Surfing in Biarritz: the Good, the Bad, and the Salty

Before this summer I had never surfed a day in my life but, when in Biarritz, you must do as the surfer bros do. During my first few days in Biarritz, I sat on the golden beaches just watching the young people take their boards and hit the waves. They make it look so incredibly easy and although I have never surfed a day in my life, or even successfully used a skateboard, I decided to book a lesson.

Jessica Moore | Lets Go

Unfortunately, the day of my lesson Biarritz experienced torrential downpours. I woke up bright and early that day, and was disappointed to think my lesson would be canceled. I messaged the instructor, who instead informed me that “It’s fine, you can’t feel the rain underwater.” I was shocked, and very nervous. I couldn’t surf in the first place, how was I going to learn in the pouring rain? I considered canceling, but decided I’d tough it out. I trudged through the wind and rain to get to the Côte de Basque that morning, and as I was changing into a wetsuit in the back of the white van my instructor used, I seriously began to question my choices.

Thankfully, once we got down to the water, the experience blew me away (and washed me away). The seas felt nice and warm, and my instructor, Laurent, was hilarious. He used classic phrases like “Yeah baby,” “Let’s Go!” and “Allllright!” but something about the surfer bro dialect mixed with a French accent made the encouragement really magical. Surprisingly, I wasn’t all that terrible at surfing either. And even though my lesson was basically something a seven year old would take, I left feeling super proud that I had gone out, faced my fears, and tried something totally new.

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