Walk along the wall of surfboards at Surfin Estate, Vincent Lemanceau’s surf shop in Hossegor, and you’ll notice that on the back of every board are the handwritten words ‘Please have fun’. Balancing tradition and innovation, Vincent is a joyful light in the often serious world of surfing and shaping.

‘Whenever I shape a board for someone, I get to bring joy to their life. Some of my customers have up to 10 of my boards in their quiver, and I think it’s because these boards both challenge them and allow them to have the most fun.’

Vincent Lemanceau.

Nestled along France’s southwest coast, Hossegor is one of Europe’s quintessential surf destinations, bringing surfers from all over the world to its legendary breaks – with events like the Quiksilver Pro France showcasing the town’s passion for the sport. Surfin Estate is a longstanding pillar of the community, offering everything from high-quality hand-shaped boards to thoughtfully designed surf apparel. Throughout the year, Vincent also connects artists, photographers, musicians and surfers through a curated events programme.

Nose ride from behind.

Vincent’s approach to shaping reflects his reverence for surfing’s history and culture. ‘I was a surf teacher here in 2003’, he explains, ‘and my main thing was to bring the fun California vibe to France. Egg shapes & fish shapes – I was already into this style when I started shaping.

I had a deep appreciation of the longboarding attitude and culture, so I think I just kept this in mind when I started to shape. I didn’t want to do performance shortboards for the kids, I wanted to make it fun and as a result build people’s confidence. Nowadays, as long as you have the right board – you can surf bigger waves without being a professional surfer.

The surf shop.