It’s about three pm when I park the car, get the press pass and start exploring the event enclosure. I am in Pantin; one of the most famous breaks on the Rias Altas in the north-west coast of Spain. It’s the second day of the 29th Pantin Classic Galicia Pro QS6000, one of the most prestigious surf competitions in the world where hundreds of surfers and ocean lovers from all over the world are flocking in. The sight of the waves produced by what the people call ‘factoria of waves’ and the beautiful summer day hydrated by an ice cold caña makes me forget my beloved 1984 firefighter Ford truck parked lifeless four hundred miles from here with a burned out engine.
I have been many times in Pantin surf factoria with its relaxed fairy-like surroundings and, let’s be honest, the unmissable terzio de estrella y pinchos. But this time it’s a different experience as for the first time Pantin classic’s organisers welcomed sustainable resources surfboard shapers, recycling focused entrepreneurs, reclaimed wood artists and hemp clothing exhibitors under the hood of Pantin Ecosurf; an initiative that focuses on raising environmental consciousness in the surfing world and the ocean users.
It’s Friday and after the first day I am full of information and I had finally had the chance to test the new St Comp Leonardo Fioravanti’s brother Matteo gifted me in Hossegor but today the surf is going down. It’s 10 am and the surf is a still 70cm so I rush down the beach before going flat. Angel is just coming out of the water with the 9ft cork arrow asking me if I want to try it. Of course I do – so I get on top and reach the lineup. I was shocked how I am surfing a wave which is only 20 cm. ‘I bet that’s the only way you can surf the med’ I am giggling in my mind. After few waves Patxi comes with his board and asks me if I want to try it. So I swap the 9ft cork surfboard for the 8ft wooden longboard. From the very first wave I feel like jesus; I am walking on the waters. The two brothers from Murcia Patxi and Raul Navarro are crafting at vannav.es surfboards and sup entirely made of paulownia wood, a very light and fast growing asian tree that make your few summer waves a pleasure to ride. Before trying the master crafts of these visionaries from Murcia I would never spend too much time thinking to surf the Med but now I am booking my christmas holiday ticket in Sicily and asking my dad to buy lots of prosecco for my new surfing project!