Back in early July, C-Skins surfers Logan Nicol and Barnaby Cox headed over to Galicia in the north west corner of Spain. They were there to compete in the WQS Abanca Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, but these trips are always more than a simple “in-and-out” mission to surf some heats and score some points. Now that travelling for surf is a thing again, and with the recent changes to the WSL format rebooting the WQS as a regional series that makes competing in multiple events possible for up and coming surfers, Euro trips are back on for Britain's crew of competitive surfers. We caught up with Logan and Barnaby to find out a bit more about their time in Galicia either side of the heat buzzers.
Logan, Patrick and Welsh adaptive surfer Llywelyn Williams at the Pantin Classic
“I've been to the Basque country before but that was my first time in Galicia. It's phenomenal. We had waves every single day, and the roads are straight out of Top Gear. I've never driven roads like that before. I wish we'd had more time there and had got to explore more.”
“I was especially stoked on all the nature and scenery around the area. We were staying a bit inland in the middle of a eucalyptus forest. On the drive to the beach we passed a few beautiful winding estuaries and beaches. I find all of that really enjoyable and peaceful, and coming back to our pad in the forest was the best way to recharge after a long day surfing. I was also stoked that we managed to score fun waves every day whilst back home was pretty flat.”
“We based ourselves in Cedeira, about 15 minutes drive away from the contest site at Pantin. We surfed the contest area at Pantin beach a lot, but our best free-surf sessions were the next beach over from the contest site, a break called Praia de Baleo. It was amazing - really quiet. They call those spots "the wave pool" because there's always swell there. It's ridiculous. That part of Spain juts out into the Atlantic ocean and catches any swell going. The water's pretty cold, though - me and Barns got away with wearing a 3:2 Rewired wetsuit, but if you had 4:3 with you then you'd probably be choosing to wear that! I saw one person wearing a shorty once, and I reckon they must have been pretty cold. There are amazing waves in that region, it's like no other. Since I've been home I've not been able to stop raving about it. I've been telling friends that it's probably better than Portugal in terms of a surf trip. It's super quiet, and really beautiful. There's not loads to do around there, but if you like surfing and scenery then it's amazing. And if you like staying up late to eat then Spain's obviously good for that too!”
“My best surfing definitely came after the competition. We surfed at a really fun left wedge and the boys were blowing up. I was pretty down about my performance in the comp, and from then on started to really try and attack the wave with a different style of surfing. I definitely figured out a new approach to my backhand that felt really good and I was super happy with.”
There's always a nightmare moment on any surf trip and on this one it happened the day before we were leaving when we managed to kerb the hire car and blow out a tire. It wasn't a little puncture either - it was a proper blow out and we had to get the car towed. It wasn't ideal! We were left with no car and a hefty bill to pay, but the guy we were staying with gave us a lift to the airport at 2am the next morning which was really good of him. And they didn’t weigh my over-stuffed board bag either, so perhaps it all balanced out!”
Next up, France, as the boys continue their WQS campaigns and enjoy peak season at those perfect beach breaks.