This weekend in Capbreton-Hossegor the King tide showed a different face of our favourite surf spots and coast lines. High or low tide, low or big swell, incoming or outgoing tides, following tidal and swell patterns are phenomena that surfers are very familiar with, the depth of the sea often dictates the quality of the waves and what makes or breaks a surf spot. We were out there not only to see the high tide but see the the local surf spots in a different light. The low tide was even more spectacular as the sea withdrew a few hundred metres leaving us to discover what is actually below our boards as we paddle out.
These King tides appear every 18 years, the last one being on the 10th March 1997 and another one will reappear on the 3rd March 2033, when the gravitational pull of the moon, the Earth and the Sun are aligned the tidal coefficient (difference between high and low tide) is enhanced. The highest coefficient or range of 119 was registered out of a possible 120.
The topography of the seabed obviously determines the shape of the wave and type of break. Here we can see the sandbanks, patterns and obstructions which are what make the waves barrel or break on the beaches of the Atlantic coast, useful to know when you’re out there surfing and even during a wipeout. However, the shoals can and often change size and location….
For the more adventurous surfers who rode out there, the low tide uncovered some off-shore surf spots, new undiscovered low-lying sandbanks and reefs which created unexpected surf breaks and too top it off there was a decent swell in the region too….
If you were surfing in the area on Saturday why not send us your photos ? info(at)h2oholidays.com