LA SURFERIE – A surf bar in Paris

On the corner of a street, in one of Paris’ liveliest neighbourhoods, a bar dedicated to the world of boarding opened its doors just over a year and a half ago. Its name? La Surferie!

A surf bar in Paris

The first bar of its kind in Paris, La Surferie stands out for its wonderful atmosphere. It’s like entering a hut perched on the dune, with wooden décor and the omnipresent spirit of surf. It’s almost as if we’re actually there (on the beach!) It’s a window onto our holiday souvenirs from deep in the doom and gloom of Paris.

This unusual bar is the brain-child of Christophe. He’s been crazy about surfing and skiing for many years and has always had huge admiration for board sports and boarders in general.

He’s been crazy about surfing and skiing for many years and has always had huge admiration for board sports and boarders in general.

Hi Christophe! So, tell us what gave you the idea to open a surf bar? And a surf bar in Paris, no less!

For me, opening La Surferie just made sense. I studied in Paris and every birthday I’d be looking for somewhere to meet up with my friends that suited my tastes but I never really found anywhere that did. So I thought to myself, why not one day create somewhere myself, a place where I could bring to life a world that had always fascinated me.

Tell us a little more about the concept for the bar…

La Surferie is a place where people can go when they’re looking for a board sports atmosphere. The décor is designed to put you in that mindset without going over the top. Because, once you’ve got the décor down, with surf photos on the walls, good music and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, it’s the people that really make the place.

It’s a place for people to come together. You can come alone or with friends but it’s perfectly possible that you’ll quickly find yourself talking to someone who speaks the same language, who’s been on the same travels as you, or drunk the same beers as you on the other side of the world, and then drink them again here in Paris.

Our events are centred on the world of board sports. Our singers and DJs are either surfers or somehow involved in the scene. It’s the same for the artists whose work we exhibit. Our events often promote brands from the field – both known and up-and-coming – or promote other businesses created by other enthusiasts, more specific community gatherings, or magazine launches and special editions dedicated to surfing.

We also put on, for example, awareness evenings with the Surfrider Foundation (starting on 6 December this year) and informative evenings for people travelling to places like Australia and New Zealand (once a month in collaboration with the website, we try to be as consistent as possible with our events. In any case, they have to have something vaguely to do with surfing.

What are your main goals at the moment?

The number 1 goal is to keep the energy, atmosphere and authenticity that make La Surferie what it is today, with the same sort of spirit and chat that we’re so proud of. Then, for the La Surferie brand, we currently have a couple of projects under way but it’s still too early to talk about them.

What’s the surf scene like in Paris?

There’s a huge surf scene in the capital. Don’t forget, a lot of people come to Paris to live and work. So you get French people from all over the country here as well as loads of people from abroad that surf too. You often meet English people, Australians, Americans… it’s great!

So for lonely surfers La Surferie is a place where you can be in your element when you can’t go surfing or skiing and come and meet other people that share the same interests.

But in Paris as soon as there are good conditions on the coast (from Normandy to the South-West) lots of people leave, often sharing cars to get to the beach.The community that comes to La Surferie, age-wise, ranges from about 25 to 40, it’s pretty big. It depends what’s on really. What really stands out though is people’s attitude and respect for each other. The people that come here are really cool. It might seem cliché but it’s true. You can see that surfing chills people out.

And where do girls fit in to all that?

Girls? There are a LOT of girls. It sort of shocks me to see how often there are more women in the bar than men. No joke.

I know they like the décor and that the toilets are clean so that doesn’t put them off. And, as the guys are respectful, I imagine it’s a nice place for them to come where they can relax and have fun.

Also I know there are more and more women taking up surfing. That said, I don’t know if all the women that come to the bar surf, which obviously isn’t obligatory!!

That’s reassuring, you won’t get asked for a “surfer” id card before being allowed in the bar. Far from it. Here everyone’s welcome, from the surf-mad to the surf-noob!

Anything you’d like to add?

Yes, definitely. For all those reading this article who come to La Surferie from time to time and the regulars, on behalf of the whole team, I’d like to say a huge thank you – even if we do our best to say it at the end of each night – without you La Surferie would be nowhere near as “cool” as it is…

Translation: Georgie Scott