The Origin of Surf in Europe Part 1

Thanks to Antony « Yep » Colas
« The World Stormrider Guide » autor and J.d.Rosnay

Despite rumors of a certain Jan Willem Coenraads Nederven having surfed the Netherlands in 30 years and attempts by Pedro Martins de Lima in 1953 on the beach of Caparica in Portugal that ended with a broken leg, it is commonly accepted that the birthplace of surfing in Europe is at Biarritz.

If September 1956 is the date of the beginnings of Viertel and Hennebutte, we tend to regard 1957 as the base year when a group started bubbling surfing on the road to posterity. If one often hears about the Tontons Surfers is more often to discuss the 60 years that actually the first years of its infancy surfing away from major California and Australia, forcing a handful of lovers of the Ocean compete ingenuity and courage to compensate for a lack physics (compared to athletes beaches Anglo-Saxon) related to non-professional sports and already advanced age (except for Joel de Rosnay). It is albums by Joel de Rosnay, meticulously labeled and illustrated recently scanned, that opens the pan still the most exciting in the history of surfing in France.

Before 1956: It was already playing in the waves
Before a surfboard not arrived in Biarritz, we had already realized that the waves could be useful and enjoyable. Because Biarritz was a fishing village, including whaling until the sixteenth century, we saw boats (and traînières) use foam to return to the board. Secondly, because Biarritz was in vogue des Bains de Mer from the nineteenth, bathers were quickly realized the fun side of swimming in the waves, known as the bodysurf. Then, some swimmers have built a "planky", a clipboard (90 cm x 40 cm) on the curved nose, to improve their slip on the wave. At that time, the spot of choice for planky is the Miramar.

The attempt nearest surf before the official date came from Jacky Rott in 1952, maker of plankys distributed in bazaars beach. After seeing a documentary on Pearl Harbor in 1952, Jacky lives a few seconds of surfing in Hawaii and tried to build a board and test it in the waves in Anglet and Ilbarritz. Unfortunately, can not imagine that there was a spoiler below and that of paraffin to prevent slippage, he had a sort of "planky long, perfectly smooth. Unable to control the equipment in the waves, let alone stand up, the board assomma one of his cronies and to split the force of hitting the rocks. Around 1935, the brothers have Uresti brought a plate of California but there were no indications to confirm this information.

1956: The surfers get up too.
It was during the filming of "The Sun also rises" from the novel by Hemingway, that Californians Peter Viertel and Dick Zanuck, filsdu famous theater director Darryl come to Biarritz. Dick is surf, brought to the knowledge of Peter, a surfboard with a striped black nose, which is imported from California in the boxes that carry cameras. When the plate arrived, Dick left in California and French customs demanded 170% tax. Peter trick with the Spanish border to avoid the tax and then into the water in front of Hemingway himself, with this plate made "illegally" without paraffin and without knowing how to use them. It is in the rocks that the board finishes its inexorable

course without being surf.

It Hennebutte Georges Peter Viertel said the repair and the next day, Hennebutte, 47 years and Viertel, 37, surf the waves in the Côte des Basques. At the same time, Hennebutte, the local Géotrouvetou, tries to develop a board inflatable Zodiac style bunches on both sides of a rigid structure. Perhaps he recalled qu'Hennebutte tried to develop in 1925 a plank in agglomerated cork, which broke in two under the weight of its user.

1957: The 4 musketeers!
Jacky Rott, returning from the war in Tunisia, took the ratings (3.40mx 65 cm x 7 cm) of the board of Viertel and two replica balsa. Before stratification, they weigh 15 kgs. and 25 kgs after! In the spring, without combination, the Jacky tries to head north of Hossegor and a wave takes place, the ecstasy! In June, Peter Viertel back quite a few sessions in California, with a board and 2nd, when he went to work in Spain, gives Joel de Rosnay, the first "Grommet" of the time, who at 19 years, made rapid progress. At the end of summer, the Basque Coast surfers now assiduous 4: Peter Viertel, Georges Hennebutte, Jacky Rott and Joel de Rosnay. Joel makes other followers, starting with Michel Barland of contructions mechanical engineer, who will soon to take measures and develop the "floating bidet," in which Henry Etcheparre only takes a standing wave the candle in Socoa. This is the 11 September 1957, the Journal of Biarritz publishes the first newspaper article on the surf.

1958: The first wave Australian

Peter Viertel brought in 3 boards Hobie Balsa from California. Park boards increasing the number of surfers can evolve. Young people who play to recover the lost boards have the right to make an attempt, that's how you begin surfing. Thus was born the first generation of what would later the Tonton Surfers: André Plumcoq, Robert Bergeruc, Pierre Laharrague, Joseph and Jo Moraïz and Bruno Reinhardt. Jacky Rott launches Neptune, the former mark of plates in France. He built a kind of airplane wing, planks against hollow-plated covered with varnish plasticoque. After the anti-skid gauze hard to stomach, cork drinking water is finally paraffin which becomes the ideal product for not drag on the top of the board. Then Barland Rott and combine to produce the first French models' serial plastic. As for Bruno Reinhardt, he made him a wooden plank varnished surfaces that time a wave before the break in two. In September a team of Australian Lifesavers comes to Biarritz and rescue demonstrations. The team came without planks swell and is non-existent for the duration of their stay except the last day when the Australians like Mike Hall, show what they can do: start drifting forward, up to two on a plate The premises ... turns discover that surfing is not to do than the wave length.

1959: The first surf club, the Waikiki

It is thanks to the Peruvian billionaire Carlos Dogny, founding president of the Waikiki Surf Club Lima, Peru was born September 16 Surfclub the first in France of the same name. The founding members are: Carlos Dogny, Peter Viertel, Jacques Rott, Georges Hennebutte, Joël de Rosnay and Michel Barland. Club members are: André Plumcocq Robert Bergeruc Pierre Laharague, Joseph and Jo Moraiz Paul Pondepeyre, Henri and Claude Durcudoy Etchepare. The moves to Waikiki institutions des Bains de la Côte des Basques, with a rack of thirty plates. At this time of Hennebutte develops the ankle, "then called" over the leg "that only his nephew, Claude Durcudoy, ends up adopting. It is ten years later that the U.S. patent Clark model "leash" The duo Barland / Rott produced the first polyurethane foam boards with polyester and fiberglass. Many unsuccessful attempts to mark the use of foam purchased from Rhone Poulenc.