Basque to Basics

Norman Landa, 20

San Sebastian, Euskadi, Spain

Norman Landa hails from the classy Basque city of San Sebastian – famous for hot she-mulleted senoritas, tapas and late night partying. The soft rollers of the La Concha bay gave him his very first rides at around age 5 or 6, but Norman remembers at first that his whole family bar his mum were set against it. ‘Back then Gros (San Sebbie’s main beach) was pretty dangerous,’ Norm recalls, ‘It used to be a really powerful wave with strong currents – a lot of people drowned there.’

Fortunately for Norman, his Mum bought him a used board nevertheless from the Zips surf shop and got him started. Under the watchful eye of Edu Echeverria from Zips, Norman started competing, coming through the junior ranks and this year plans to enter all the WQS events up to 4 stars. Freesurfing motivates Norman too, ‘It’s that feeling of healthy rivalry between friends where everyone is pushing their limits and people start to pull off new stuff, tubes, airs, manoeuvres. You’re not having to think about anything else.’ Surfing with guys like Simon Marchand, Gony, Hodei and Aritz, Norman knows he can only get better and better as a pro, but still treasures the simple pleasures of the life of a surfer - ‘You can wake up on a grey overcast day, and go to bed the happiest you’ve ever been.’

Norman rides for Oxbow, Pukas, Fallen Shoes and OAM.