Blaze Rips Through Europe's Largest Surfboard Factory

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 156d ago

A fire ripped through the largest surfboard factory in Europe last night.

Pukas and its parent company Olatu, are one of the coronary arteries of Euro surfboard production. It’s not unusual for tour surfers to order a quiver from Pukas which also produces for Lost and Channel Islands, plus many others when they arrive for the Euro season. Twiggy even has one of his elephant gun factories there alongside the big wave boards being produced for the host of Basque chargers.

Legendary shaper, Chris Christenson posted via Instagram about the moment the fire caught and his race to the exit as the floors began to ignite.

He said: ''I only had seconds to navigate out of the largest surfboard factory in Europe. Flames were running along the walls and floors rapidly igniting everything in their path as I was one of the last to get out. It was a miracle that all 30+ of us made it out of the factory just before 100% of the building was engulfed in flames.'' The whole account is pretty heavy, see the full post below.

Just when I thought I've seen and experienced it all, and only two years after I lost my house to a fire, life sent another set wave at 30 others and I and it was no rehearsal. I had just laid the last shape of my day down upstairs at the @pukassurf factory in Spain and heard fire alarms thru the loud noises of operating shaping machines, various stereos, and noticed nobody was around. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the girls from the office start screaming at me in Spanish from a distance and I just took that as run as I only had seconds to navigate out of the largest surfboard factory in Europe. Flames were running along the walls and floors rapidly igniting everything in their path as I was one of the last to get out. It was a miracle that all 30+ of us made it out of the factory just before 100% of the building was engulfed in flames. It took 25 minutes before the first fire crew arrived. All we could do is watch this fire from a distance take the whole factory down along with surrounding buildings. It was so sad to see the tears of the owners and staff who have put 40+ years of their heart and souls into this business, and to know the tough paddling they'll have to do to make it back in the channel. Fire is no joke, and I encourage everyone to take all fire preventions and drills seriously at your home, work place, and places of leisure. This was just my 3rd trip to work here and I already considered @pukassurf family and amongst the nicest people I've ever worked with. The @pukassurf crew is tough as nails and they'll be back in the lineup soon, stronger than ever...... Life is precious, and business is just only business.

A post shared by Chris Christenson (@chris_christenson73) on

The blaze took around five hours to extinguish and luckily, none of the workers were injured though some firefighters were treated in hospital for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is, as of yet, unknown.

A Pukas rep said: “Officially the factory is entirely burnt and very little can be salvaged. The good news that everyone is safe, the fire has taken a big part of our work and hearts but we are all still standing and will now rebuild and grow from the ashes.

“Olatu’s distribution side, customer service, surf accessories, apparel, soft boards and invoices is in a separate building and completely intact.

“We can re-build bigger and better than before.”