The history of the productBIARRITZ 1956
In September 1956, Biarritz became the birthplace of surfing in Europe.
During the shooting of the movie “Le soleil se lève aussi”, an adaptation of an Ernest Hemingway novel, Dick Zanuck and Peter Viertel, two Californians, met in Biarritz, France. Dick was a surfer and he managed to get a surfboard sent to him. In France, nobody had ever seen such a board. Dick had to leave before the board arrived. Peter who had never surfed before made the first attempts on the waves of the “Côte des Basques” together with Georges Hennebutte (who will later invent the “leash”). Surfing was born in Biarritz and would soon get many enthusiasts.
Towards the end of 1957, the basque area had four expert surfers: Peter Viertel, Georges Hennebutte, Jacky Rott and Joël de Rosnay. The first club is launched and the sport develops very rapidly around Biarritz. Innovations make practice easier, new boards are built in new materials and are easier to maneuver and the “leash” shows up. In the 60’s, surfing gains popularity very rapidly. In papers and magazines as well as on television, the waves of the Basque coast become famous. Events and competitions are organized and French surfers compete worldwide. Soon enough, surf shops and surf schools appear on the Basque coast and in many places in Europe.