The Ultimate Guide to Mimizan Surf

by Joe

Mimizan surf is a beginner and intermediate dream in the summer, when 10 clicks of classic western French coast opens up for learners and improvers.

We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

Mimizan surf at a glance

The good

  • Fantastic surf schools
  • Beginner-friendly waves in the summer
  • Loads of space

The bad

  • The town’s quite far from things
  • Wind can ruin the breaks

This guide is just one part of our complete guide to surfing in France

What’s in this guide to Mimizan surf?

An introduction to Mimizan

Mimizan surf

It’s tempting to put Mimizan down as just another in the long line of high-quality and uber-reliable surf destinations on the southwest shores of France. It’s certainly true that the town benefits from the almost never-ending swell that hits Landes via the Atlantic NW channels. However, it’s got something that neighboring places don’t: Space.

Mhmm, a whopping 10 kilometres of uninterrupted French shoreline goes north and south of the main beach. There’s not another resort close by, so that’s your whole surf playground. If you like empty lineups, this could be the place for you!

On top of that, Mimizan surf tends to buck the trend a little when compared to Landes stuff in that it’s really great for beginners and intermediate improvers between May and August. 3-4-foot high wedges that peel right and left are there for the taking, and you get all that room to go get a spot to practice in without worrying about bashing anyone with the foamy. Oh, and we’d say this one has the best array of surf schools in France next to Hossegor.

It’s also worth saying that Mimizan surf is certainly no beginner’s-only affair. The waves will really pick up and shape up here around September time. Winter can be rough with the Atlantic storm systems but there’s the potential for big, beefy slabs if you’re up for it.

Where is Mimizan?

Neatly wedged between Biscarrosse (to the north) and Moliets-et-Maa (to the south), Mimizan occupies some prime surf territory in the Landes department. You’re really looking for the smaller resort town of Mimizan Plage. It’s connected to its namesake village by a direct road through the pine forests and spreads out right in front of the Atlantic Ocean. The nearest major airport is in Bordeaux, about 2.5 hours’ drive away. Or, you could fly into Biarritz and make a surf odyssey out of it, going up the west coast of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

A guide to the Mimizan surf spots

There are a few Mimizan surf spots on the main Plage Centrale of the town itself. However, truth be told, there’s hardly any telling them apart – most of the breaks here are going to be your usual wedgey beach break peak that moves with the tides and the sandbanks.

Biscarrosse

North of Mimizan and on the very edge of the Landes coast, Biscarrosse is another long run of sandbank-defined breaks that are good for families and seasoned surfers at different times of the year. It’s worth a visit on days without wind but can suffer from offshores.

Check out our complete guide to the surf in Biscarrosse

La Garluche

La Garluche is the name of one of the most decorated Mimizan surf schools and the name of the break on the north side of the river mouth. It’s a wide, frothing beach break with plenty of power. In the summer, it’s a beginner’s dream, crumbling into mush that’s perfect for foamy riding. At other times it can get big, but wouldn’t be our pick in the winter because of close out potential and wind. Come here to learn and you won’t be dissapointed.

Goëlands

Goëlands is an interesting little jetty break that forms off the breakwater on the north end of the southernmost Mimizan beach. The main peak goes right into the bay and is very reliable on decent spring and autumn swells that are in the W channel. There’s a bodyboarding academy right there, too, so watch out for folks on sliders.

Plage Sud

This is where the town stops and starts to filter into the wild pine forests. The beach starts to roll southwards from the shops and bars into long runs of undeveloped sand. As such, Plage Sud is the Mimizan surf to chase if you like being totally alone in the line up. There’s no really saying what the waves will be like. It’s a seemingly endless run of shifting sandbars that change every season, though the slight south-west orientation of the coast probably favors right-handers.

Moliets

Moliets isn’t that close, but it’s also not that far. We’d say it’s pretty pointless making the trip down here unless you’re stringing together a Landes surf road trip – the breaks are just so similar to Mimizan. Again, it’s empty stuff with loads of pine forests to the back, great family campgrounds and surf camps, and some brilliant whitewashing waves for total beginners.

Read our complete guide to the surf in Moliets

Essential gear for surf trips to France

Wetsuits (men):

  • [SUMMER – April to September] C-Skins Session 3/2 | Big up to the extra flex that C-Skins have packed into these latest models. For Hossegor or the Basque Country, that should help you stay out longer and feel freer on the heavier barrels. Glideskin Collar also cuts neck rashing, a problem we often get in France cos’ of the duck dive demmands.
  • [WINTER – October to March] Rip Curl E-Bomb E7 4/3mm | In our opinion the E7 neoprene is maybe second to only Vissla’s stuff in stretchiness, but there’s some good thermo in there to keep it all toasty in the French midwinter. Generally speaking, this is an all-round cracking suit that deserves its rep as one of the go-to suits for pros.

