a map. Take a stand-up paddleboard nature walk near Ouistreham

Riddle: What allows us to walk in water, requires oars, but no sail? It’s stand-up paddling! This marine sport, very popular on the West Coast, allows you to discover nature in just a few strokes of the paddle. journeys to the west, The new travel magazine western france, It takes you for a walk at the mouth of the Orne in Normandy.

“When I was a kid we built boats as a family with my parents to sail the Eure, says Julian Bonnard, watersports educator. I was always on the water: kayaking, windsurfing, windsurfing, boating with sailing activities at school and sea activities at summer camp…”

For discovering the mouth of the Orne River, on the edge of Ouistreham, in Normandy, nothing is better than kayaking. | West of France

For thirteen years, Julian Bonnard lived out his passion for gliding at the Sailing and Rowing Club in Merville-Franceville, Calvados. This 40-year-old association club has the peculiarity of being located on the Orne estuary, in a designated conservation area with access to the sea.

Julien Bonnard on his paddle, animator at Sailing and Rowing Club Merville-Franceville. | Martin Rock

The early trainer’s taste for marine sports grew over the years until he received official patents for marine trainers. His knowledge also allowed him to organize picnics in the fresh air for six years, when he was engaged in childcare. “In the Orne Estuary, the oar is a very interesting tool, because the field of view is very clear, Julien Beunard details. You need minimal drag because you can go anywhere with 20cm of water. »

Observe nature in silence

This “human-powered” method of travel offers the possibility to reach in silence along the water and contemplate the wealth of bird species in this protected area (Eurasian curlews, winter teal, black-headed warbler, pit far…), without disturbing them.

Read also: Is stand-up paddling right for you? Here are five misconceptions about this popular sport

“We must remain vigilant, Defines sports animation. The advantage of the Orne estuary is that it never changes, depending on the tides and the weather … During high transactions you can go everywhere, and during small transactions the swamp types are more noticeable. It is a distinctive means of approach, but it is necessary that the practice be done in a correct way to coexist with all species. SUP can be a floating scarecrow for wildlife! »

The Orne Estuary is a bird sanctuary, as it is located on the migration route. More than 400 species of birds have been counted there. | Stephen Geoffroy

“I row as part of my job and out of passion, Julian Bonnard explains. When the stand up paddle came in, we got started on the old surfboards, before the builders even started. Today, sports are becoming more and more democratic with inflatable oars. »

Off the board, practice requires a proper paddle and individual equipment: a full diving suit, buoyancy vest, appropriate footwear, a leash (a rope attached to the paddle) and, depending on the season, a neoprene hat and gloves. You also need a waterproof bag to always carry the phone.

Multifunctional sports

Once set up – supervised sessions include equipment and it’s also possible to rent everything you need – the possibilities are endless. “Unlike kayaking, the field of view is clear and it’s good to see the bottom when the water is clear. With just a few waves, surfing is easy! It is a very fun and very interesting sport with a wide range of uses. »

Le Normand especially recommends nature walks in the estuary. Several pedestrian rinks make it possible to discover the protected area, but the paddle opens up many vantage points. Why not go to the end of the seat at Ouistreham, right across from the club, and watch the birds there from the watchtower? A few paddle strokes are enough…

Franceville Sailing and Rowing Club, Bay Road, in Merville-Franceville-Plage. Such as. : 02 31 24 46 11. cvpf2010.voile-franceville.asso.fr

a map. Take a stand-up paddleboard nature walk near Ouistreham

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