“Surf Travel and a Brief Lesson in Localism” by Connor Macanally via The Inertia

“Surf Travel and a Brief Lesson in Localism” by Connor Macanally via The Inertia

Small-ish wind-kissed waves are your best bet at sliding in unnoticed. Photo: Sebastian Mitterm//Unsplash The Basque culture is one of the oldest in existence. How old? No one really knows. There’s good evidence to suggest the Basque language, “Euskara,” has origins that predate all Indo-European languages and the Roman Empire. Before that, records tend to get a little hazy. One thing is for certain, the Basques haven’t managed to protect culture, language, and country for thousands of years by being submissive pushovers.  At the end of Franco’s brutal 36-year regime, the Basques sought autonomous rule from Spain and gained it in 1978. During the dictatorship, the Basque language was forbidden, and anything significant to Basque culture was banned. Not cool Franco. Since autonomy, their culture has prospered, and the Basque Country is back to being the proud nation at the end of the earth.  Why am I telling you this? No, you haven’t stumbled upon a European history lesson. This is simply setting a historical backdrop to a place where I recently spent two months. Winter in this part of the world is a dream scenario for surfers. Instead of European crowds flocking in, they tend to dissipate and wait for warmer weather and summer waves to return (the beauty of the European surf scene).  What is left is the locals (who all surf well), and a few miscellaneous crew who have made the great decision to be there. Surfing in the Basque Country is a completely different thing from the endless beachbreaks of Les Landes to the north. At the western end of the Pyrenees Mountain range, the coastline is craggy with...