It’s been pissing it down in France and Spain. And howling with wind. And lashing with hail. With monstrous waves. Perfect then for the San Sebastian rivermouth. While footage below from 28th January shows the carnage as the waves smash into bridges, cafes and rather stupid and gawking pedestrians, the locals have been hitting the Urumea river that dissects the city.
One surfer is Anthony “Yep” Colas. No stranger to river surfing, he has traveled the world scouring tidal bores and has pioneered the Pororoca in the Amazon, the China’s Quangchao, Malaysia’s Benak, and the Bono in Sumatra.
The Urumea though is a bit closer to home, being a 40 minute drive from his home in Anglet. “I first surfed it a night, four years ago,” said Yep. “The city lights make it possible to surf 24 hours a day.” His friend has the record for the longest ride, measured at 1.1 kilometres, or around 3 minutes long. Not only that, but it’s possible to get barreled. Kinda.
“If you take off on the first bridge, you can shoot the second one and get tubed,” he laughs. “You just have to be careful and make sure the water level is low enough, otherwise you are in trouble.” Below shows Yep’s footage of a surfer getting a bridge bazz, at night, during the Hercules swell.
After each wave the current takes you back out, but you have to be careful it doesn’t drag you too far and onto the gnarly rocks. “It needs a massive swell. That’s why this year has been good,” said Yep. “This Sunday looks massive, so it looks we could be on again.”