A Surf Girl Stab Adores: Ainara Aymat
The beatific and beautiful Basque goofyfoot stars in “Sambal,” and you should get to know her.
If you’ve ever found yourself camped out in the Basque Country’s most beloved enclave of Zarautz—perhaps after ticking the Mundaka box on your list of waves to surf before you give up the ghost—you may have craned your neck on the promenade, at an elegant, olive-skinned young woman chasing a couple handsome young pups around the beach.
Or perhaps she caught your eye hooking a few graceful arcs on a rip-bowl left at the beach break out front on a ’80s-jolted polka-dot PUKAS.
Hair shorn close and all her Spanish bone structure on full glorious display, her name is Ainara Aymat and she is one of the loveliest of women you’ll ever encounter—worldy, quietly intelligent, with a graceful and strong style that will take your breath away in person.
We caught up with Ainara at the Duct Tape Festival, where she premiered the clip above, “Sambal,” filmed on a recent jaunt to Indo.
Ainara floating across the inside reef.
Morning, Ainara. We’re jealous of the scene you’re enjoying in Spain while we’re doing this interview. This new film is beautiful. Where did you film most of it?
Thank you! We started the trip with 10 days in Bali, but after we decided to go to Sumbawa, and we finally ended up using just the clips of Lakey Peak. The truth is that we didn’t really have any good swell during the stay, but we managed to make the most of the small baby waves.
New Wave flair at the most New School wave of them all: Keramas.
Tell us a little about yourself. You were born and raised in Zarautz? What’s it been like growing up in that tight little community, with Aritz and the PUKAS crew? It’s a special place.
Growing up in Zarautz—it’s been the main reason why I started and continued surfing. Even if the waves aren’t as good as we wish, I think it’s even more important the environment that surrounds you. I have to say that I am really lucky to have so many people to look up to in this little town. I feel really grateful to have met people who has brought me different things in many ways.
Having such amazing examples like Aritz—i gives you a lot to think about. You can see that not everything is as far or impossible as you might think.
PUKAS, it’s the same way, but they are the best example of overcoming. They have been pushing so many surfers in Zarautz and I’m the luckiest girl for having the opportunity to be part of their family since I was really young.
Who are your female inspirations these days in surfing?
Honestly, I think I couldn’t say just a single name. I find inspiration from so many girls, and I don’t mean only on those who are on the CT or even competing. So many women are something inspirational, whi I really appreciate. Garazi Sanchez ([2x Spanish National champ) is one, just her ability to overcome, every single contest, and traveling as it gets harder and heavier as the year goes by.
“I’m the luckiest girl for having the opportunity to be part of the [PUKAS] family since I was really young.”
Besides surfing, what else do you get into in the Basque Country when you have time?
First thing that comes to my mind is just going for a walk to go play with my three dogs around the mountains. I really love listening to music and going into concerts with my friends. Doing weird things with them never gets old, either.
Where’s the next dream trip you’ll be taking?
Kylian and I had a really fun time filming Sambal, so I guess it’s gonna be a SAMBAL 2.0 [laughs]. A trip on a King Millenium into the Mentawaiis sounds pretty good.
The Basque Country’s favorite female wandering romantic.
Are you planning on doing more ‘QS events? Any hopes of the Tour someday, or are you on a slightly less competitive path?
After this trip to Indo, I’ve discovered that, well,
is the what I really enjoy. Just free surfing comes so much naturally, and I like it. Contests are so stressfull, the pressure of doing the best surfing in different places, spots that you have never been before, that you are not used to, just
but a pressure that is at the same time exciting.
But last year competing became more fun, and I’m going to keep doing the events that have good vibes, just so I can keep learning from this experience.
Ainara Aymat, Indonesia, 2018.
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