Photo Essay: Wheels and Waves 2015

Wheels and Waves | Biarritz, June 2015

Wheels and Waves is a fantastic three-day event that includes a surfing contest, open-air concerts, a film screening and a ‘Punk’s Peak’ and ‘Top Fuel’ drag race, all of which are set up around a pop-up Village in the French coastal town of Biarritz. Organized by the Southsiders motorcycle club, a group consisting of Vincent Prat, Jerôme Allé, Fredéric Antoine, Benoit Guerry, Thierry de Miras and Julien Azé and based out of Toulouse, the event was an organic extension of a small annual excursion.

Much like the Bike Shed event we attended in London recently, Wheels and Waves grew out of an eponymous website put together by Southsiders to celebrate the classic custom (pre-1975) motorcycle scene. But the blog site wasn’t enough. Passionate about surfing, the group had been going on an annual excursion to the Basque Country in southwestern France since 2009, and each year the event welcomed more like-minded enthusiasts. The Wheels and Waves event was born from this annual road trip, and in 2013 it became an official festival. It now attracts headline sponsors from BMW, Harley-Davidson, Yamaha and Triumph, amongst others.

What’s it like to attend Wheels and Waves? Well, you’ll have to wait until next June to find out for yourself. For now, you can live vicariously through these wonderfully evocative photos by photographer extraordinaire Laurent Nivalle — who also happens to be the Art Director for Citroen’s DS brand — that draw you into the scene. Looking through the pictures you’d think that the event is straight out of the 50s, a gathering of bikers from a time when legislation and homologation hadn’t stifled creativity. But you’d be mistaken. It’s modern biker life, and it’s going on in your backyard.

Have a look through Laurent Nivalle’s fabulous photo gallery here.

All photos © Laurent Nivalle


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