Meet Axi Muniain, Zarautz local and professional big wave surfer.

13 March 2019

Ever since surfing was introduced in the Basque country, Zarautz has been providing the world with surfing legends. Some of them still live in Zarautz. Surfers like Indar Unanue, Aritz Aranburu and Axi Muniain can still be found strolling on the boulevard, enjoying the awesome vibes of this beautiful city or teaching kids how to surf.

After the almost 2 decades that we've had our surfcamp in Zarautz, some of these locals have become close friends of ours. Big wave surfer en local legend Axi was happy to take some time out of his busy training schedule to have a chat with us. 

Hey Axi, please introduce yourself to our guests...

Hi, I’m Axi Muniain, from Zarautz in the Basque Country and I’m addicted to giant waves.

When did you first start surfing?

When I was a little boy I started skateboarding, I really liked it and I wanted to be just like Tony Hawk. Then I discovered surfing and when I was hooked I didn’t wan’t to be like Tony Hawk anymore, I wanted to be like Kelly Slater hehe. I never would've thought that I would be able to make a living with surfing, to actually live the dream.

You’ve said it yourself, “live the dream”. How is life as a pro surfer? I imagine it must be the perfect life. Traveling around, surfing all day…. 

It’s not easy being a professional surfer in Spain, that’s why I combine it with my surfschool (Axi Muniain Surf Eskola), where I give surflessons, especially during the summer. I also promote ‘Carver’ and I travel around giving lectures in companies, surfclubs and just sport clubs in general about actual problems, and how to deal with them. Like the climate. Whenever I’m not surfing I try to put an effort in these causes. It’s really important that everybody is aware of these topics and that everybody helps wherever they can. 

So when did you start big wave surfing? 

When I was 12, my surfing started to improve a lot, I really liked to push myself to the limits, so that’s why I kept on surfing bigger and bigger waves. 

By the time I was 15, I started surfing really big waves, I immediately knew that riding giants was going to be my passion. The kick you get out of surfing a huge wave is unreal. 

Do you train a lot for the big wave surfing?

I always try to prepare myself in a consistent manner. But it’s hard to focus yourself a 100% on your training when you also have a business to run. Every year at the start of the summer I'm in top shape, but because of all the work, I’m missing out on a lot training. That’s why in September, after the high season, I start working out in a very strict manner and start putting more effort in my training so that I could be ready for the big wave season. 

What is the best wave you’ve ever surfed? 

The best wave…hmmm… The good thing about surfing is that every wave is different, you’ll never find two of the same waves. When we’re talking about big waves, you have waves that provide you with different lines, they can start barreling or they can give you the drop of a lifetime. So they give you different sensations. I’m always thinking that the best wave of my life is still coming. 

But if I have to pick only one wave, that defined me, I can’t, I need to pick three waves. One in Morocco, somewhere in the Sahara desert. The second one is Roka Puta (a world famous big wave spot close to Zarautz) , it’s just around the corner here and it has elevated me so much in surfing and in personal life, it’s a world class wave. And the last one is ‘Eli’s and Axi’s slab’ (Eli is Axi’s wife) in Galice, it’s a perfect slab at ‘the coast of death’. These are some the waves that mean the most to me.

Final question: Roca puta or Nazaré? 

Nazaré (surfspot in Portugal where the biggest wave in the world was measured) is where i’ve been pushing my limits the last couple of years. I achieved a whole new level of surfing, I’ve had wipe outs there that are beyond imagination. I learned a lot over there. But Roka Puta is where I grew up, where I started big wave surfing. It’s home. So if there’s some swell hitting Roka Puta, but Nazaré is producing some perfect waves…. I’ll always go to Roka Puta, without a doubt!


Haha, ok Axi, thank you for your time! 

See you this summer in Zarautz! 

If you want to say hi to Axi  and ask for some surf tips of a true big wave charger, or you just want a picture with this local legend. Then don't hesitate to book your trip to our resort and visit him at his shop!

Meet Axi Muniain, Zarautz local and professional big wave surfer.

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