Today, we’re talking about surfing, though one might think that since the source is the Financial Times, the recommendations about it would have more to do with the economy.  But our regular readers will know that in most instances when we’ve brought you one of their articles, it’s been because they’ve dedicated an article to something related to culture, sports, social development, or any of a wide range of topics that let us know we’re in their “spotlight.”

On this occasion, journalist Paul Richardson and photographer Markel Redondo offer us an article about the life, or rather the lifestyle, of Natxo González at “home,” or more specifically Biscay.  Here, he surfs along the Basque Coast, where he enjoys himself, meets up with his koadrila, and where he likes eating and shopping.  It’s really a guide to some of the corners of our country where he spends his time.

Surfing is a sport practiced all along the Basque coast, and is famous worldwide, as evidenced by the numerous articles we’ve collected.  It has a huge presence all the way from the very north, in Bayonne, to the westernmost point of Biscay at Cobarón.

This sport officially reached our country (and Europe) back in the ’60s and first settled down in the Northern Basque Country, at places like Biarritz and Anglet, and soon spread to the Southern Basque Country.  In the latter, the most well-known places are San Sebastian (as did Natxo Gonzalez in Plentzia) it’s quite common to see young people leaving home with a surfboard under their arm, on their way to Zurriola.

We said that the 1960s was the official start date because, as we said a while ago, it’s most likely true that the first European surfer was a young man from Vitoria, Ignacio Arana.  The story goes that we he came back from his time in Hawaii in 1912, he brought a pair of surfboards home.  As we said in the article we wrote about him, it makes no sense for him to bring them back and not use them.

The whole length of our coast, the Basque coast, is a privileged location for surfing, for beginners to experts, including challenging locations like Punta Galea, and the giant wave at Belharra.

It’s an amazing article, and we’re sure more than on Financial Times reader will feel more than a bit tempted to come learn about the part of our country surfer Natxo Gonzalez has opened doors to.

Financial Times – 17/2/2023 – Gran Bretaña

A surfer’s guide to the Basque Country with Natxo González

I was born in Bilbao but when I was small we moved to a town called Plentzia, where Bilbao people often spend the summer. There’s a pretty beach; the scenery looks almost like Ibiza. Our family home is five minutes from the sea, so it doesn’t take long for me to see the waves.

(Follow) (Automatic translation)

Header photo: Natxo Gonzalez surfing in Mundaka, on the Biscay coast (Markel Redondo)

Last Updated on Feb 22, 2023 by About Basque Country

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