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Riding the Mistral Wind

The “mistral” is a northwesterly wind that scours the coast of southern France on the Mediterranean. There’s an assault ship named after it and even a renowned windsurfing and SUP brand that takes its name.

And where there is wind, there is lots of water sports action. And not only windsurfers and kitesurfers love some downwind action. SUP riders too. Check it out in the clip below, filmed in the bay off of La Ciotat. The fetch across this stretch is just over 10 miles, but the 40-knot winds in this video provide what looks like more than enough bump for paddler Didier Leneil.

The footage is a little shaky, but if you’ve been on a howling downwinder, it captures the experience rather well.