Back to News
While chasing a massive swell, Basque surfer opens his boardbag to a devastating surprise

In the ongoing battle between traveling surfers and major airline carriers, there’s been another flurry of aggression. The latest comes from Basque surfer Natxo González and Iberia Airlines.

González was en route to Chile for a massive swell, toting a quiver including a 10’4”, 9’6”, and 7’4” to surf a secret spot with Kohl Christensen. The same swell is projected to make its way north and light up spots from Central America, to Mexico, and to the US West Coast. But after arriving in Chile, González opened his boardbag and found destruction; the three boards were snapped with near surgical precision.

Via multiple posts on his Instagram, Naxto explained: “Yesterday I bought my ticket to Chile to surf one of the biggest swells in years and even by paying the surfboards fee, this is how I find them in final destination. Thanks Iberia…Have you thrown them from a seventh floor? Not easy to break this kind of boards…. Or they run over them and or I don’t know what happened.”

And from there, the fury continued as the surf world commented their frustrations. Jamie Mitchell: “So f*cked up.” Trevor Carlson: “What a bummer!” Otto Flores: “Iberia did the same to me coming back from the Canary Islands, they are the worse with surfboards. It is like they have someone who hates surfers, sees the surfboards and destroys them. Shame, Iberia”. Pete Mel: “How the hell is it possible for this to happen?”

Benjamin Sanchis: “They did it on purpose for sure.” And on Iberia’s Instagram, there’s been a sh*t-storm of comments on their latest photo in support of Natxo – a word of advice to any airline, maybe block comments? – aside from one outlier loyal customer, Tony Maygoli, who says: “I love this airline, a great service with very kind staff.”

As we mentioned above, this is just the latest skirmish in the feud between surfers and airlines. Earlier this year, Alex Gray’s quiver was similarly severed by American Airlines (he was refunded later).

And Bob Hurley and Kelly Slater waged war against Hawaiian Airlines’ strict policy for transporting surfboards. More recently, however, Hawaiian and Alaska adjusted their policies in favor of traveling surfers.

But those are only minor victories; the struggle continues, as seen with Natxo’s recent experience. And there will undoubtedly be more battles fought before the war is won.

Click to read the full story by Surfline here.