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‘The French Pursuit’ was originally published in Volume XIII, December 2023

Photography by Nil Puissant & Ryan Heywood


As we pull up to Capbreton’s Plage du Prevent in search of waves, we’re met with the words “What’s doing?” from behind the wheel of a brand new blacked-out AMG Mercedes Sedan. Noa Deane (alias Noz) has just got into town for Jeremy Flores’ inaugural surf festival; a hand picked, invite only surf competition held on Hossegor’s premiere sand banks. And one sponsored by said luxury German automobile brand, hence das whip. Besides partnering with Noz on the premiere of his latest Volcom full-lengther whilst he was in town, it was the perfect opportunity for us to spend the week chasing French beachies, consuming oysters and drinking 64’s ensemble. Between heats and film screenings we dragged Noz to the lake at sundown for a glass of icy rosé and bounced a few France-based questions back and forth over a bottle. With a decade’s worth of trips under his belt, to the place we call home— voilà.


When was your first time in France?

ND: My first time in France was with Kai Neville in 2012, 2013 maybe? We came in July and I remember getting straight off the plane and feeling so blown. I somehow paddled straight out and got a clip which actually ended up in my (Cluster) part. The waves then just went flat from there on out and we just got on the beers [laughing]. But it was actually a really memorable trip with a solid crew…Brendon Gibbens, Dion (Agius), Wade Carrol, Nate Lawrence, Kai and Blake Myers.


And your most memorable trip to France?

There’s two that stick out…probably either a trip I did years ago with Craig (Anderson) and Dane (Reynolds), when we were also filming for Cluster, which was really fun and we actually got some decent waves. I remember I then extended my trip and stayed on with Chippa (Wilson) and Kai (Neville); that was a really special one as it was when I first got to know Chippa properly.

There was also a Globe trip we did (whilst filming for Strange Rumblings In Shangri-La) which was really epic. We were posted up in a big house for like a month and there was the sickest crew on that trip. Biggest crew ever! Not just Globe dudes, everyone was in town and cruising. There was maybe only one or two good day of waves the entire time but the experience was all-time.


Favourite French meal?

That’s a hard one…[sighing]…probably the duck. Any kind of duck.


Have you ever tried snails?

I’ve had ‘normal’ snails in both Paris and Morocco… And sea snails here on the lake in Hossegor. I’m backing the sea snails more though.

1664 Kronenburg or Pelforth?

Kronenbourg. Pelforth almost tastes a little wheaty.


Croissant or Pain au Chocolat?



Your ratio of scoring versus getting skunked?

Eighty:twenty. Scoring on hangs, not on waves [laughing].


Favourite zone to surf here?

Probably Gravière. I haven’t surfed it much as it’s never really broken properly when I’m in town but it’s such a good wave. Some of those spots down south are a lot of fun too.


Strangest thing you’ve witnessed in France?

I went to a bullfight years ago…they used to have a ring near Bourdaines right by the beach there I think? It was one where the crowd could jump in the ring with the bulls at the end of the show. I just remember ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira was blaring out of the speakers and this guy was doing circular motions with his ass and taunting a bull which then completely fucked him up. Horns and all. That was pretty cooked.

One other thing I was going to mention was people snowboarding in the surf. That’s pretty crazy and something I’ve never seen before.



I saw a dude in the water earlier on a stand-up paddle board but strapped into an Alaia board jumping off the SUP into the wave. That’s gotta be the hardest way to surf, surely?


Why do you think you got the call from Jeremy to come out for his inaugural contest? Have you guys hung out or surfed much in the past?

I think my team manager at Volcom knows a few crew at over Quik who put a good word in for me… I’ve surfed with Jeremy a bunch and always got on well with him. I like that he’s always been a say what you think kinda’ person. I’ve seen him in Australia, France, Hawaii, all over really. We’ve always had beers got along pretty well, so maybe that’s why. I was pretty stoked.

 It was epic that he showed up to your film premiere here with so much stuff going on during the contest. Favourite France section from a surf movie?

That’s probably got to be Lost Atlas. Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds here – Doesn’t get much better.


Do you know of any French musicians or bands, and if so do you have a favourite

Michael Cukr put me on to a band a while ago that I really like, called Daïtro. They’re a French screamo band from Lyon that we’re both really digging. Look them up…


Are there any other parts of France you’ve visited? 

I’ve been to both Bordeaux and Paris. I really liked Bordeaux but didn’t get to spend much time there. I’ve been to Paris a couple of times just to walk around and eat delicious food. The last time I was in Paris I went to that marble plaza where everyone skates and there’s the bar at the end. I just sat there and cranked a bunch of beers and watched everyone skate for hours.


La Republique?

Yeah that’s the one.


When are you planning on next coming back this way?   

Volcom are talking about getting us over here at the start of next year so let’s see if we do that. I’d love to get Katesy (James Kates) out here to do a clip too. If not Spring, maybe Autumn…I also really want to get to the Canaries and to Ireland. I’ve met a few guys from both places on this trip to France who’ve got me psyched to go.

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