France

Surf, Bodyboard

Lacanau is a beautiful place in the Gironde department of France’s Aquitaine region which borders the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest of the country. The region is known worldwide for its beaches which have the best barrelling beach breaks in Europe. You’ll find beaches in Lacanau and right down the coast until its sister beaches in Hossegor, 200 kilometres south in Landes, a region which together with Biarritz is one of Europe’s pioneering surf spots. Its beaches were the first to host international events like the legendary WCT Lacanau Pro, events which brought names like Tom Curren and Kelly Slater.

Lacanau is an hours drive away from Burdeos, one of the three most important cities in France. Lacanau’s centre is located on the shores of the lake, however, fifteen minutes from there is a beach area called Lacanau Ocean. In the summer Lacanau Ocean is one of the liveliest places in France and you’ll find all types of place to stay overnight, such as campsites and surf camps. It’s the nearest place and thus preferred by many Parisians and northern Europeans that want to experience world class waves. It’s easy to get there as Mérignac Airport in Burdeos is just 50 kilometres away and from there you can take the bus, line 702, but it’s recommendable to rent a car so that you can explore the other spots in the area and search for the best conditions. It’s also recommended to use the services of the many schools and surf camps that operate there to get some local knowledge.

There are plenty of good reasons to go to Lacanau, among those is that there are always many peaks, especially out of the summer season when it is very busy, but even in the summer it’s possible to find solitary peaks by walking a little further. The main peaks are around Lacanau Ocean, the Centrale being the busiest and as its name suggests, the centre of surf in the Burdeos area. The main points from north to south are as follows; the Nord, the Centrale, the Sud, the Plage de Dja, the Super Sud, and the more isolated Plage du Lion. All are located along the 14 kilometres of long beaches and are easily accessible from the adjoining paths. Lacanau is an impressive destination which apart from the good waves, has a lot of atmosphere and entertainment and is one of the most authentic places in France, a place with strong traditions and history, rich gastronomy of which you mustn’t forget the shellfish, especially the oysters, and of course, savour the fine wines.

lacanau-france

Conditions

Lacanau is a consistent area and has practically the same dynamic and quality as the beaches further south in Hossegor, Capbreton and Anglet. Bearing in mind the cold winter temperatures, the best time to go is in the summer and above all autumn, when the high pressures prevail over the Bay of Biscay favouring E offshore winds in the morning and light onshore winds at about 11 am. The water temperature is much warmer, the winter storms stop and the banks are at their best quality of the whole year. Normally, although it depends on the formation of the banks, you’ll get the best waves and barrels with low and mid tide.

It’s important to know that the tidal coefficients are very high, with a full moon the tide can oscillate to up to six metres, making the peaks and conditions change radically like in few other places in the world. It’s somewhere that can be without waves one moment and in little time there can be a fun and isolated peak. To have good conditions you’ll need a medium W – NW swell, with big swells there are no opportunities as the waves don’t hold more than 3 metres. As with all of Landes, the wind always blows at midday, although for some reason if it’s not too strong in Lacanau, even though it’s onshore, the waves are fun.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
    Beachbreak
  • Wind
    E
  • Tide
    Low - Medium
  • Swell
    W - NW
  • Bottom
    Sand
  • Size
    1 to 8 ft
  • Time of year
    All year round
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