Gale Force Glides: Watch the Extreme “50 Knot Downwinder” in France
Think you scored a good downwinder recently? Your local run has nothing on France, where a few determined paddlers recently braved the frigid winter waters to score a 50 knot downwinder (and with a slick camera crew recording the whole thing).
To put “50 knot downwinder” into perspective: Most good downwind runs in Hawaii and Australia rely on about 25-30 knots, while the crew in Cape Town are known to push 40 knots on extreme days. But 50… that’s almost unheard of.
On a more traditional scale: 50 knots equates to a Beaufort level of 10; The Beaufort scale only goes up to 12, and the only levels above a 10 are violent storm and hurricane force.
Goes to show what those in Europe have known for years: France is one of the most under-rated downwind locations in the world.
I actually met up with this trio at the Paris Crossing last week, where the brothers competed against the likes of Titouan Puyo and Casper Steinfath in the main event, while Nicolas paddled his crazy big 21 ft. transatlantic board in the open race.
Nicolas will set off in late January or early February from Cape Verde (off the west coast of Africa) for the first ever crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on a SUP. He’s hoping it’ll “only” take 60-70 days to reach the Caribbean. Oh and he’s doing it completely unsupported…