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Surfing in the Arctic circle in Lofoten

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When I say surfing, maybe tropical islands pop into your mind. Maybe a warm beach in Portugal with a seller walking by saying ''Cerveja, Coca-Cola, agua''. This time, surfing means Scandinavia, a thick wetsuit, and north of the polar circle. Lofoten allows you to surf the whole year around. Surfing inside the Arctic circle is becoming more and more popular now that the surfing community has discovered that it's amazing to surf here. 

For more boarding, have a look at the skate hotel!

Unstad Lofoten
Unstad Lofoten

Lofoten is regarded as having the most beautiful islands on earth. The Disney film Frozen was made with the Lofoten islands in the background. That's an attractive and cool fun fact for Norway.

Surfers who have a fear of sharks and who do not wish to confront those sharks can come to Lofoten as the sharks that we have are very small and won't bother you. Our sharks are usually a porbeagle or a dogfish (those are small sharks). According to Science illustrated Norway, none of the Norwegian shark residents are dangerous (take their word for it, not mine). Also, we have 12-meter big basking sharks that swims in the waters which are not dangerous. Thank goodness for the surfers that it's vegan.

Some years ago, surfing in the Arctic was very much the opposite of what the thoughts people had about surfing was. Today, it is one of those cool once in a lifetime experience things to do. I think it gets so much attention because of the weird and magnificent part about doing a summer sport in the Arctic.

When the sun doesn't set

The summer months offer a sun that never sets which is nice for surfing because then you can come late in the evening without thinking about the light. As Ying and yang go, in the winter the darkness arrives and the light leaves.

Chris Burkhard is a guy from Australia who takes photos of the surfers who visit the Lofoten islands and is showing us the process of the surfing through his photos. He captures the enthusiastic surfer looking hard to find the next wave to hit with snow falling down and some ice in the background to show that the cold environment is not stopping the surfer from doing his thing.

You take off the snow from your car and scrape away the ice and then proceed to the beach for something more prolific than ''a lazy day on the beach''

If you google ''arctic surf'' you'll see things that look spectacular. Spectacular nowadays means it might be fake. You can see a surfer on a wave who's jumping above it with snow on the beach and a big inactive volcano mountain packed with snow in the background. To comprehend the spectacular things in life, the best way would be to take your own eyes to Lofoten islands and discover that it's actually real.

Surf shop Unstad Lofoten
Surf shop Unstad Lofoten
Unstadveien 39, 8360 Bøstad, Norway

In Unstad, there's a surf shop led by Kristian Breivik. It's the northmost surf shop at 68.16 degrees north. The market for Unstad has changed a bit over the years since previously there lived around 300 people here and now it's less than 15. Although it earns its income on outside visitors from all over the world who purchases the boards and orders services. The shop was previously an all-you-need kind of shop that sold food like sugar and flour to mounting screws and glue.

Without the surf shop and the beach, it would have been completely dead around here
Unstad beach Lofoten
Unstad beach Lofoten
8360 Bøstad, Norge

Surfing has taken place since the early 60s in Lofoten. The guy in the surf shop will tell you about how the surfers went to Australia with ship jobs and started surfing there and attempted to recreate the boards and proceeded with that in Lofoten. You'll hear about the first surfers of Norway which are Thor Frantzen and Hans Egil Krane.

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The author

Kai Bonsaksen

Kai Bonsaksen

I'm Kai from Norway. I always follow that little voice in my head that tells me to go and explore new places … and on itinari, I talk about the ones I know the best!

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