Is France Cancelling Surfing Again? - Stab Mag

Is France Cancelling Surfing Again?

An insider says maybe.

style // Dec 11, 2020
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ed note: the following is the 634th installment of our new weekly email chain called the Stab Fwd. If you’re into it, subscribe here.

This swell hijacked my mind for the past week. 

It was one of the ones that appeared on the forecasts ten days out and had the miraculous ability of not disappearing or even downgrading. As the big day approached, headlines began surfacing calling it historic, supported by the claim that it was the “biggest European October swell in recent memory.” 

The fuck does that mean? Whose recent memory, exactly, is meant to use that information as a point of reference?

Anyway, the swell-based mind-hijacking came to an end yesterday when France announced another COVID lockdown. 

Another COVID lockdown. 

The last one kept me out of the water for 60 days (aside from one foray in the dark). The thought of not being able to surf again began to haunt me more than the thought of wearing an XXM wave on the head. 

So, today was a strange day, toying in the balance of trying to get a good wave on the first big swell of the season and not knowing if you’ll be allowed to surf again for the next however many months. 

All things considered, it was one of the strangest sessions of my life. The long waits for large waves combined with the lockdown threat led me to reflect on the time we spend in the water. 

Honestly, how much time are you “surfing” while your mind is mulling over some arbitrary event in the past or contemplating an equally arbitrary prospect of the future? It probably depends on how often you surf. But, if you’re an addict, I’d bet that most of your thoughts when waiting for a wave are not dissimilar from what you might experience while sitting in traffic. And you know you’re only one burn away from going into rage mode. 

But here’s surfing’s superpower: When you do get a wave, all of that ceases to exist in such a profound way. 

That’s why I’ll miss it, if it gets banned. Nothing else comes close — and it ain’t selfish if you’re a better person to the rest of the world when you come in. 

Here’s to hoping France (and wherever you live) keeps surfing street legal in another round of Strange Times. 

Ok now scroll down for the irrelevance.

Interview: Jordy Smith Has Some Thoughts

Did you know that pro surfers think? I’ve seen enough WSL post heat interviews to believe they had no thoughts. However, Jordy Smith has some thoughts. And would you like to hear them?  

“I Got The Wave Of My Life On Kelly Slater’s Surfboard”

There have been many phases in Kelly Slater’s career. He was the hero for a while. Sometime before he was the hero, I’d imagine, he was considered a villain by an older generation. But then John John became the hero and Kelly became the older generation. With all the shakeups happening, my vision for surfing is that Kelly becomes a deity and all of his earthly objects are taken as sacred and we all wear OuterKnown loincloth and join a polyamorous sex cult. 

Drafting the Wake Of The World’s Best Surfers,With The GoPro HERO9 Black

If you ever plan on visiting the Gold Coast, this is probably the best video to watch to familiarize yourself with the area. Get used to this view, except instead of Steph Gilmore and shit it will just be like twenty dudes who look like JS but aren’t.

Is this the best beachbreak in the world? 

This (No Contest from South Straddie) was a good watch and it prompted a great question — so great that the jury is still out and/or arguing about it in the comment section. The concept of a wave being better than another wave is as subjective as surfing itself. Like, is Teahupo’o better than Pipe? Is Cloudbreak better than Desert Point? Am I only naming lefts because I’m a goofyfooter? 

Watch John John Florence Ride A Surfboard 

If I wanted to stick to the Fwd format, this would be phrased as a question. I don’t, because this shouldn’t be a question. Click. 

Do you want good JUJU? 

If so, please consult this interview with Mikey February and learn about his new charity. Automatic JUJU for reading, additional JUJU for buying a towel, maximum JUJU for making anything on a surfboard look nearly as good as M Feb makes it look.

One last thing: 

A good turn looks better in person than in video. And better in video than in photo. Can’t say the same about airs.

 Subscribe here to the Stab Fwd. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji

Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.

Oct 6, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

“I Always Had A Mega Chip On My Shoulder”

UnSound Surf's Mike Nelson and Dave Juan have been the backbone of New York surfing…

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022


You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022


Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022