03 Catch a break (in the cold)

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

If the thought of the rolling waves and bath­wa­ter tem­per­a­tures of some­where like, say, Oahu or Aus­tralia’s Gold Coast are too tame for your surfer fan­tasies, then may we di­rect your at­ten­tion to the rugged al­ter­na­tive of Arc­tic surf­ing.

Yes, surf­ing, but in the Arc­tic. Though

per­haps dif­fi­cult to be­lieve, in­trepid Norse­men (and Norse­women) have been carv­ing through the brine of Nor­way and Ice­land’s coasts since the Six­ties. Spots like Un­stad in the for­mer and the lat­ter’s Reyk­janes Penin­sula, with its black sands and loom­ing moun­tains, now boast thriv­ing lo­cal and tourist scenes, thanks to dra­matic land­scapes (you can catch the North­ern Lights in Un­stad), con­sis­tent waves and plenty of sto­ry­telling po­ten­tial.

“Surf­ing is spe­cial, no mat­ter where you do it,” says Rachel Jonas from Arc­tic Surfers (arc­tic­surfers.com). “With the cold tem­per­a­tures [be­tween 7–9°C], the un­pre­dictable weather and the chal­lenge of find­ing waves, it makes a very ex­cit­ing ad­ven­ture for those brave enough to at­tempt it.”

The sea­son runs year-round but peaks from Oc­to­ber to April, giv­ing you plenty of time to pluck up the courage. We’ll fol­low you in, yeah?

Cold com­fort: dis­coversurf­ing 2.0 in the Arc­tic Cir­cle at Lo­fotenIs­lands, Nor­way

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