The 26 year old charger from Spains Basque Country was one of the standouts in the allready spectacular european big wave winter 2007/2008. For the local northern Spain surf community this is nothing new but the rest of us might not be that familiar with him. As it´s time to change this ´cause we´ll definitly see more spectacular action from Axi, we decided to aks him a few questions:
datrip: Axi, where do you live?
Axi: I was born in Zarautz and still live there.
datrip: When and where did you start surfing?
Axi: I started at age 13, in Zarautz. With a board borrowed from a friend.
datrip: What are your favorite waves?
Axi: What really turns me on are powerfull waves. Either Slabs or large waves.
datrip: What were your most remarkable trips?
Axi: The most impressive trip was the one to Irland. The swells are really powerfull and the breaks are excellent. What I liked most was the metereologial diversity, the wind, the cold, the rain..... and despite the fact that that timing is very difficult at a remote and harsh destination like this, you can enjoy epic sessions without anybody else out! Which is extra rewarding....
About big wave surfing in general:
datrip: When did you start big wave surfing?
Axi: Big waves have allways attracted me, but the terminus big is relativ. It varies with the personal criterias and experience. What some day seemed to be big to me, nowadays wouldn´t be called a big wave. But I guess that I started to savour of that adrenaline kick at age 14 or 15.
datrip: What motivates you to surf big waves?
Axi: It´s a special kind of challenge, you learn to control your body and mind. Out there you are surrounded by a quietness, that you only find at the big days. And the kicks of adrenaline that I get when a series of big waves advances, are the most satisfying ones I ever got in surfing. But I like surfing all type of waves.....
datrip: Has there been someone who helped you with your first sessions in big waves?
Axi: The truth is, that you have to face these situations in big surf yourself, but when you have guys like Ibon Amatriain, “Kanguro”, Laxa etc. out there with you, it helps you to find a better rhytm. Because of that I owe part of my big wave career to them.
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photos: David Rascon and Pablo-Azkue / buenasolas (portrait)