Gravity and attraction, solstice and equinox, sun and moon… so many complicated phenomena. So how do the tides work?

If you check in a dictionary, you get the following definition:
“The tide is the daily movement (6 hour cycle) - coming in and then going out- of the seas and oceans, caused by the gravity of the sun and the moon”. Great, so you’ve understood!

The highest level the tide reaches is often called “high tide”. Conversely, we call the lowest level “low tide”.


Waves - The Landes


After that, you should know that there are particularly small tides which happen around 21st December (winter) and 21st June (summer). Other stronger (and more spectacular) tides take place at the beginning of spring (around 20th March) and autumn (21st September). These are commonly called “spring tides”. With the spring tides, you can really see the difference between the highest and the lowest points- it’s quite impressive!

In the Landes, the spectacle of the raging ocean is best watched from the dunes. Truly awe-inspiring!
In the Autumn, the Professional Surfing World Tour calls in at Hossegor, Seignosse and Capbreton, the most famous surfing spots in the Landes.

At each lifeguarded beach in the Landes, you will notice the tide times (high and low) are noted daily by the lifeguards.

Once you know that the tidal coefficient shows the strength of the tide and it goes from 20 (weak tide) to 120 (strong tide), you will be just about ready to explain everything to your parents. In short, with a strong coefficient, there is a higher chance of bigger waves and strong currents.

You see, young Einstein (what am I saying? Young Newton!), the tides aren’t magic, they’re natural!


(CDT des Landes - Updated 22/03/2017)