Punta Galea Challenge

Punta Galea Guide: Warm Up for Massive Waves

Official Event Site
EVENT WINDOW: Northern Hemisphere (October 15-February 28)
LOCATION: Punta Galea, Basque Country, Spain
COORDINATES: 43.3730° N, 3.0360° W
BAGGAGE CLAIM: Bilbao Airport, Bilbao, Spain (BIO)

THE WAVE: This righthand point break at the mouth of the Nervión River is fairly new to the big wave arena. As the swell from the Atlantic moves against the current of the river it stands up. Add some wind and it gets tricky. There are two takeoff spots and when it gets really big the wave starts in the mouth of the river and then winds along the point for an incredible ride.

"I don't feel we have really seen the potential that this wave has to produce some of the biggest surf yet ridden," said Big Wave Tour (BWT) Vice President Gary Linden. "Watching from the cliff with the enthusiastic Basque locals only adds to the excitement of this unique venue."

THE TOWN: Punta Galea is situated in the Basque Country town of Getxo. Getxo is a mostly residential area with a historical feel thanks to the Port of Algorta. The public transportation system makes this spot more accessible than most stops on the BWT, which are often remote. The town, which features architecture dating back to its first parish in the 12th century, has a metro system that makes travel to nearby towns easy.

Linden Recommends: "You must stop in for refreshments at the bar La Triangu located at Playa Larrabasterra in Sopelana."

NOTABLE: Punta Galea has been one of the most consistent events on the BWT, running three consecutive seasons. Though not officially on the tour at that point, the site hosted the first BWT qualifying event for the 2012/2013 season. The following year, soon-to-be BWT Champion Grant "Twiggy" Baker (ZAF) claimed the No. 1 spot on the BWT rankings at Punta Galea. It also solidified the title for reigning Champ Makuakai Rothman (HAW), who finished second in what proved to be the final event of the 2014/2015 season.

Europe has already had an active winter for big waves. Check out the Big Wave Awards submissions from the North Atlantic and beyond.


WSL Big Wave Tour Top Ten Seeds
Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Gabriel Villaran (PER)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Anthony Tashnick (USA)
Greg Long (USA)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Natxo Gonzales (EUK)
Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Carlos Burle (BRA)

Injury Wildcard
Alex Gray (USA)

Video Invitees
James Taylor
Derek Dunfee (USA)

Event Invitees
Aritza Saratxaga (EUK)
Natxo Fernandez (EUK)
David Bustamante (EUK)
Jon Garai (EUK)
Adrian Fernandez de Vaid (EUK)
Indar Unanue (EUK)

BWT Invitees
Garrett McNamara (HAW)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Will Skudin (USA)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
Cristian Merello (CHL)


Video Invitee Alternates
Nic Vaughan
Trevor Sven Carlson

Event Invitee Alternates
Guillermo Baradaran
Ander Mendiguren
Axi Muniain (EUK)

BWT Invitee Alternates
Koa Rothman (HAW)
Damien Hobgood (USA)
Aritz Aranburu (ESP)

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