Baie de Somme_Kite-surf ©CRTC Hauts-de-France-Nicolas BryantBaie de Somme_Kite-surf
©Baie de Somme, Kite-surf|CRTC Hauts-de-France-Nicolas Bryant

Kitesurfing in the bay of Somme

Fun with friends on the open coast

Much more than pride is up for grabs when attempting this challenging activity with your mates. There’s also ‘flow state’: a feeling of euphoria well-known to surfers that helps you forget all your troubles back on dry land. And on top of that, it’s ‘a carbon-free experience in one of the world’s most beautiful bays’. Need we say more? Set the GPS for Cayeux-sur-Mer and head towards the spot beneath the Brighton lighthouse, to the south of the bay.

Northern France _ Kitesurfing © CRTC Hauts-de-France - Nicolas BryantNorthern France _ Kitesurfing © CRTC Hauts-de-France - Nicolas Bryant
©Northern France, Kitesurfing |CRTC Hauts-de-France - Nicolas Bryant

Your instructor will welcome you with that quintessential surfer smile, loaded with sails and boards, and walk you down to the sea. The small breeze, cold water and distant horizon mean that the experience will still be invigorating even if you and the board don’t quite hit it off in a few minutes time 😉

New to kitesurfing? No worries, we can show you how!

We recommend blowing up the kite’s leading edge before slipping on your neoprene wetsuit and harness, it makes things a lot easier. After doing so, you’ll crouch around the instructor as he uses the sand to explain where you’ll be surfing, the wind direction and each person’s goals for the day based on their level…

For the first session, beginners use a smaller, less powerful kite and start off without a board. You’ll begin by wading out until knee-deep in the water, where you’ll get to grips with the bar that controls the kite and learn about its ‘window’: the kite has less power when the wind strikes the top and sides of said window, and maximum power when it hits the sweet spot in the middle. After going over all the necessary safety points — the harness can be detached at any moment to stop you being carried away by the kite — it’s time to put it all into action! Let the kite take flight and feel it pulling more and more as it moves towards the top of the ‘window’. The buzz won’t be far behind!

Perfect the art of capturing the wind  ̶  and you’ll fly!

After four sessions and depending on how much of a natural you are, you might be able to try planing and tacking upwind to make the most of everything this spot has to offer. The next step up is the foil kite, where the whole board leaves the water except for its fin. More speed, more agility and more thrills!

Local's tip

Lucas JusticeLucas Justice
Enjoy the bay of Somme from the saddle on the Saint-Valery to Le Crotoy cycle path

 

These two bay of Somme beach towns face one another ‒ Le Crotoy to the north and Saint-Valery-sur-Somme to the south ‒ yet in character they’re nothing alike and are both deserving of your attention! The best thing about the Somme bay is that you don’t need a car, you can hire bikes at ‘No Shoes Club’ (either in Le Crotoy or Saint-Valery-sur-Somme ‒ they’ve a hire centre in both towns) and follow the cycle trail that links the towns. Wind in your hair, the 13 km of landscapes you’re freewheeling through are just magnificent, with the added joy of knowing that at either end there are bar terraces to sit back and enjoy a drink at, plus lovely shops to browse in for gifts, clothes and local foodie specialities (Rue Porte du Pont in Le Crotoy and Rue de la Ferté in Saint Valery). Cycle back to where you started, or take the train: a proper old-fashioned steam train links the two towns!

Lucas Justice, bay of Somme guide specialising in nature
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