Wetsuits (women):

  • [SUMMER – April to September] Billabong 302 Synergy 3/2mm Chest Zip Wetsuit (2021) – Blue Seas | The stunning, understated colour aside, Billabong have worked wonders by reducing the weight on their Synergy suits, all while keeping that important fleece interior. They are still our weapon of choice on the Hossegor summer swell.
  • [WINTER – October to March] C-Skins 4/3mm Surflite Wetsuit | C-Skin’s eco-friendly surflite has the toastiness of a much heavier suit, but with oodles more felx. And that’s important if you’re going to be navigating the pounding barrels of the Landes west coast.

SUNSCREEN: Suntribe All Natural Zinc Sunscreen | We use Suntribe sunscreen in France because it’s 100% natural and contains zinc oxide – the bee’s knee’s of face protection.

WATER BOTTLE: 18 Oz Hydro Flask | Now our water flask of choice, the Hydro range does better at keeping our aqua warm than any other brand we’ve tried. Also, all the other surfers are using em!

WAX: Quick Humps Mr Zogs Sex Wax Basecoat and Cool Water Topcoat Surfboard Wax | Re-wax before you get to France. You’re covered in this double pack for undercoat and top.

Where to stay when surfing in Mimizan

The surf accommodation has to be one of the best things about surfing in Mimizan. As an out-and-out summer resort town, this place has an overload of options. What’s more, there are some dedicated surf and hostel stays that can help you get rentals sorted and tuition if needed.

Single Fin Hotel & Lodge  ($$)

Surf-hotel-top-pick

Part surf camp, part charming French B&B, this fusion hotel is an awesome spot to settle for bit of wave riding in Mimizan. The vibes are uber chilled, with a cafe-bar that’s decorated in boards and jute rugs. There are rooms for twins and doubles. Oh, and just check out that sun-splashed terrace. Lush.

Le Surf ($$)

A one-minute walk from Plage de la Garluche, this charming little surfer apartment has to be one of our picks of the bunch in Mimizan. It’s clean, homey, and lets you have your own space. What’s more, it’s sat just on the north side of town, close to the emptier breaks and away from the sometimes-loud nightlife in the center.

Hotel de France ($$)

Hotel de France is another midrange option that really prioritizes location. Open the window – the beach is right there running north-to-south with its waves and powdery sand. Rooms are basic but clean and cozy and the service is top notch.

When to surf in Mimizan

Mimizan might be known as one of the top places to learn to surf in France, but the truth is that’s only the case in the summer months. The swells are much lower than in midwinter then, while waves don’t tend to suffer from the stronger offshores. For most people, we’d say shoulder season trips in spring and autumn are the best choice. That’s not just because there’s more thump in the waves, but also because there won’t be so many people around.

Summer (June-August)

Crowds descend on Mimizan-Plage by the thousands in the summer months – it’s one of the closest resorts to Bordeaux, after all. That shouldn’t be a problem like it is in, say, Hossegor, though, because there’s 10km of beachfront to surf on. Swell wise, this is the easy stuff. Most days don’t have wind and averages are 2-3 foot clean. It’s nice for longboarding and learning. Occasional off days. Occasional big days.

Autumn (September-October)

The Atlantic will start to send down some of those legendary NW swell punches in the fall. Beginners will want to watch for them, because it will crank up the joule count in the breaks here considerably. With good sandbanks in place, intermediate riders can look forward to punchy A-frames all up and down Plage Centrale. Get out early to dodge the winds, though.

Be sure to check out our gear guides:

Winter (November-Feb)

Winter storms wreak havoc on the sandbank formations on the Mimizan surf beaches. The season is very unpredictable – some days are glassy lefts and rights that roll for hundreds of meters. Others are beefed up slabs that barrel. Others are complete close outs. The wind is is the stat to watch because strong easterlies can ruin anything that the Atlantic can muster.

Spring (March-May)

Transition time in Mimizan when the surf is regularly improving in quality as the sandbanks settle. We love spring surfing here, especially in late April and early May. That’s before the summer crowds have come but after the dominant winds have calmed down. Find the sweet spot and you’ll love it!

Surf shops in Mimizan

Mimizan ain’t considered one of the Landes surf meccas for nothing. Surf shops abound in this town. Our favs are:

SS 7th Door Surf Shop

We’ve got a lot of love for these sort of ad hoc, family owned surf outlets in south-west France. 7th Door Surf Shop offers a compact collection of tailpads, fins, surf cameras, and rashies. They also do some surf fashion. Mostly, though, they are just nice guys!

Silk Surf

Support a local shaper by dropping into Silk Surf. It’s a bit back from the coast and focuses on environmentally sustainable surf gear. That means zero resin or fibre – only natural materials and all handmade. And you’ll pay around €680 for a six-footer.


We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This article is just one part of our complete guide to surfing in France

You may also like

Leave a Comment