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Barrel On The Dordogne Courtesy Fabrice Colas And Phillipe Garrigues
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Photo Courtesy Sylvain Cazenave


Below is an extract and pics from an article in the Spring 2000 issue of the Surfer's Journal (Vol 9,#1). As well as demonstrating the breadth of this popular wave, local pioneer Christophe Konya is shown surfing one of the mightiest bore-boards in history, his 15 footer!!

Photo Courtesy Sylvain Cazenave

'...Surfing the bore is as exciting as Mundaka. Surfers do not hesitate to cover more than 250km from Biarritz to ride one wave! Surfing St Pardon is a true ceremony. One hour before low tide surf cars begin arriving everywhere. It's all about finding the right spot on the river...'

'...On the river there is not much else to do other than wait, struggling against the outoing flux. The fall light adds beauty to the scenery of the Dordogne and its countless trees. Suddenly a tremendous row invades the river. The Mascaret comes in. The wave actually breaks here and there, then falls into deep water, then breaks again...'

'...Once on the wave, that unique feeling of surfing the river for several hundred yards is unrivaled. As the locals gain years of knowledge from chasing it, they get the longest rides. Some of them have never ridden an ocean wave, but gather quivers of tanker look-alike surfboards for the sake of that one wave in September. This year, Christophe Konya and his mate Garrigues (Philippe) rode a wave for more than 10 minutes...'

'...Last but not least, a good session in St Pardon always ends up around a table at the local restaurant, a great bottle of Bordeaux in hand for less than 10 bucks! Obviously the wave is in everybody's mouths for hours, whether you missed it or not.'

By Gibus De Soultrait, Translated By David Bianic
Surfers Journal, Volume 9, #1