Iceland is wild, Iceland is pure; it’s definitely worth a visit. This Island is getting pretty popular, especially in summer. Visiting Iceland in summer never really felt appealing to us. Especially not driving around the so-called ‘golden circle’, a popular tourist route in southern Iceland. We’d rather experience the beauty of the snowy season. So we planned our trip and went to Iceland in May, to extend our ski/ snowboard season with some adventure in Iceland
Little research was needed about the island to find out that there are some decent surfspots to be found. Not that weird since it’s an island (but in the middle of nowhere). A very cold ‘nowhere’ though. So when we were booking our flights, we didn’t only add our ski bag to the list, but also our surf bag. The first one filled with all of our touring gear, the second one filled with the surf gear you normally hope to leave at home whenever you go on a surf trip. 6/5mm wetsuits, booties, gloves and even a ‘heated’ vest (a top you wear underneath your wetsuit with heating pads on your body (where your kidneys are), it’s awesome).
Surfing and skiing in Iceland
Ski touring & surfing are two activities to perfectly combine. We were up in the mountains whenever the weather participated, and whenever the clouds moved in (and the swell was there) we could hit the water! And we shouldn’t forget to mention that Iceland doesn’t get dark in May. Meaning the island hardly gets any light in winters, but therefore from May on, the days get endless light.
Because of skiing, we went up north, to the Troll peninsula. We did some amazing and unforgettable tours. The mountains only go up to around 1400meters. But you’re always in the alpine ‘because there are no trees to be found. Many ski tours give you the amazing views down to the water, the so called fjords. And in one of those fjords, an empty point break is awaiting you….
Olafsfjorduris a right hand point break. The first day we surfed it, was in the middle of a snow storm. We got dressed in the car (as far as our little Suzuki Jimmy allowed us to), heated up the seats as good as we could and then made the move.
We had to find our way down to the water over slippery, snowy pebbles. But looking up, a sweet looking wave was peeling down perfectly. This was going to be worth it. I think the first session lasted for about 45 minutes.
Discovering how bloody heavy you’re in such a thick wetsuit, and finding out how hard it is to move around on your tiny short board in neoprene and cold temperatures; it’s heavy. But the waves where delivering, and they are all ours. We lapped some rides after each other and then made the call to get out before we couldn’t paddle anymore.
On shore I needed assistance to get myself out of my wetsuit ‘cause I couldn’t move a finger anymore. It was all so worth it.
We had a couple more sessions at this spot, in between and after our ski tours. And when the snow started to melt, we traveled down south to hit some more surf spots. Luckily in the south we didn’t have to deal with snowstorms anymore, which was a big relief. Also, the water temperatures where a little more friendly.
We found a couple of decent waves with nobody else but us in the line-up. We hit two more magical point-breaks, one left, one right. One we shared with two locals who appeared a bit later, whom were stoked to see we had found their ‘secret spot’.
Iceland, empty line-ups, world class waves. You’d better make sure you get the warmest wetsuit you
can find, and GO!