Mundaka, the best beach for surfing in northern Spain.

The practice of surfing in northern Spain is a magnet for all lovers of this discipline. Not in vain, the coasts of this part of the Spanish geography have a location that has been recognized as the best left-hand wave in Europe and one of the best in the world. Without a doubt, Mundaka Beach for surfing is an extraordinary place where great experts come all year round to practice this sport. However, although everyone knows this beach as Mundaka, do you know that it actually has its own name? It is Laidaitxu Beach.

The nerve center of surfing in northern Spain is located in a small fishing village in the heart of the Basque coast. The reason for its fame is none other than its impressive wave. In addition to being considered very fast, it is striking for its length, as it can reach between 400 and 500 meters in length.

Mundaka, the town and the mouth of the Urdaibai River.

The best left-hand wave for surfing in northern Spain

This wave, known by many as “la barra,” is one of Spain’s main attractions for surfers from all over the world. Its location on a promontory at the mouth of Urdaibai, along with a unique sandy bottom, allows these waves to form and extend all the way to the next beach, Laida. This area is a perfect alternative for less experienced surfers, as it is suitable for all skill levels.

When conditions are favorable, you will enjoy fast waves reaching heights of up to four or five meters, breaking with power to form a perfect tube that can extend up to 500 meters in length. Those who manage to ride it agree that the view of the coast from inside the tube is an unforgettable sight.

A day of perfect waves in Mundaka.

During the best times of the year, hundreds of surfers wait their turn to ride these waves, highlighting the importance of respecting the surfing priority rules. However, it’s important to note that Mundaka Beach is not suitable for all surfers. You need to have a certain level of experience, as the rip currents and the power of its waves can be dangerous for someone with a lower skill level. In fact, the complexity of the Mundaka wave has led to the creation of specific surfboards designed for riding it, such as the Pukas Water Lion surfboard.

The accident involving one of the local surfers, Kepa Acero, left a lasting impression on many. He landed headfirst, and the shallow depth caused him to fracture two vertebrae, one in the back and one in the neck. His life was saved by a nearby surfer who was able to rescue him. This close call, which could have cost him his life, serves as a reminder to anyone approaching Mundaka Beach for surfing that even with knowledge of the terrain, there are certain risks involved in this sport.

A day of perfect waves in Mundaka.

These waters have been frequented by world-class surfers such as Mark Occhilupo, Andy Irons, Kelly Slater, Tom Curren, and Marc Paarman.

Best time for surfing in Mundaka

The ideal months for surfing in the northern region of Spain, specifically in Mundaka, are during the autumn and winter seasons. Particularly, the hours before and after low tide, with long periods and winds from the south or southwest.

Mundaka beach has gained popularity to the point of being one of the locations where international competitions are organized. The World Surf League (WSL) was held here for nine years, although the competition didn’t live up to expectations in the last year due to unfavorable conditions. Unfortunately, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) made the decision not to hold it in Mundaka again.

Billabong Pro Mundaka poster in 2008.

If you want to know the best conditions in advance, we recommend checking the wave forecast on some of the apps that offer hourly predictions. This way, you will make the most of your visit. Remember that we explained in detail how to interpret Windguru and how to interpret Surf Forecast.

What surfboard to use in Mundaka

Mundaka is a wave for experienced surfers. We recommend using a thick and long shortboard surfboard. The most critical area in Mundaka is the take-off zone. Having a slightly thicker and longer board will help you start a bit earlier on the wave, making it easier for you to position yourself in the barrel of the first section. Also, keep in mind that on a good day in Mundaka, you won’t be alone. Having extra volume in your surfboard will help you position yourself at the peak and catch waves.

A very useful and common accessory to see in Mundaka is a surf helmet. As we have seen before with Kepa Acero’s accident, Mundaka is a dangerous wave. The danger doesn’t only come from the power of the wave but also from other surfers, and a helmet can save your life.

The beach and its surroundings

Mundaka is a beautiful fishing village located in Urdaibai, a Biosphere Reserve. In addition to its beaches, it is surrounded by kilometers of marshes and sandy areas that are rich in flora and fauna. To explore it, you will have to visit its small port, which exudes the atmosphere of the fishermen and is home to one of the most important landmarks in the town

The small fishing port of Mundaka.

Through its trails, you will explore the mountains that surround it, such as Ogoño. From its viewpoint, the views of the sea are spectacular.

As you can see, Mundaka is an excellent destination for surfing in northern Spain. Its waves and surroundings are impressive! At Mundo-Surf, we have surf wetsuits that will protect you from the low temperatures so that you can enjoy this beach during the coldest time of the year.

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