03 Catch a break (in the cold)
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