Who is Leire Basañez?
I’m a girl born in 1996, sociable, sporty and happy with the desire to enjoy and keep trying everything I propose.
Tell us, how and why did you start surfing?
I started when I was 12 years old in the summer, I was encouraged by my uncle and some friends, then I left it stuck for a few years, I lived in the city and it was difficult for me, I also did other sports and everything was impossible, but I always had a little thorn in my side.
However, I went to Puerto Rico to study third year, where I had the perfect conditions to take up again what I liked so much: good waves, few people and heat both in and out of the water. I didn’t doubt for a moment that I would be able to recover all the time lost and not get out of the water, and that’s how it was. I was completely re-engaged and I know that I will never get out of the water again as long as my body allows me to.
What do you do when you are not in the water?
To many things. I’m a very active person, I like many sports; I do crossfit 4 days a week, I climb, I go to the mountains and I skate, above all. I have a degree in psychology and a double master’s degree in general health psychology and systemic relational psychotherapy. I love listening to people and helping them in any way I can, and would like to devote myself to this. I also like to spend time with my friends, whether it’s doing sports with them or having a drink.
Pic: © SANTI FERNANDEZ
Objectives for this year?
For surfing: keep training and improving, be constant and polish your style towards something personal and different. Correct the mistakes and take into account all the indications of my trainer (Pablo Cabezuelo).
Do you practice any other sport?
Yes, as I said I love sports. Throughout my life I have practiced several; basketball for 9 years, I have danced funky jazz for 4 years, football (a quad), boxing, hiking… Nowadays I am constantly surfing, crossfiting and climbing.
What are your favourite beaches/spots? The furthest place you've ever surfed?
My favourite spot is La Salvaje because I feel at home and I like to enjoy the waves with friends. But without a doubt I also stay with Secret de Puerto Rico, one of the most spectacular places I’ve been, characterized by its perfect and empty waves (both right and left).
Despite travelling to many places in search of waves, I have to say that here, in the Basque Country, we have truly incredible places, where we can get into the water in almost any kind of conditions.
Pic: © ANTÓN CARÚS
Who are your references in surfing?
My references are undoubtedly Garazi Sanchez and Janire Gonzalez Etxebarri, as they are two great examples of female Basque surfing. Both are characterised by their ambition and dedication to this sport.
What do you recommend to someone starting out?
Above all be patient with this sport, not all baths leave with a smile, it requires a lot of baths of frustration and cold (living here). May they be constant and that in the long run every effort will pay off, until then, may they face every bath with a smile and enjoy it as much as they can.
Anything to add?
Thank you very much for trusting me.
Pic: © JOSU GONDRA