An Arctic Surf Story: Surfing Iceland’s Winter Solstice

Surfing the Arctic circle was easily the craziest two weeks of my life. Two of us embarked on this 15 day expedition, we entered Iceland in high winter. The trip was aligned exactly 1 week before, and one week after the winter solstice, meaning these were the coldest and darkest two weeks in the Northern Hemisphere. We were expecting to face ice cold water and harsh conditions, but upon arrival it was immediately apparent that we were not prepared for the brutality of the Icelandic surf. We had set out unequipped and ill-prepared to surf some of the most barren, remote, and hostile waters we could have imagined. With water temperatures regularly below the freezing point, consistently hovering around minus 15 degrees Celsius accounting for wind chill, and beaches covered with layers of thick snow, the extent of our challenge was profoundly confronting.

Having only entered mild hypothermia a few times, the trip was the coldest, roughest, most insane, and most rewarding idea we have ever had.