From Barrels to Biomechanics,
meet Ainara Aymat 

Known as the most intelligent free surfer on the European continent, Ainara is a surfer from the Basque Country who juggles chasing waves and a PhD.

‘The fact that Ainara managed to study biomechanics while free surfing is pretty crazy.’ 

On first meeting Ainara comes across as a quiet girl. She can either be found with her nose buried in a thick novel, walking her two German Shepherds in the Basque Country or out in the water. She started surfing at an early age and competed for a short while as a kid, but stopped when she realized she wasn’t competitive enough to thrive in heats. She switched lanes to free surfing and hasn’t looked back since. When she’s not studying for her PhD or at home in Basque, she’s traveling the world looking for the best waves, shocking the surf community as she goes. While she may be quiet and reserved on land, she’s loud as hell in the water.

‘Risk means you have to make a decision that’s not an easy one to make.’

Ainara decided to go to university after school; a decision she describes as anything but straightforward. She felt like she was having to choose between her love of surfing, and also the need for a higher education. If she chose to go to college, she knew she would have to seriously cut down on her surfing hours, but on the other hand - if she chose surfing over education, she would be limited on what she could fall back on if a career in surfing was to fail. Needless to say, she found a way to do both and it’s inspiring for any of us who feel like we can’t quite strike the right balance between work and play. If Ainara is anything to go by, with a little hard work, dedication and a helluva lot of self discipline, you really can have your cake and eat it.

Watch Pack Heavy, Chase Light S2:Ep2 now. 

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