In this post I am going to explain what surfing is all about and which are the basic rules and concepts that must be respected in the water. Furthermore, I will also introduce the best surf spots in the Basque Country, and finally I will talk about my own experience and why is surfing my favorite hobby.
What is surfing about?
Surfing is the act of riding waves on a board, initially made of wood from trees like koa, ulu and wiliwili. It has its origins in Polynesia, where it was first described by Joseph Banks in 1769. In the Hawaiian culture, surfing is not a sport or a hobby, but a central part of their culture. Surfing is an art.
In 1915 surfing arrived to Australia, and during the early 60’s and 70’s it began to be practiced in California by guys like Greg Noll or Pat Curren, who start breaking “taboos” by surfing dangerous huge waves with razor-sharp reefs like Waimea Bay.
From this moment on, surfing started developing extremely fast, being also known in Europe. Nowadays it is practiced all around the world.
Basic knowledge & rules in the water
Before analyzing the different spots, I consider necessary to explain the basic concepts basic surfing concepts and rules of this activity.
The basic rules for each surfer are: Priority, which refers to row from the breaker and respect the person going on the top of the wave; it is strictly forbidden to jump waves and to disrespect the surfers who were waiting before; Leave the waves trajectory free and be careful in the breaker; think and communicate your position to the other surfers: “left” means you go to the left, which is the right if you are looking from the shore, and “right” means the opposite: you go to the right, but from the shore you are going to the left (this is quite difficult to understand for amateurs); surf at your level (don’t sub estimate the ocean).
Best surfing spots in the Basque Country
After explaining what a left and right wave is, I think it is time to introduce the best surf breaks of the Basque Country.
First of all, and starting from the places where I surf, it is Barrika, a long left and surf able wave, with a sandy and rocky bottom; Meñacoz, a huge right one with a barrel section surfing terms ; Mundaka, a fast and tubular left. It is well-known because it is one of the best left waves in Europe; Ogeia, a long, tubular right and a short and very surf able left; Deba, a very strong and dangerous right one; Roca Puta, a giant right one, and strong left one barrels; Playa Gris, a left and enormous right one; Karramarro, on the coast road from Zarautz to Getaria, it is a long and consistent left.
This is one of the greatest characteristics of surfing. Each wave is different, and each day the same spot can turn into a very different one, depending on how the wind is blowing, moment of the tide…
My own experience
In my opinion, surfing is something else. It is not just a hobby for me. It is much more than that. It is my biggest motivation for everything. If I am studying, I know that after finishing it I will go surfing. It is more or less the goal of all my working.
When I started surfing, I suddenly realize that I would never stop doing it. I was hooked! I remember the first day that I rode a wave. I reminisce paddling it, doing the push up and feeling the best sensation ever.
From that moment on, I have never stopped doing it, and I have never felt boredom about it.
It is important to highlight that it is not just the moment when you are doing it. It is the moment before (nerves and excitement), during the session (while riding a wave) and after (feeling of great satisfaction). I do not know any other activity in which you finish so relax and pleased.
Besides the act of surfing, it is really nice to learn about the wind, the tides, and other facts that are actually a unique thing of being a surfer. Not everybody knows about this.
To sum up, I can say that surfing is my favorite hobby for the great satisfaction that it provides me before, during the moment while doing it, and after the session, and also because through it I am learning a lot of nature and its constant changes. Surf’s up!