Monthly Archives: May 2012

South Western France

Bonjour girls, wish you were here!

My journey was from Basel, Switzerland, where my aunt and cousin Julian live. It was high time my 19 year old cousin learn to surf. I had been talking about it since he was 8. His mother was weary to send him to California because “You can check in any time you like but you can never leave.“ Since I was visiting, I thought Pays Basque month of September, you can’t go wrong really.

First we stayed a couple of nights in Paris my post grad stomping ground. One night in Biarritz to see the Cité de l’Ocean museum. Only the waves were so captivating we ended up watching surfers in real life instead of in photos or film at the museum.

The train pulled into the St. Vincent de Tyrosse station where we were greeted by Sebastien and the Natural Surf Lodge

van (10% discount if you arrive via train). We were delighted. This is a cozy, green, eco-friendly, low carbon footprint lodge & spa. Julian and I shared a quaint and super clean room. There were guests from Paris, other parts of France, Canada, US, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands.

Up and out for a surf first thing in the AM. The forecast was for 2-3 meter waves meaning 9-12’. Wet suits and boards are provided, off we went in the hands of the owners Cliare and Stéphan. Both experienced and knowledgeable surfers. They had a beginners and int./advanced group.

Yoga, and massages are offered after surfing. Some of the guests had their own cars so we’d explore the Spanish boarder or small towns Hossegor and Siegnosse.

The waves the first day were large. So big 3 meters, we ended up surfing inside a port, a beautiful port called St. John de Luz. That’s where I rode a brand new board, made and imported from Hawaii and promptly broke it after a dismount in a shallow rocky area. Bummer!

The next five day we had a blast many languages spoken, fun meals, gorgeous full moon. Did I mention they have a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and tree house where they give massages? This was my first ever surf camp, I loved it and had a blast!

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Summer Staples for the Surfer Girl

 

Summer time is here! Here’s what we rely on for surf days.

Rebecca’s Surf Essentials

  • Sunscreen: Loving Naturals SPF 30
  • SPF Lip Product: Burt’s Bees with SPF
  • Bathing Suit: Target swim suits
  • Wetsuit: Rip Curl Bomb 4/3 (until it gets really warm!)
  • After-Surfing Outfit: T-shirt, shorts, and Rainbow flip-flops
  • Sunglasses: “Peony” style from Coach
  • Other Necessities: Ponytail holder, Sticky Bumps Surf Wax, hair brush

Annie’s Surf Essentials

  • Sunscreen: Lovea 50 UVA/UVB (without paragons) from France
  • SPF Lip Product: Tropical Sands SPF 30
  • Bathing Suit: Roxy
  • Wetsuit: O’Neil 3/2 with sealed seems (or shorty if it’s 66+)
  • After-Surfing Outfit: Sundress
  • Other Necessities: Big straw hat (Army Surplus), ponytail holder

Stef’s Surf Essentials

  • Sunscreen: Badger Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 and Face Stick SPF 35
  • SPF Lip Product: Jane Iredale PureMoist LipColour in Lily  SPF 18
  • Bathing Suit: J. Crew bikini separates
  • Wetsuit: Rip Curl 3/2 (Rip Curl board shorts and Roxy rash guard when it’s exceptionally warm)
  • Sunglasses: “Green Tea” style by Filtrate
  • After-Surfing Outfit: Levi’s cut-offs and a Phelgye cotton tunic or a cotton dress, and Kino sandals
  • Other necessities: Reusable glass water bottle, baseball cap or large-brimmed hat, ponytail holder

(Illustrations by Catherine Baumhauer)

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Good Footing: Eco-Friendly Flip-Flops

We live in flip-flops during the summer months and were excited to see that Ecouterre has a roundup of 10 flip-flops made with Mother Earth in mind. Some styles are made with natural rubber, others with sustainable fibers or recycled (and recyclable) materials by green companies like Patagonia that care about protecting the planet. Heck, reducing your carbon footprint with eco-conscious footwear is a snap. And how cute is this purple flippie?

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Made in the Shades: New Filtrate Sunglasses

I love my sunny California days, and have learned to never walk out in the sunshine without a good pair of shades. Just like your skin, you want to protect your eyes from dangerous ultraviolet rays. On a recent visit to the eye doctor, she showed me a close-up image of my eyes on a screen and pointed out the sun spots. Scary to see, but you can easily protect your eyes by wearing good sunglasses outdoors. Yes, good sunglasses; if you pay five bucks for a pair of shades, you’re probably not getting UV protection. Recently, I found myself squinting — even with sunglasses on — and learned I’m especially sensitive to glare. For me,  polarized lenses are best for the way they block light waves.

Best source for shades: surf shops, where they stock sunglasses that are good enough for bright and glare-heavy sandy beaches, snowy slopes, and concrete skate parks. I got my new pair at my local surf shop, ZJ Boardinghouse, and instantly zeroed on this style by Filtrate, the Green Tea Polarized pair. Full coverage — and they’re glam. I love ’em.

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