Emergence of Surfing Resorts on the Aquitaine Littoral

By Augustin, Jean-Pierre | The Geographical Review, October 1998 | Go to article overview

Emergence of Surfing Resorts on the Aquitaine Littoral


Augustin, Jean-Pierre, The Geographical Review


The recent development of sliding and gliding sports along the Aquitaine littoral, particularly the advent of surfing and surf-related sports, has brought with it a marked change in user attitudes. The lifeways of seaside resorts have been altered by new sports activities, new images, and new resorts that contrast with and complement those already in existence. A study of the specialization of sites, and of their organization and architecture, offers a prime opportunity to become acquainted with current trends and to review foreseeable tendencies.

The concept of the station balneaire, now better than a century old and used to evoke French Atlantic coastal towns that have grown in relation to bains de mer (sea bathing and swimming), applies only in part to the present-day situation. As for the words station (resort) and port de plaisance (sailing or yachting resort), they too are unsuited to the Aquitaine coast, where water sports are restricted by the rigorous natural elements and conditions. With this in mind, the concept of "surfing resort" seems especially well adapted to the new, increasingly popular recreational activities.

These activities, most of which were imported and have spread across France over the past thirty years, have gained ground on the more traditional sports that are standardized by times and territories (Figure x). Characterizing them are a new relationship to the body and to nature, a novel rapport with others, and the remarkable prestige these sports and pastimes are acquiring. Encouraged by the local authorities, the promoters of sports equipment, and the formidable tourism infrastructure, surfing and its derivatives are playing a large part in transforming the lifeways and realities of the ocean resorts.

THE SEA NEWLY PERCEIVED

The sense of the sea has never ceased to evolve since the eighteenth century, when, after a long period of revulsion, a collective human yearning for dawdling on the shore came to the fore [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED]. At that time the seashore was associated with dreams in which the onlooker, confronted with the elements, contemplated seascapes from a fresh viewpoint. The urban middle class deserted balneology in favor of sea bathing and swimming resorts, at first health conscious but later with play in mind (Urbain 1995).

Sea gazing was promptly followed by the first deliberate dips in the ocean and by beach games, while on the stretches of smooth water or in sheltered bays the water sports attracted more and more aficionados. Water sports, initially for club members only, became democratized, and numerous improved sliding and gliding activities emerged (Augustin 1986).

These sports are part of a whole suite of activities that have diffused widely throughout France since the 1970s and that are commonly known as "Californian sports" (Pociello 1981): Not only are coastal surfing and wind surfing involved, but so also are skate boarding, hang gliding, delta planing (or parasailing), and all their derivatives. These sports call on waves, winds, and other extracorporal energies drawn from the natural elements and requiring a new mode of control based on the treatment of relevant data and the piloting of machines absent any independent steering aid. They imply a changed relationship between body and nature that enhances spontaneity, imagination, and a need to be free.

FOOTLOOSE SPORTS

Any diversification of sports sites goes hand in hand with changes, and traditional practices have become more or less obsolete in all social circles. The economic agents, notably those responsible for amenities, sports equipment, and clothing, accentuate this obsolescence and, by means of advertising, incite heightened demand and artificially fashion tastes and likings. We are witnessing a move to a sort of hedonistic consumption linked to free, informal, and wild practices. To the gliding and sliding enthusiasts, and more particularly to those who have a real proficiency, the term sport libre (footloose sports) takes on multiple connotations (Bessy and Lacroix 1994).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Emergence of Surfing Resorts on the Aquitaine Littoral
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.