“This isn’t really Spain or France. It’s the Basque Country. It’s the country, that was never a country that really is a country,” said world traveling master of the classic log and Duct Tape Invitational founder Joel Tudor of the location of the most recent Zarautz-based itineration of his traveling longboard roadshow.
Residing between the border of Spain and France on the coast of the Bay of Biscayne, the Basque people have inhabited this region for as far back as the 16th Century, remaining for all intents and purposes unconquered to this day. And while the people of the Basque continue to celebrate and, as the DTI’s liaison to the region and event MC Mikel Urigotia puts it “stand for” their own “pride” and “language,” the area’s surf community is effortlessly inclusive, embracing log stylists from across Spain like 15-year old Nico “Dora” Garcia, as well as French surfers like Nathan Sadoun, Robin Falxa, and Jules Lupecheux.
“The local surf culture is saying ‘f–k, this is legend. This is surfing,'” Urigotia said of the European infatuation with classic longboarding over the last decade and a half. Urigotia, who along with 25-year old Bilbao resident Adrian Lopez, has helped lead the log renaissance, locally, says the DTI has left an imprint on the community. Yet, judging by their performances during the weekend’s festivities, it’s the contingent of surfers from the Basque and surrounding environs that left the most indelible impression on those gathered for the most recent Duct Tape.
In “Loggers of the Basque Country” we take a look at the distinctive community of classic longboarding devotees who hail from (and have been embraced by) this region known historically for its nonconformist streak.