The view from… San Sebastian

Ladies, ladies, ladies. 

What an epic season that was, but what to do now the snow is melting and middle-aged hikers have taken over our Alpine playground?

I think I have a solution.

Board sports is as board sports does, and I’m dedicating this summer to the surf.

The similarities to snowboarding abound and I think this masterplan will improve my riding – and my fitness – no end.

So I’ve relocated to the Basque country and taken up with a bunch of Australian mentalists who have dedicated the past five years to travelling madness.

Officially, they’re called Stoke Travel and they run surf camps in Spain (Zarautz, San Sebastian), France (Biarritz), Portugal (Ericeira) and Morocco (Taghazoute).

Unofficially, they’re a very happy and dysfunctional family of like-minded people primed to make the good times roll.

My first stop is the beautiful city of San Sebastian. It’s like Barcelona in miniature – great shops, bars, food and people, plus two glorious beaches.

My hosts are Billy and Lewy. They claim to be Australian, but I think they’re from the Planet Random.

The boys run the Stoke hostel here in San Seb, and it’s a veritable den of crazy shit and bonkers internationals.

In a departure from the standard hostel set-up, these boys encourage you to behave like a child.

Drawing on the walls is allowed, so is pushing each other around in shopping trolleys.

You can sleep where you land (they just cover you in a blanket) and they feed you magnificent feasts before plying you with Sangria and Rosado.

What’s more, big nights out are a necessity. It’s no retreat, no surrender.

I’ve heard the swell’s been good, but I’ve been too lazy/hungover/retarded to get involved.

But I’ve got plenty of time for that, when I relocate to the little surf town of Zarautz, just 20 km from here.

Stoke have got a campsite overlooking the bay there, where you can drink as much as you like for 5 Euros a night.

Surf lessons and mayhem-filled expeditions into San Seb are also part of the deal.

There are too many boys here right now, so I guess this is a plea to girls who ride to come ride some waves.

We need to take back the power.

Billy and Lewy claim they can take any shit we throw at them and I implore you to rise to the challenge.

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