Belharra: Foiling Giant Waves on the Basque Coast

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Belharra, a relatively little known surf spot on the Basque coast, only comes to life under certain conditions. This sleeping giant has become a recent addition on the big wave circuit for many big wave riders due to its tow-in potential and size.

Watch the power of avalanching surf in this video by F-ONE as team riders chase the dream at Belharra on a memorable day of foil surfing the rolling mountain in France’s Pyrenees-Atlantiques region.

Belharra Awakens:  Foil the Beast

Belharra, literally meaning “seagrass” or “seaweed” in the Basque language, is a recent discovery for the big wave surfing world. Fickle in nature and needing a specific swell to fire properly, Belharra is often off the radar. However, it is a predominantly a tow-in wave when breaking properly. The ocean avalanche of Belharra went mainstream in 2013 when Gautier Garanx won the XXL Biggest Wave of the Year surfing this giant ledge. It continued a climb into notoriety in 2014 when surf giant Jamie Mitchell wiped out at Belharra on one of the biggest paddle waves ever attempted. Now, there’s no turning back.

Belharra is a reef off the coast of Saint-Jean-de-Luz in the Northern Basque Country of France. It is a favorite surf spot to many coastal Europeans seeking larger swells. In the region of Pyrenees-Atlantiques, this violent wave is known for swallowing ships moored at Socoa before the construction of the jetty now forming the shoal. This video, produced by F-ONE, showcases the swell giant of Belharra ridden by some of France’s big wave riders as they foil the same swell that became Nazare’s greatest day on earth.

F-ONE Team Riders: Titouan Galea, Tom Constant
F-ONE Equipment:  F-ONE Carbon mast, F-ONE Carbon Escape 530
Film Makers: Olivier Sautet, Pierre Frechou
Support: Peyo Lizarazu, Matthieu Aguirre

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