Last week, Anglet, France, on the beautiful Atlantic coast not far from Hossegor, banned the use of hydrofoils along all five kilometers of its delicious beaches. It is the first such ban in France, but it comes a year or so on the heels of the personal ban I’ve put on hydrofoils, in my house and in the surf zone immediately surrounding me.

Like me, Anglet is fretting about the massive blade beneath the hydrofoil and the possible gruesome injury it may cause to harmless bystanders. My French ain’t what it used to be, and it was never all that bon to begin with, but in translating the official decree, I’ve come up with something along the lines of: there is a need to police the beach for safety; nautical activities that might be super dangerous, like riding around on a giant guillotine, might be a bit of a problem; therefore foils are banned, and if you use one you’ll be busted.

Now, lots of the beaches near Anglet can be empty lots of the time, so the ban might be a little bit of an overreach, at least according to local charger Stéphane Iralour, who recently told French surf website Surf SessionInterdire le foil dans les zones de baignades, ok, pas de problème je peux comprendre. Mais à l’année et sur toutes les plages, c’est exagéré”, précise t-il. “Pourquoi ne pas faire juste un arrêté temporaire comme c’est déjà le cas à Biarritz ou Saint-Jean-de-Luz ?”  

Which, I think, basically says, “Why not just ban foils at most popular beaches? They’re not as dangerous as people think.”

Good point, Iralour. But also:

Remember this dude? Hydrofoil. Photo: Jamie Mitchell’s Facebook page.