Tools of the Trade
Few people in Europe sum up today’s ‘ride anything’ tag more than Ibon. Tackling all manner of reefs along the Biscay coast during the biggest swells of the winter getting XXL nominations, ruling grinding Mundaka or stand-up paddle boarding flat days, it really doesn’t matter. A thoroughly modern waterman, and on top of all that an extremely modest, quietly-spoken chap, Ibon talked us through his quiver at the Pukas factory.
From left to right:
9’6" x 2 27/ 8" RawsonGun “This one’s for big Deba, Menakoz and maybe Avalanche (big left across from Guethary in France) like 15ft plus. I’ll use it when the swell’s not so clean, if it’s clean you can use something smaller. Rawson specifies which fins to put in all his guns, for this one GX sides, GAM centre."
8’0" x 19" x 2 5/8" Johnny Cabianca “I’ll surf this one in 10-12ft surf at spots like Roca Puta where there’s a lot of water moving, Deba too. Not in hollow waves, more for thicker waves with a lot of water."
6"’x 18" x 2 ¼" Pete Daniels “This is my Mundaka board for the really good days, when it’s 6-8ft and pumping. Before I used to always surf a 7’0" out there, but now I realize that to be in the best place, to move around in the barrel more it’s way better to have something shorter."
5’11" x 18" x 2 ¼" Brian Bulkley “This one’s really good to surf in beach breaks. Super light 4oz+2oz deck and 4oz bottom. Bulkley comes here to Pukas from the States each year and turns out some really sweet shortboards."
5’10" x 161/2" x 1 3/4" Rawson swallowtail towboard (red) “I surfed this at Agiti, the huge right near San Sebastian. It’s so heavy (9.5kg) that we didn’t use it for a long time, but when we did it seemed like paper in all those big chops. It’s got lead shot poured into channels in the stringer and the rails, mostly along the stringer."
5’8" x 16 1/8" x 1 5/8" Battail Rawson quad “Not for huge days, maybe 10-15ft. This one is very, very fast and much looser than the others. I’ve surfed it at Playa Gris and also towed the beachie in Zarautz when it’s big on this one. It’s also pretty light too, around 4.5kg"
5’5" x 15 5/8" x1 5/8" Rawson round pin tow board. (g “The only session I’ve had yet on this was at La Central in Bilbao, it’s designed for hollow waves. I’m not used to this one yet. It’s much lighter at 4Kg."
10’ x 28" x 5" Ron House Stand-up paddleboard “Laird was over here last year and said it was too small and thin for him and gave it to me, so I was pretty stoked. It’s epoxy so therefore relatively light for one of these, around 9kg. It’s actually pretty short for a paddle board. Loose and relatively easy to control, a lot of fun."