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Anonymous surfer in south-west of France. Photo by C. Naslain, 2016.
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sweet & sour - cotillo can be so super sweet - but it can be so nasty.
a lot of the sand that had been in cotillo up to 2005 is now gone - drastic winter storms have taken it off and a lot of rocks are now visible in the sand. the first section of the beach used to be super sweet and soft even on bigger days, but these days it gets really nasty and when the swell gets big you just get close outs and a mean rip towards the harbour which you need to escape in case you do not want to get in trouble. in addition to that all of the surf schools will go to cotillo - so on a weekday you have up to 40 young guns in the water with boards flying around.
if you are serious about your surfing go to the southern part of the beach. you still get better wave quality there due to more sand, but take care: the incoming tide will push you towards the rocks and so will the rip.
i have a love/hate relationship with cotillo: some of the best rides i had, i had them there, but ....
Ed - One of the heaviest beach breaks ever when its on...the shoredump from hell...i nearly snuffed it there bigtime...
It can be really heavy! - NYE 02/03,6-8 ft(I've surfed all over the world but never seen power like it) I saw a gap between sets and paddled hard, got caught in a mega rip, took me right round towards the harbour, when I finally managed to get back to the impact zone, snapped my leash and lost my board on the first wave( huge closeout) and got held under from 20-30 seconds from every wave, after finally washed up on the rocks 15 mins later, just as the coastguard chopper arrived. I thought I was dead that day. Don't go in if it's closing out!
First surfed here - We used to holiday here as kids and it was here I first hired a board to learn to surf. In a total of maybe 6-8 weeks we spent here in total, I had never seen it flat...till the day i turned up with the hire board I'd spent my hard-earned pocket money on!!
Anyway, I got some days in and it got me started. Remember it being a fast punchy beach break. Would love to go back there...and be 15 years old again!
cotillo - ive surfed el cotillo heaps in the past. had some of the best surf in my life at 4-5ft and offshore here. a warning tho, if it aint perfect its gonna be heavy.the first time i surfed this place, offshore wind and outgoing tide i almost ended up in brazil !!! took me 30 mins of continous paddling just to get back to the impact zone and then i got smashed by 5ft sets. i thought i was gonna die that day. also another day my mate saw what he thought to be a snorkellers dive fin flapping around in the shorey, so he paddles over and it turns out to be a juvenile hammerhead shark ! good stuff !!
it rocks - I cant believe this is only 2 stars, maybe I was lucky.I was here a week had a few classic sessions with a great vibe in the water. It closes out when its big, but its a beach break, what do you expect???Mid to high tide had powerful fun waves.The rips held the sections open and even a few tubes.Down in the corner was protected from wind.I give it 3.5 stars
Too Heavy - I've just come back to England from surfing at Cotillo and got a serious arse kicking by this wave. There was a big swell running and the wave closed out heavily every time, giving you no chance to ride it out. I think the information is slightly misleading about the power of this wave, it's far from beginer freindly. Approach with some caution on bigger days!
place to stay! - hi dudeYou asked for a place to stay, i can definatly give you a nice play to stay where you can just sleep and eat breakfast or take lessons and all the stuff, its possible to rent boards and many more, the guy in charge is called Peter and is a very chill lay-back dude, real surfer and always ready to show you around. Natural surfcamp it,s called, i was there the whole month september and had really good times with him, i left with pain in the heart, it really became a good good friend! for the rest you can email me. or visit the site of the Surfcamp/Surfguesthouse @ www.naturalsurfcamp.com If you go say hi from Wesley. greetings
places to stay ?? - Me and a mate are goin within the first two weeks of may...does anyone have any tips on where to stay that is close to good surf and is cheap ?? We were thinking up north but all seems to just be big hotels was wonderin if there was anywhere cheaper n interesting around ?Would be gratefull for any hints. cheers
By San Juan
Cotillo beach - It mainly closes out at high tide. Waves have more shape at Low to mid tide. Locals are cool and charge in the evening. Several surf schools although they can't get out the back so who cares? Some nasty rips occur when it gets big. I was out early one morning and got caught by a sneaker set. Nice hold down for 45 seconds+!! Make sure your leash is in good nick as you don't want to lose your board when it's big. Saw a couple of surfers rescued in Feb. Nice fish restaurant in the village called Rustica.
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