Endless sun

July 15, 2014 | 10:13 am | 1 comment »
midnight surf

Midnight sun and surf

I was eagar to head north again when I saw that a good size swell was about to hit the norwegian coast. It’s rare to see forecast this good during the summer months; 6ft swell with a good perioid, decent winds and warm temperatures. An opportunity me and Iisakki Kennilä could not pass. We packed surf boards and camping gear and started the still longish drive norhtwest from the Arctic Circle.

We arrived to one of the more famous surf bays just when the swell started to pick up but we were not alone on the beach. About thirty cars were parked around the beach and water was swarming with other norhtern surf enthusiasts. We decided to set up camp and wait for the “night”. Day does not end during the summer months in this latitude (68+). Sun does not even touch the horizon but stays well above it all day all night. There is only different tones of light in the bright sky which makes the active time last for about two months straight! We paddled out just after midnight when there was nobody out anymore and most cars had left the beach. Swell had definitely picked up but an onshore wind messed up the perfection a bit. Nonetheless, it felt great to be out in the water and it was way warmer than I thought. Last time was few months ago when snow was still on the ground and it was freezing!  We stayed over two hours and had to paddle in only when the arms gave up.

 

Arctic surf 2

Unknown surfer. When we were not in the water we were staring at the surf.

Next day the wind died down a bit and the swell continued to pick up a little still. Waves were overhead at best but they were also fast and closing out which, on the positive side, kept the line up uncrowded. Surf was not easy after a long break but that did not spoil the fun at all. Arctic surf between the jagged peaks is always an unique experience and even more so in sunny and warm weather.

The swell died after the next mornings session. Locals said that this kind of surf only happens few times during the summer. So we got lucky with 48 hour window of waves. We were also surprised how lively the surf community is above the Arctic. Cold water and ficle conditions only seem to make people appreciate the surf but also the fellow surfers even more! The line up was happy, friendly and also very international. Scandinavians were well represented but there was also surfers from Brazil, South Africa and Australia!

camp vibes

camp vibes

After the sea went flat we went exploring the coast line more for future trips. The coast line is endless and unbelievably beautiful. Mountains protect and hide big part of the coast. Pristine beaches can be found just byt hiking from the road for few hours. I never get tired off the scenery here, not even from the car window but you can’t come to Norway and not hike a mountain. Things do look different from the top. It is the most traditional, natural and beautiful thing to do here.

arctic surf 3

Midnight hike. These views are hard to beat. Oh, and there is surf below.

 

24-hour sunight is hard to deal with. Not that I wouldn’t be used to it since it’s light all night at home too but there is just so much to do here where to sea meets the mountains! After the surf was done we still went fishing, hiking, cheked out some mountain biking trails, snorkeling, climbing and etc. You can pick your active or chill time of the day but it still feels that 24 hours of sun is not enough to cover it all.

 

arctic surf

When weather was this good we didn’t even bother bringing a tent.

 

The most prominent landmark between Sweden and Norway - Lapporten - Looks like a huge half pipe!

The most prominent landmark between Sweden and Norway – Lapporten – Looks like a huge half pipe!

 


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