The “mistral” is a northwesterly wind that scours the coast of southern France on the Mediterranean. It’s so prevalent that the vegetation along the coast is adapted to the wind and there’s a windsurf and SUP brand named after it. And where there’s wind, there’s downwinding (and lots of windsurfing and kiting), especially with the perfectly placed bay off of La Ciotat, where this video starts. Although the fetch across this stretch is just over 10 miles, the 40-knot winds in this video provide what looks like more than enough bump for paddler Didier Leneil. The beat down Leneil suffers toward the end of the video does not look fun. But those runs he had before that probably made it all worthwhile. The footage is a little shaky, but if you’ve been on a howling downwinder, it captures the experience rather well.