They say you shouldn’t live through your kids but sometimes you just gotta. I’ve always wanted to learn to skateboard but when I was younger I never had the facilities, the mentor, or the chutzpah to get out among a bunch of boys and fall on my, er, face. This deficiency has always caused me regret.
On our recent trip to Moliets et Maa in Aquitaine with Madame Vacances holiday rental company, we drove over to the nearby town of Vieux Boucau, where my 12-year-old daughter took a lesson in skateboarding from Julien. She loved it but — perhaps more importantly — so did I.
Julien appears to be almost an ideal skate instructor. He’s handsome in a shaggy kind of way, drives around in a van loaded with skate equipment and can do ollies, slides and grinds.
After getting outfitted with helmets, wrist and knee guards, issued a skateboard, the group did a warmup, stretching arms, legs and neck.
Then it was on to the quarter pipe. Julien obviously really loves his subject and believes every kid can skate. He instructed our group of girls in the different parts of the skateboard and then it was all about getting on going.
My daughter did the lesson with a group of girls on a trip hosted by Madame Vacances, which has been renting holiday homes and ski chalets for 25 years. Their properties are ideal for families, featuring pools, cleaners, communal kitchens, and beautiful natural settings. I thought they would be perfect for extended families, families saddled, uh I mean blessed, with teens — who want their own room and bathroom and space away from you, Mum! — as well as multigenerational groups or holidays with friends. (You can find more information about Madame Vacances and what they offer at the end of this post.)
Our little group of girls worked on balance and control, starting with the board flipped up on its tail, then clacking it down with their front foot and smoothly sailing down a small incline. Practice, practice, practice…then on to the next skill, with a helping hand when anyone fumbled, slipped or fell (be aware, there were spills).
By the end the girls were edging up the quarter pipe and doing half turns, where you lift up the front wheels and swing round the nose 180 degrees.
Every girl went from novice to skater chick, albeit beginning ones. At our exhortations, Julien showed us a few of his tricks at the end, swerving up and around the park, even slightly wiping out. That’s another lesson altogether, although that one I think even I could master.
Skateboarding with Julien can be booked as a group lesson via his website skatelandes.com.
1 ½ hours lesson costs €25 per person.
Jenography was a guest in Vieux Boucau with Madame Vacances. We stayed at Villas La Clairière aux Chevreuils. Prices start from £102 pp (£819 total) for a seven-night stay in a villa sleeping eight, on a self-catering basis. Each spacious villa is equipped with families in mind, from their large lounges with satellite TV and well-equipped kitchens to their decked terrace and private pool.
All opinions are my own.
Madame Vacances offers five complexes across the Moliets seaside resort, with its comfortable range of apartments, cottages and villas with pools ensuring couples, families and groups can all enjoy their ideal break – whatever their budget from as little as £219 per apartment per week in a studio that sleeps two people in May.
To book call Madame Vacances on 01273 358 071, or visit www.madamevacances.co.uk.
Return flights from London Gatwick to Bordeaux cost from £108 pp with easyJet (www.easyjet.com).
Specialising in hassle-free holidays throughout France since 1991. With 45 resorts offering upscale hotels, Alpine chalets, holiday cottages and self-catered villas with pools in its prestigious portfolio, Madame Vacances offers great value holiday options that cater for all styles and budgets. From family holidays to golf getaways and beach breaks along the French West Coast to winter escapes exploring some of the Alps’ top ski resorts.