The Wave Garden
Somewhere I never thought I’d find myself. Waist deep in a dead flat lake in Basque country, staring at a tiny patch of water about 15 metres away. The anticipation is intense. I’m waiting for a small lump of water to materialise and head my way. Turning and paddling for the lump, it now sounds like a small breaking wave. Taking off right next to the net, it jumps to 3ft on the peak, firing me down the face. I stacked the first one (but so did Bede Durbidge) spun out by the whole set up. Once you get it, it’s awesome - 2-3ft racey rights and lefts (keep it tight in the pocket). Once the wave ends, there is a 3 minute wait for the lake to calm down, the underwater foil to turn around and for us surfers to get back in place ready for the lump again. Turn, paddle and surf 100m back down the lake, only this time going left. Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
So Nick Hounsfield (big thanks) – along with Chris Hines and a solid crew – is the guy leading the charge to get the world’s first one up and running near Bristol – looking like it could be here for next Autumn. It’s totally ground breaking and the potential to counter flat spells, hold comps, training, and an expand the social reach of surfing are huge. We surfed pretty much all day in 8 wave sessions, starting to chuck a few turns by the end. When dusk came, Fernando (the inventor who’s been at it 10 years) came out and shut the place down. A calm, quiet lake again - no tide, no salt, no roar. Back in Sebastian, tapas and beers adrift, the chat was thick and fast about what it could mean.
Fernando later told us that Mundaka was going to be all time at the weekend, 6-8ft, possibly bigger. Mother nature knows she’ll always be boss.