Spanish big wave surfer Naxto Gonzálex rides a huge cold water wave off the coast of Ireland.
© Jon Aspuru

Meet Natxo González, the Basqueman whose surfing knows no boundaries

From Spain’s Basque region to the seven seas, if oversized waves batter a coastline there's a strong chance Natxo González will be there to tackle them head on.
Written by Chris Binns
4 min readPublished on
From the moment Natxo González first planted his feet on fibreglass at the age of 11, he's always been a surfer.
From Mundaka to Punta Galea, the Basque surfer grew up 30km from an abundance of world-class waves and he's at his best when he's among the XXL swells for which the area is known.
With our Why We Go series dropping very soon, we figured the time is right to re-introduce you to a few of the stars of the show, with fast facts and random trivia on everyone from Lucas Chianca to Ian Walsh.
This time it's the turn of our favourite hard-charging Spaniard, so keep scrolling to enjoy immense footage and much more from González.

From the Basque Country to the world

4 min

Nazaré like you’ve never seen it before

Witness one of the most dramatic paddle sessions ever at Praia do Norte, from land, sea and drone.

In 2012, aged just 17, González introduced himself to the big wave surfing fraternity with a famous victory at the Punta Galea Challenge. The win would lead to him being granted a wildcard into the WSL's Big Wave World Tour event in Chile, and later to him competing at the jewel in the BWWT crown: Jaws.
Since then he's competed in events all over the world, but his freesurfing performances at Nazaré have been headline moments from his blossoming career to date.

González’s roots run deep

10 min

Bizkaia: The making of Mundaka

Natxo González explores the traditional sports that helped build the passion of Basque athletes.

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In 2020 our legendary Made In series shone a light on González's beloved homeland.
Straddling the border of France and Spain at the base of the Pyrenees, on the Atlantic's Bay of Biscay, the Basque Country takes a little from each nation yet is a proudly unique corner of the world, with its own language and an incredible local cuisine all of its own. While Bilbao is the major city, San Sebastian is a fixture on the backpacker trail, and as of 25 years ago the Basque Country is now on every surfer's bucket list as well.
González's love for his homeland shines bright, and he carries the series which won acclaim in surfing circles around the world.

Life on the road ain’t too bad either...

17 min

Iceland's undiscovered waves

The surf scene is nascent in Iceland, but two natives, Heidar Logi and Elli Thor, are working to change that.

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While González is known for his performances at home, he's not afraid of packing a coffin full of boards and setting off to the furthest flung corners of the planet. From Iceland to Namibia to Ireland, if a wave breaks anywhere González wants to tame it, and we're more than happy to savour the results.

2 min

Namibia goes nuclear

Natxo González, Aritz Aranburu and friends score epic Skeleton Bay.

2 min

Natxo González takes on maxing Ireland

The intrepid Spaniard hits the big-wave jackpot on the Emerald Isle.

Saltwater or fresh, it doesn't matter

7 min

Red Bull athletes test The Wave

A hardy group of Red Bull's surf team decamp to chilly Bristol to test out The Wave pool.

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In 2019 a group of top surfers hit The Wave, the world's latest and greatest wavepool, in Bristol, UK. With Wave Garden technology from the Basque Country, it was no surprise that González felt right at home, and in a star-studded lineup that included Kanoa Igarashi, Justine Dupont, Lucas Chumbo and Travis 'Snowboard GOAT' Rice to name a few, it was González who stole the show.

At the end of the day, it all comes back to home

3 min

Watch Mundaka turn on for New Year's Day

As a big swell hit Europe on New Year's Day, and Natxo González was ready to celebrate.

In 2018, before the pandemic changed everything, González and his band of Basque brothers rang in the new year with a best-ever session at their lifelong love, the lefthand barrel of Mundaka. "It was a big surprise for everyone," said González's filmer Jon Aspuru. "The swell was the perfect direction to make the sand banks work as good as they did years ago."
González is the archetypal modern surf adventurer, grounded by the powerful waves of home yet intrigued by endless opportunities that lie over the horizon, and tapped into a big wave fraternity that enables travel like never before. As the world releases the shackles after a tough two years, we can't wait to see what our favourite 26-year-old Basqueman delivers next.
Need to know more about González? Why We Go – coming very soon – is here to answer all your questions and more. Stay tuned!
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