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Surfing and windsurfing
Many bays are suitable for windsurfing in St-Barthélemy. Fewer are those where the beautiful fringed waves of foam that surfers with copper complexions and straw hair ride on are formed. An entire community of young local and metropolitan sportsmen and women are on alert and feel the wind turning or breaking, the swell swelling and entering the bays of Toiny, Lorient or Saint-Jean, so as not to miss those infrequent moments when the waves roll up there with force. It's quite a culture and an art. If you want to try it, all the equipment is available in a few specialized stores, and an insider's club will guide you through your first waves.
Windsurfing is much more accessible to everyone. However, winds can be extremely strong and then the colour triangles run from one side of the bay to the other at an unimaginable speed. Saint-Barth is sometimes used as a training base for Olympic teams, and has raised a young champion, Mario Lédée, in its waves. But the
most days are favourable to the quiet evolutions of amateur windsurfers. In Saint-Jean and Grand Cul-de-Sac, clubs offer their equipment and know-how to train beginners.
Stéphane Gelisse Photographer