“It all started five years ago when some dude from France posted photos from the Malmö Ultra Bowl contest… One of the photos was also of me and since then I meet Fred every year and he invites me to come to France. As I was only in a few places in France in all the years, the time had come! And I’m still fully stoked – so read on…”
Words by Wolfgang Toth
Photos by Fred Ferand (except where noted)
“Axel, Dietsches and me started Wednesday after work for an all night drive to Bordeaux. First stop was the Gujan-Mestras Pool right beside the Aquapark Land. Stiff like a broom we dropped in and felt freshly born. This pool is so smooth and fast and with big coping like in a wet dream. As the weather was so good and hot soon we had to go to the beach. And I tell you, French beach life is great….
Later on we met Fred and his family for a BBQ and the first victim was hit, Axel got heat stroke. But the night was young so we went to the Darwin party without him. The Darwin is a great project in Bordeaux. As we arrived the party was full on. Hundreds of people are chilling and had a good time at the Ying & Yang Bowl. The music was flowing and the session was on so the fiending German’s began to snake the session. But fast we found out it’s quite silly to snake because the session was so good anyway. We enjoyed a lot of the homemade bio beer and met a lot new friends and girls.
Could a day be more perfect than this: Perfect pool, beach, BBQ, bowl session, party?
The next morning the next victim was me as I couldn’t move my left shoulder and arm I realized one bail must have been a slam. But after so much experience my bag is full with good pills and cream so soon I was back. A typical french breakfast and up and away for our mission. Benesse-Maremme pool was waiting, and we grinded it down for sure.
We then continued to drive to a skateshop with an indoor pool. As we arrived they were on their lunch break. We couldn’t wait that long so we went to the beach and waves at Seignosse. My dudes had to drag me away from their by force! haha.
Ok, it was not that bad because the skate park in St. Jean De Luz is also nice. While we almost got overheated a big storm with hail started coming down. Good to use this time to get to Vielle St. Girons. And this is the best clover pool I’ve ever known! What a baby, perfect to skate! Hammer session with endless fun.
On the way back I get out-voted and we stopped at a pizza place, can you belive that? My dude´s never heard of “Essen wie Gott in Frankreich” (Eat like god in France). What a shame. So I had to drink a lot more wine.
The next day was also filled with culture, a visit to Bordeaux and skate the Downtown Skatepark with two Bowls. We also visited Darwin again, because the wooden bowl, street area, the Y & Y Bowl, the Halfpipe, the DIY street Hall and of course the “skateable livingroom” were still waiting and wanted to be grinded down!
The day ended at the beach club party, yeah. The last day and the crown jewels were awaiting us.
We got a blind folded one hour drive to find ourselves at the very private “Black Bowl Battalion“.
A place in the middle of nowhere as you can see in all directions only vineyards with a damn good pool. And what an unbelievable brotherhood this is!? On a Sunday morning, twenty guys renovate their pool. Also BBQ with cold beer and a funny water battle was going on. Never meet such a good place and skater dudes! And although I really wanted to drink with them until rescue alarms went off, we had to leave because – you know – we were on a mission.
Next stop was the bowl in Langon. Not as 150% as the others till now, and 32°c (90f) in the shade we drove on to the next one. On the way, Fred told us to stop in the middle of nowhere. We all had a big question in our faces. But Fred das absolut coole Schlitzohr hat bis jetzt gar nichts von der Fullpipe hier erwähnt (But Fred the total sly fox had not yet mentioned to us anything about a full pipe!) And this one really looked like Sputnik Aerospace Rocket!
Dietschs wäre vor lauter Glück fast geplatzt, und legte richtig los. Auch Axel kam extrem hoch!
Diestsches almost burst in joy and went for it. Axel also went high in the pipe!
But the Krönender Abschluß (the grand finale) was again our very first stop. The Gujan-Mestras Pool. Here for the second time, we all skated much better. And I tell you I left a tear there, because it’s the best one I know.
Thanks so much to our best tour guide Fred! We will be back!” – Wolfgangsta
Fred Ferand’s flickr.
O.M.S.A. and Friends, Southwest France Spring 2014 Tour
5 days, 4000 km, 9 bowls (one under construction), one skate house, 1 full pipe, 130 toilets, 6589 beers, 12 pizzas, 6 burgers, 18 café lattés, 14 croissants, 1 shoulder, one nose, one rooster bite, 2 wolfgang’s mean eye to waiters… lots of new friends.