Norway Surf Spot Guide

Norway facts

Capital:
Oslo
Population:
4,644,457 (July 2008 est.)
Area:
323,802 sq km
Coastline:
25,148 km
Climate:
Temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder interior with increased precipitation and colder summers; rainy year-round on west coast
Language:
Bokmal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities; note - Sami is official in six municipalities

Surfing in Norway

Norway is not the most obvious choice of surf trip destination. Although the country boasts over 25,000 km of coastline (including the larger islands and longer fjords) good waves are hard to find and the distances between them are huge.

For the better spots (in the north) you need a winter wetsuit with at least boots, if not the full boots/hat/gloves combination, even in summer. And in summer it is often flat, with consistent surf only kicking off in late August, and soon giving way to fierce Arctic storms, freezing conditions and virtually no daylight! That said, a surf trip to Norway remains a voyage of discovery with a sense of adventure long-since eradicated from the warmer, easier, and crowded spots of southern Europe. And, as long as you have plenty of time, your own means of transport and a tent you will find good waves, occasionally excellent ones, and you will often have them all to yourself.

The most popular spots are clustered near the oil-rich southern city of Stavanger, where the coast is essentially one long and exposed stretch of sand, home to a selection of breaks all of which can be good on their day, and a burgeoning surf culture. The beach at Bore makes a good starting-point. Heading north, the Stad-Landet peninsula, near Alesund, is Norway's most westerly extremity and picks up a fair amount of swell (and wind).

There is a small, permanent surfing community at Hoddevika, which is also home to a 'surf house' and a basic campsite literally on the beach.

If you have time, head to the The Lofoten Islands, situated high above the Arctic Circle and home to what are easily Norway's best waves.

Largely unexplored due to very limited access, only one spot, Unstad, is slowly becoming known among the Scandinavian and European surfing community. Expect occasional barrelling rights and some longer lefts, stunning mountainous scenery and almost total solitude. Unstad, whose name means 'no town' is literally miles from anywhere, with a basic campsite that has foam boards and wetsuits for hire.

Hoddevika
photo: Aliene

Norway message board