There is a time of uncertainty in the seas that all surfers know very well. Each wave decides on its own fate and there is no science that says whether this enormous tongue of water rising up before the sportsman will reach the right height and power to send them on a good run. The wave chooses the person who will accompany it and the surfer has to be patient and wait for right one. The art of surfing, a thrilling sport born in Hawaii over 500 years ago and which is devoutly practised on the Cantabrian coastline.
Zarautz and Mundaka beaches in the Basque country are two top spots that receive surfers from all around the world attracted by the fury of an imposing sea.
The first, a few kilometres from San Sebastián, with its great surfing tradition and visited by international sports people of all levels, boasts that it is one of the safest places to learn. There are hardly any rocks, the currents are fairly gentle and in the summer the surfing areas are well defined. Along its beach, several schools offer instructors and material for those who want to try their luck.
Surfing is an intense sport, sometimes exhausting but open to all kinds of people. Physical strength and weight do not make a difference, good surfers are those who practise, and the sport is catching. One of the sport’s main advantages is how fast you see results. From the first lesson, the most inexpert surfers can stand and hold on for a few seconds on the crests.
The sea takes no winter holiday and the beach is filled with surfers at these times looking for the larger waves. Even so, the best time of the year for surfing lovers is in early September, with the San Miguel Pro Zarautz world surfing championship. Dedicated surfers such as Bruce Irons, Andy Irons, Taj Burrow and Sunny Garcia have left their print on the world championships in past years.
In addition to the great championship, Zarautz holds different competitions in the summer. The sport is present in the seaside town which now has one of the strongest surfing schools in Spain.
The ‘fearful’ left wave of Mundaka
Under 70 km away is Mundaka beach, the great temple of surf. If Zarautz can boast its tradition and preparation of the beaches, in Mundaka it is the great waves that have turned this seaside town of Biscay into the meeting point for thousands of surfers from around the world. The Queen of the meeting is the fearful ‘Great Left Wave’, and thus called for its power, speed and because it is capable of rolling more than 300 metres.