As wetsuit technology improves, surfing is heading north
Not many people associate Iceland with surfing. But a correspondent with The Guardian goes in search of what some call Europe’s last surfing frontier. Iceland’s midnight sun allows for 24-hour surfing, yet this is a country with only about 25 surfers.
As wetsuit technology improves, surfing breaks have headed to colder climates. Ingó Olsen, aged 32, founder of the tour operator Arctic Surfers, leads the expedition to find the perfect waves beyond the lava plains of the Reykjanes peninsula.
Only 50 kilometres from Reykjavik, in a landscape that looks a billion years old the waves at Sandvík and Grindavík are rough and unrideable, the main problem being the wind rather than the cold water. But together with Arctic Surfers, which uses access to commercial fishing websites, the author discovers a bay called Thorlí, near the village of Porlakshöfen. Here the waves can “unfurl in a roar of galloping foam for 300 metres”.
[pictured: From the café Rauðasandi; courtesy www.westfjords.is]