Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding with a surf champion
Destination the Pink Granite Coast, with Alexis
Discover the pleasure of gliding on the water, along the Côte de Granit Rose (Pink Granite coast), in the company of a surf champion – does it sound like a dream? Well actually, this is one dream that can come true! And you don't have be a water-sports expert to take part: anyone can try their hand at Stand Up Paddle boarding (or SUP for short). What's more, with Alexis Deniel as your coach, it really is child's play. So, are you ready to have a go?
We meet up with Alexis Deniel on Trestraou beach in Perros-Guirec. French Champion of Long Board in 2010 and European Champion, in 2014, Alexis is what you might call a board sports fanatic. It would be hard to find a better instructor. At his surf school, wetsuits in all sizes await us. Once we've slipped into our suits, it's time to grab a board and a paddle and head for the beach.
Destination Roch Stur
6 of us are trying out the sport today: Didier, Clément, Sylvie, Thomas, Maël and myself. Down at the water’s edge, Alexis shows us how to hold our paddle, where to position our feet on the board, etc. It only takes a few minutes and in no time at all we are in the water, well, on our paddle boards actually. Any apprehensions we may have had quickly disappear. The enormous surf board is incredibly stable. You don't need to learn complicated techniques or endure endless falls before feeling you've got the hang of it. After just two minutes, we start to stand up tall, look at the scenery and feel FREE! Standing up on our boards, we admire the beaches on one side and the islands on the other. In fact, we're heading for one of those very islands. Alexis knows every inch of the coast here - coves, little islets...all we have to do is follow our guide.
On the water in Ploumanac'h... unforgettable
How strange it feels, almost like walking on the water. From our paddle boards, we have a breathtaking view of the ocean floor. The water is clear and we can make out the ripples in the sand below - it's absolutely fantastic! Alexis tells us that before opening up the club up at around 9am, they often take a trip down the coast towards Ploumanac'h. "We may be here all year round, but we are still taken aback by the beautiful scenery ". When taking part in competitions, Alexis has visited some of the most beautiful beaches of the Pacific ocean. Nevertheless, when I ask him which is his favourite spot, he immediately replies "Ploumanac’h", known as "Ploum" to the locals. So, no need to be jealous of Hawaii then! The late afternoon sun is reflected on the surface of the water, further out 'Les Sept Iles' (the Seven Isles) seem to float on the sea, and the salty sea-air fills our lungs: pure, unadulterated happiness.
We’ve all found our own rhythm by now, gliding around back and forth and round and round – we might not be following all the rules but we feel much more confident and know we can safely try things out. SUP is first and foremost about having fun. Upright trekking on water, accompanied by champion Alexis: not an everyday occurrence and definitely worth trying !