Indar Unanue first made a name for himself taking off deep on a 7’6” out at Waimea a day when the
biggest sets were closing out the whole bay. No doubt a sure way to make a striking first impression
on spectators, but since then the Basque goofyfoot has gone on to show plenty more promise. While he
continues to chase big waves, his back-hand attack is considered one of the most commanding in Spain
and this winter in the tube at Mundaka he continued to demonstrate how his surfing’s continued to evolve
over the last year.The 23 year old also serves as a prime example that you don’t necessarily have to have studied at Oxford to be well educated. And I’m not talking about knowing how to behave at a posh dinner table in front of mountains of silverware, but rather not talking shit behind people’s backs. That’s what a good
education should be. Indar lives out in the middle of the Basque countryside surrounded by farm animals and lives a simple life in the best possible sense. His parents were true hippies, and instilled in him values he strongly lives by today.
Indar, I have to admit I’m often worried for your future, when your surfing career all comes to an end. You on the other hand seem to embrace the present without worrying too much about tomorrow…
Living in the present is something that my family always taught me, especially my dad. It must be something I get from him… Today everyone seems to be thinking about their future more than ever and I do too of course,
but time is short and life is to be enjoyed. I have opted for what I like to do most, which is to surf and at great sacrifice have managed to fulfill one of my dreams, which was to make a living from it.
When all of this ends, in one capacity or another I’d like to work for one of the surf brands so that I can continue to stay in close contact with the surf world. If that doesn’t work out then I might go back to studying
or find work in whatever happens to be in demand.
We’re living in a time of great uncertainty, the economic crisis has been hard on everyone but especially
difficult for Spain. What do you make of it all?
Right now Spain’s biggest concern is unquestionably the recession. The young have got it particularly hard and the surf industry is no exception; there are much fewer events, photographers are finding it harder to make ends meet and brands have much smaller marketing budgets. A few WQS and Pro Junior events in Europe have been
cancelled. There are some pros who are doing the tour without any main sponsors… but those who will find it hardest are the up-coming generation of rippers who are just starting out now, who won’t have as much
support to follow the WQS or make a living off surfing. I really hope that doesn’t happen as it would be a real shame to miss out on a whole generation of surfers who went and did something else.
Let’s talk about Zarautz. What did everyone eat over there to progress so fast and dominate Spain’s surf scene?
The general surfing level in Zarautz can only be attributed to one thing really and that’s all the people of the town and the hard work they’ve dedicated to obtaining the right facilities and support for everyone to surf
and progress, creating a great surf club. The surf coaches have also played a key role and I’m very grateful to mine, Julen Elkoro. And having some of Spain’s most talented, successful pros to date as role models can’t
have hurt the town either.
Hodei and Aritz must have a big influence? Do you often travel with those guys?
Sure, they are the town’s biggest influence. Whenever there are waves we’ll travel together to wherever; we never let a good day go by without shredding. Everyone of us is always super motivated.
You love to travel. Do you feel privileged to know so many different places at just 23 years old?
Definitely, when I look back and start to count all the trips I’ve been on and what I’ve learnt from all the various experiences you can’t not count yourself super fortunate. For anyone who wants to reach a certain level in the sport, surfing different breaks around the world is essential to getting there.
You don’t usually think about the future much… but I heard you’re a regular
EuroMillions lottery ticket holder…
That’s right, bring on the jackpot! Don’t anyone try to talk me out of it, it’s my longterm retirement plan.
Photos and Interview by Pacotwo/WE