Living the Search in Northern Spain

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Words by Jayce Robinson

When embarking on our search, Lyndon and I thought the Basque Country and Spain would probably be one of the most challenging areas for us, owing to our minimal experience and knowledge of the coastline.

We didn't know anything about the place. We'd both been to the famous spots of the region in our junior careers for contests at San Sebastian and Sopelana. Somehow we felt that we knew everything about the region, having dipped our toes across the border from France, but we were quickly corrected on this fact.

This leg of the journey widened our narrow minds and the country kept continuing to amaze us both with its beauty and diversity of waves. On the hunt for perfect uncrowded waves we found ourselves driving west to east and back again several times, with so many cool places to check out. With the abundance of surf spots your driving time cannot be under estimated in the challenge to score.

Much to our surprise it wasn't anywhere near as difficult as we first thought to find good waves. As well as good waves and scenic views the northern coast boasts a beautiful highway which goes through the mountains and the extraordinary shaped coastline. Being able to see the coast as you drive the country meant whenever we spotted a little cove that had some potential we simply pulled up and checked it out.

Although not difficult to find the waves, being at the right spot at the right time was a challenge, but with direction from the locals we found what we were looking for. From picturesque hidden coves that offered the most unpredictable wedgy waves, to 10-15ft hollow point breaks, it seemed that the place had everything a surfer could want.

While we were in the Basque Country we hung out with Asier Munian. Spending time with Asier was an experience we will both never forget, and we learned a lot from it in terms of how to host guests. His legendary status will remain high in our books for a very long time.

Lyndon met Asier a few years back in Ireland when their paths crossed on yet another swell hunt in the Emerald Isle. As we found our way to Asier's place, Lyndon shared some stories of how crazy Asier is and after a delightful home cooked meal at his girlfriends house, and a few Keller beers, we had a good idea what type of character he is.

We will never forget that day. It was without a doubt one of the best days of surfing we’ve had. The vibe in the water, the waves and the pure excitement from the local people made it such a special day. The surf literally pumped all day and after 6 hours we were exhausted.

We got to know each other and shared stories from the past. It turned out the next day was set to pump at a wave called Roka Puta (Translates to Whore Rock) and he told us all about it and the do's and don'ts of the place. Unfortunately he couldn't surf with us due to a rib injury he'd sustained on the previous swell. None the less he was still amped to get up at 6am to show us the wave and make sure we knew exactly where to go, giving some invaluable tips on how to surf the place. Whenever you surf a wave for the first time, big or small, its always nice to have a bit of local knowledge about the rips, tides and how to get in etc. He told us all and after watching several 12-15ft bombs, huffing their way down the point as we made our way to the harbour.

We will never forget that day. It was without a doubt one of the best days of surfing we've had. The vibe in the water, the waves and the pure excitement from the local people made it such a special day. The surf literally pumped all day and after 6 hours we were exhausted. Much to our delight and Eli's dismay (Asier's girlfriend), Asier snuck out at the end of the day and snagged a few evening bombs. Watching the man himself carving up 10ft walls was the perfect way to finish off the day. Despite being injured he still schooled us.

As you can imagine a session like Roka Puta can steal the show of a trip but in this rare occasion it didn't. Spain and the Basque Country had so much to offer that high and low points all merged into one experience which was one of the best. I don't think writing an article about our journey could express our thanks and gratitude for the numerous people who made it what it was.

To abbreviate hugely, we would like to thank the Asier Muniun clan, Pablo, Palots, Danni pablos, Pablo Guiterrez, and everyone else who showed us where to go, whether we were looking for waves, a party, or your finest local cuisine.

Over and out.