After a couple of weeks of having a Loco under his feet, boss man Joey T wanted to catch up with new SUP Team member Christophe Verger to find out a bit more about him, the French SUP scene and to find out what he’ll be up in the near future. So over to JT….
JT: So tell our fans a little bit more about yourself. Where you’re originally from, how you got into water sports, how you find yourself in France?
CV: So i am originally from New Caledonia a South Pacific island in between Australia and New Zealand. Living there it was natural for me to get into water sports. I start windsurfing and surfing at the same time. I was around 12. We use to surf in the morning then spear dive and windsurf on the afternoon and that for the last 30 years……7 years ago i met my wife. She was originally from France and after two years together and the birth of my first son we decide to move to France. We spent the first year driving around looking for the best place to stay. We finally end up here in Capbreton, 5 minute from Hossegor, 20min from Gethary and Lafitenia and 30 min from the Basque/Spanish border.
JT: So what’s so good about SW France? Where’s your local break(s)? What kind of conditions do you get?
CV: here in sw of france wave are realy powerfull and hollow especialy here in front of capbreton/hossegor there is an oceanique fosse 4000 m deep les than a mile away…so basically the swell move from deep water to shallow sand banks so bassically beach break around here but you can find points and rock breaks in the basque contry half an hour drive from here…..another good thing around here is the wind condition… lot of glassy/off shore days and exept the winter storms, never blow strong
JT: So when did you get into SUP? What do you like about it in particular? What have you achieved so far?
CV: When i arrived in France i was still shortboarding as well as longboarding, but after few months off trying to have a descent surf session through all this crowd(yeah France is really crowded compare to new cal) and watching all these empty low tide outer banks I decided to try the stand up paddle,which in my opinion is the best tool for that. So i start by renting a huge plastic one from Bic 20 kg plus 3 meters long …guess what i love it…the fact you could cruise along the beach, surf a peak, move again, surf another one…after that i bought my first board a nahskwell 9.6 longboard style ,sold it after 3 month for a shorter one around 8.7 …since that I’ve been trying different boards ,and different paddles…..meanwhile a friend of mine, who was the local sup champ, drag me in my first contest…and now after 3 years of up and down in competition i finish 17 th in the Open Nationals and 1st in my category (kahunas 45/50yrs)
JT: So what’s the general standard of SUP like in France? Where are the hot spots for SUP?
CV: I think SUP level is pretty good in France, but the majority are beginners……there is a multitude of spot with different set up along the French coastline.
JT: So what attracted you to join Team Loco? Which boards do you own or want to own and what do you like about it/them?
CV: I like to look for gems so i was on a search for a new brand when i found a picture of the loco el diablo so I contact Joe and we get along pretty quickly. I like the fact it s not a major brand yet and i am probably the only one to have a Loco board in France. So I just received the El Diablo model 8.2X28. It’s good tool and well finished (it’s not the case for all the Chinese boards). I wouldn’t mind having the Aztec and a longboard now. I hope to try team mate Steve Laddiman’s when he’s across for the Euros with son, Ollie next week.
JT: What are your plans for competitive SUP this year and into next?
CV: So for this year i am planning to do all the Nationals and local contest. I’m planning to go fast and hit hard yeah!!!!
JT: Where would you most like to go to with your SUP and why?
JT: Are there any French riders we should look out for at European Championships this month?
CV: Yeah check the two French guys in the Euro, Antoine Delpero and Benoit Carpentier and there’s also the killer guy from New Cal ,Tituan Puyo in sup racing.
JT: How do you see the sport evolving over the next few years?
CV: I think the SUP surf gonna get shorter and standard gonna go higher, meanwhile the longboard style gonna come back in front of the scene. I think racing will become more popular too.
JT: As an older man do you feel SUP helps you keep fit / stay in shape? How often are you out there?
CV: Thanks Joe for this question. I feel old now hhahahaha! No seriously I am not doing any other sports next to that but i am sup surfing almost every day. I am 49 now and i fell great as ever thanks to the SUP!
JT: Any plans to come to the UK and show them how it’s done over here?
CV: I’ll be happy to try UK one day. I am sure there’s plenty of spots there. not until Winter though.. maybe get my next board directly from Joe or come across for the invitational he’s organising.
JT: So what do you get up to when you’re not paddle surfing?
CV: Except sup surfing i do nothing……joke….no you know i am a family man so because i spend so many time in the water the rest of the time I take care of my son Arnaud and daughter Naia and of course my wife Julie…..i also like to do some video edit so watch out for that!
Check out his initial video from a small session here
The important stuff everyone wants to know…
Red of brown sauce?
Cereal or bacon sandwich?
Blondes or Brunettes?
Both (oo la la)
Waves or Wind?
TV or music?
Think you’ll agree new recruit Christophe is an interesting character who is a welcome addition to Team Loco.
Stay tuned for his next video edit and to see how he gets on in the French SUP Comps as the season rolls out!
He apologises for his English…he learned it in Australia apparently! Haha