‘La Torche’ may be the most beautiful surf film of the year

When it comes to surf videos, you’ll be hard pressed to find one as beautifully shot and unique as La Torche. Set to the dulcet sounds  of Anna von Hausswolff’s Mountain Crave, the clip transports us to Pointe de la Torche in the Finistère region of France, where we join surfers Ian Fontaine and Gaspard Larsonneur as they arrive at the beach just as the sun is starting to set, although it isn’t until after dark that things begin to truly get interesting.

Filmmaker Hugo Manhes reportedly spent three months planning the short film before actually traveling to Finistère to shoot it this past November. Using 120,000 watts of neon lights, the director illuminated the beach in an array of colors, giving it an otherworldly feel that brings a great sense of atmosphere to the clip. Those same lights cast their glow out onto the water as well, making it possible for Fontaine and Larsonneur to paddle out into the water and catch some waves in the dead of the night.

Pointe de la Torche is a well known, almost legendary, spot amongst surfers. It consists of a lonely granite outcropping that extends out into the Atlantic Ocean along the southern tip of the Bay of Audierne. The point has been buffeted by waves and winds for centuries, but despite the wild conditions La Torche, as it is known, has been a gathering point for humans stretching as far back as prehistoric times.

The same winds and waves that carved this granite monument also help to make it an excellent surf destination. With a strong current and big ocean rollers, La Torche is not a beach that attracts swimmers. But the big waves that form just off shore are perfect for riding, making it an epic spot for surfers.

Even the most experienced surfers would find it challenging to ride those waves at night however, so filming this video definitely pushed the skills of Fontaine and Larsonneur to the limit. As you’ll see in the short film, their moves are expertly captured on film by Manhes, with all of the action illuminated in an eerie but alluring neon light.

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