GALLERY: Sunday's Moments of Mundaka Magic

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 97d ago

“A few days before this session went down, everyone was talking about this. Everyone,” said Basque Country warrior Indar Unanue. “Mundaka was going to be pumping.”

And for the most part, it was, in a sense. This Sunday session at Mundaka was thanks to that same big swell that raked to shore in Nazare and the UK too. Except, for this jewel in Europe's wave crown, it was a slow, setty affair that eventually, after many swings and misses, gave way to moments of joy.

Live cam: Mundaka

© 2023 - Vid by Manu Miguelez.

“I got there at 12.30pm-1pm,” continues Indar. “Didn't even check it, just went and got in there. I saw the waves and I stopped. It looked flat. Super quiet. Then it started to look clean, no wind, which is not the best for Mundaka.

Imagine waking up, checking out your window, you see this. Do you run down and suit up? Or do you suit up and them run down? Does it matter? Out there.

Imagine waking up, checking out your window, you see this. Do you run down and suit up? Or do you suit up and them run down? Does it matter? Out there.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

“I paddled out, the sets were actually good but it took 10-15 minutes for a set to come through. Spent two to three hours in there, then the waves got bigger, bigger and the last two hours of the day, Mundaka was perfect. Really good waves and a magic moment of the day.”

Indar! Well in there.

Indar! Well in there.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

“It started off by looking so good, then the wind came,” says Manu Miguelez, lensperson extraordinare who was out at Mundaka on Sunday. “It was like, almost flawless, lots of excitement around. It got big, but lots of drop ins, lots of barrels just closing out.”

Iker Fuentes loves those deep shades of green.

Iker Fuentes loves those deep shades of green.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

Diego Elejoste.

Diego Elejoste.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

It's not the first time Mundaka's worked this season. Earlier this month, we got our first taste of Europe's favourite barrel.

Back then, the sand was feeling funky, all clumped up in the end section of the wave -- when you really want it on the takeoff. Seems it hasn't changed too much over the past few weeks and that's to be expected with no real XXL swells to chop up the banks yet. As of right now, it's still too early in the season to say how Mundaka will fare this season. But people remain hopeful.

Mundaka's a gorgeous town, emboldened and buoyed by the fishing trade.

Mundaka's a gorgeous town, emboldened and buoyed by the fishing trade.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

Like Gorka Gurdi, photographer in the water as this thing switched on: “Crazy day,” he said. “Not a perfect day, there was no wind, but it was beautiful. No wind is kinda of bad for Mundaka, makes it all shut down, in a way. There were some crazy bombs. I think I spent six hours in the water in the end. Let's see what happens this season.”

It's a waiting game. On the right, Manu Miguelez,  Eukeni Masa and Aletxu Gironi look on. But what they're probably thinking about is pintxos (middle) the Basque food that is present in most bars around the area.

It's a waiting game. On the right, Manu Miguelez, Eukeni Masa and Aletxu Gironi look on. But what they're probably thinking about is pintxos (middle) the Basque food that is present in most bars around the area.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

Natxo Gonzalez can dance with the best of 'em.

Natxo Gonzalez can dance with the best of 'em.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

So what was going on here then? We asked MSW forecaster Tony Butt to wrap it out: “The swell originated from a centre of low pressure that started getting stronger just south of Cape Farewell on Wednesday 12th.

“Over the next 24 hours, it moved north west, intensified and stalled about 400 miles south of Iceland, becoming a powerful system by late Thursday 13th. The main centre then suddenly moved south, and the storm transformed into a complex system with additional centres off Scotland and the Faeroe Island.

Julen Larraña.

Julen Larraña.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

Guillermo Amezaga (left) and Lenny Weinhold, look on at the marvel out front.

Guillermo Amezaga (left) and Lenny Weinhold, look on at the marvel out front.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

“The area of strong northwest winds, on the southwest flank of the main centre, generated a pulse of largish swell into mid areas and then further south. The movement of the windfield itself helped to extend the distance over which the swell-generating wind could blow, which made the swell more solid.

It can get a little moody, but that's ok too.

It can get a little moody, but that's ok too.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi

“As the main centre weakened during the weekend, yet another centre formed west of Galicia, and moved north towards Ireland. This kept local winds from the south or southeast, meaning clean conditions coinciding with the peak of the swell for north and northwest-facing spots.

“So, down into Biscay, at spots such as Mundaka, the swell increased early Sunday, peaking in the afternoon with wave heights hitting a solid six feet, with moderate to fresh southerly winds, as evidenced here.”

Keep your eyes peeled too, because there's more on the way.

For the groms and bystanders, it is a spectacle.

For the groms and bystanders, it is a spectacle.

© 2023 - Gorka Gurdi