The American surf road-trip (and American travel, by and large) depends on its highway system; a reliable end to that journey is American traffic, when those speeding asphalt bowties hit a standstill, and you’re burning patience, fuel, and ocean time. In Europe, four hours by car separates Northern Spain from Southwest France, but Europe’s empty roads inspire the kind of long, winding drives that Artiz Aranburu has made throughout the two zones since his childhood.
“I’m very lucky to say that I have that wave in Mundaka close to my home,” Aranburu says. “It’s very important to me because it’s what made me the surfer I am today. When I’m out traveling, a lot of people talk about and compliment my backside tube-riding, and much of what I know, I learned it in Mundaka.”
“On the other side, to the east, you have Les Landes on the coast of France,” he continues. “Along with Mundaka, I think these are the two most important destinations for the growth of a surfer. They are waves on an international level. It’s obvious that what you learn here, you can take to any place around the world and put to practice in any contest.”