The Glassy House : an artificial wave unique in France
The Glassy House, in St Gilles-Croix-de-Vie in Vendée, is a static artificial wave unique in France. On the weekend of February 22nd and 23rd, it will host a stage of the City Wave Pro Tour. This international competition takes place only on artificial surf spots in the 4 corners of the globe (Switzerland, Japan, Israel, Austria…).
The concept of The Glassy House is to produce a static artificial wave with adjustable height in order to make it accessible to all levels (from beginner to advanced surfer).
AN IDEAL TRAINING FOR SURFING AT SEA
The Glassy House artificial wave is an ideal spot to perfect your surfing level as it allows you to chain the waves and repeat your manoeuvres endlessly. This wave is also accessible all year round in optimal conditions: water at 26°C all year round and waves daily. So this is an ideal occupation on flat days!
In order to learn more about this artificial wave, we went to meet Jean-Christophe “JC” Bourru, manager of The Glassy House in St Gilles Croix de Vie in Vendée :
HELLO GLASSY HOUSE, HOW ARE YOU? CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF, JC?
Hi Wildsuits, everything is fine here, I’m JC, I’m 43 years old, I’ve been surfing for more than 28 years and I’m the development manager of The Glassy for more than 3 years already !!!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT GLASSY HOUSE?
The Glassy House is the first French concept of indoor surfing (indoors) on static waves. In a space of more than 1500 m2, you will find a surfshop, a bar, a restaurant, a Pilates and yoga room, a seminar room and above all an incredible and perfect artificial wave where the water is at 26° all year round. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced surfer, you can (re)discover surfing and improve your skills.
WHY DID YOU CREATE THIS ARTIFICIAL WAVE, HERE IN SAINT-GILLES-CROIX-DE-VIE?
The town of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie is ideally located, the Surfing St Gilles is one of the biggest surf clubs in France. He was crowned French Vice-Champion of Clubs in 2018. Finally, this city is an incredible surfing spot where for a few kilometers you can find different waves for levels ranging from beginner to expert. So we thought that surfers would be delighted to find a spot open all year round to come and surf when the conditions at sea are not good.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ARTIFICIAL WAVE AND A WAVE IN A NATURAL ENVIRONMENT?
The big difference is that you are fighting against a current, where in the natural environment you are trying to gain speed. Our instructors, who have come from surfing in a natural environment, have very quickly drawn parallels between ocean and artificial.
YOU ARE ORGANIZING A STAGE OF THE CITYWAVE PRO WORLD TOUR ON THE WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 21, 22, 23, CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT IT?
This is a unique international competition in France, it is only contested in artificial wave, there have already been 4 stages (Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Zurich and Vienna) and we are next !!! We will receive between 65 and 80 surfers from all over the world (Costa Rica, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France…). These surfers will be divided into 4 categories and will try to win points to reach the grand final in June 2020 just before the opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.The weekend is going to be completely crazy, surfers with an incredible level will fight to share the €10,000 Prize Money.
YOUR PROGNOSIS ON THE PODIUM?
- In the men’s category, I would say Simon BITTERLICH. He’s already won a stage and he’s still in the race to win the lap. But watch out for our rider Malo JEZEQUEL who will be at home. He will be able to count on the support of a public fully committed to his cause.
- As for the women surfers, the battle will be tough between Janina ZEITLER and Rosina NEUERERER, both of them trusting the victories on City Wave Pro Tour since the beginning.
- On the side of the junior surfers Celine DORNICK is the big favorite but the youngsters of the Glassy School will not be impressed and their level is sufficient to tickle the German girls.
- Finally, at the masters we are counting on our regular customers (Franc, Jérome, Mathias, Christophe) to come and upset the order established by Ralph OBERPAUR who is the current leader of the tour.
SO, HOW DID THE PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR BRAND, WILDSUITS SURFBOARDS, WETSUITSCOME ABOUT?
The premise is simple, when you have local companies (such as Wildsuits), which in the sport you have been practicing for more than 20 years, develop quality products that reduce your carbon footprint (a surfer with a very bad carbon footprint, wetsuitneoprene, resin/epoxy/plastic board, sunscreen, travelling alone in his car…) I say yes and even a big YES. It is therefore natural for us to work with brands such as Wildsuits for which it is possible to combine usefulness, pleasure and work. We are super happy to work with you, you had a crazy idea, it was missing in the region!Many thanks to Jean-Christophe Bourru for answering our questions! Discover below the teaser of the City Wave Pro Tour at the Glassy House, the weekend of February 21-23, 2020:
A RIDER OF TEAM WILDSUITS ON THE ARTIFICIAL WAVE OF THE VENDÉE.
A member of the Wildsuits Team, Andrew Diggler, a specialist in artificial and static wave surfing will also participate in this stage of the City Wave Pro Tour. Andrew is one of the best static wave riders (ranked 4th in the Rapid Surf League, he will try to improve his current 17th place on the City Wave Tour ).See you on the weekend of 21-23 February 2020 at St Gilles Croix de Vie, on the artificial wave of The Glassy House. You will also be able to come and meet Staff Wildsuits on their dedicated booth! We’re expecting many of you!