Lacanau-Ocean = surf city
1968 with the creation of the Lacanau Surf Club to the first international competition in 1979 the village of Lacanau-Ocean has been renowned as one of the main surf spots of France. The 10 miles of north/south beach produces (when the tides, swell and sand banks are lined up) a classic surf zone.
The surfing zone of Lacanau-Ocean is split up into 6 main beaches, running from the north: Alexandre (you need your bike for this one), Campings (in front of the campsite Airotel de l'Océan), North (Lacanau-Ocean surf club), Central (if you want to surf in front of your car), South (further south!), and super south (southern car park) between these spots you will find some of the best waves in the Aquitaine.
The main central beach has sadly been over-taken by a car park which in its turn is surrounded by the custom built beach front with the usual number of surf shops, bistros, brasseries, bars, cafes (The Kayoc on the seafront is recommended for cocktails and sunsets) and restaurants for all tastes and styles.
Rent, borrow or beg a bike and head off north from Lacanau-Ocean on the cycle path GR8 direction Carcans plage, after a few km on the trail you will end up at the forest house of Alexandre. Hide, lock or carry your bike to the beach situated over the dune - its a bit of a hike but can be worth it.
Works from 2-8ft with most west swells and a east/ southeastern wind.
As we all know the best surf is found on the Atlantic coast during the winter months when the big swells roll in. This is not to say that the summer is barren or that the Indian summer of September and October with warm water and less crowds is not perfect.
The Campings beach ideal if you are tenting it as the peak is at the bottom of the campsite.
Situated just in front of the main Lacanau surf club (one of the biggest clubs in France) North Beach can get very busy with the surfing level in the water making it a very competitive peak. Depending on the sand banks, left and right and works from 2-8ft and best surfed on a rising mid-high tide.
From the 8ft up you will end up with some heavy closeouts.
Central beach during the summer, wow. Beautiful topless, surfboards and beach towels everywhere, longboards, retro, twins, crowded lineup, if that's what you are looking for this beach is for you.
Watch out at high tide as the beach disappears. Out of high season you can get some great morning sessions before the crowds set in with the right tide / wind / swell combination. The beach of the Lacanau Pro which is held in August each year.
Plage Sud or South Beach works like the rest of this 12km streach of Aquitaine coast from 2-8ft but over the years the peak in front of the Sud Cafe has given some serious sessions.
Get the timing right and you will have one of the best sessions possible in Lacanau.. rising mid-high tide giving both lefts and rights.
Surf Super South
Head off south following the car park road to the south of Lacanau. Keep going until the road ends, park up and walk through the trees before crossing the dune (follow a path as this dune is fragile) and check out the sandbanks (a pair of binoculars is a good idea).
These beach breaks work from 2-8ft.