Surf Guide: Norway (Part 1)


August 05, 2017

When MI OLA Brand Ambassador Susi (@insta_susi) isn't dreaming of escaping on a surf trip somewhere tropical, she's hiking Norway's beautiful countryside, diving into its pristine waters, or surfing. Yes, surfing in Norway!

Most people don't think of Norway as a surf destination, but we see all the rad Norway surf photos that Susi posts. So we just had to get the scoop! We caught up with this adventurer (and busy mother of two gorgeous little girls) to give us the local info on surfing in Norway. AND we got so much insider knowledge that we had to split the series in two!

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 Surf Guide: Norway, Part 1

When most people think of Norway, they think of mountains, snow, dark winters and midnight sun. This is all true. But while Norway isn't a tropical surfing mecca like Bali or Hawaii, we have a long coastline. If you are willing to search, you will most likely find uncrowded surf! The best part of surfing in Norway is that you can ski/snowboard and surf in the same day! And if the surf is flat, there are beautiful lakes and fjords to explore with a SUP.

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Surf Seasons and Gear: 
In the summer, from June till August, it often is pretty flat, but if you keep your eyes on the surf forecast, you can occasionally score some mint days with waves up to head high. AND if you are brave enough and only go out for a quick paddle, you might be able to do this in your MI OLA bikini in August!

September and October you usually can find plenty of waves, sometimes even double overhead. The water temperature is still bearable, but definitely not MI OLA warm anymore.

From November till April it is best to keep a close eye on the surf forecast in order to score some clean days with nice waves. It can get really big and messy in the winter, with snow and ice on the beach, so good equipment is key. While we don't have a ton of surf shops around, I usually order all my gear at www.surfshop.no - they help with what you need, are super friendly, and know their stuff!

In those coldest winter months you’ll need a 6/5 with hood and at least 5mm booties and thick gloves. It is a workout in itself getting in and out of all your gear and you will feel a strong resemblance to a penguin! Water temps go down to 4 degrees Celsius, so you really want to avoid messy days. Go to www.surf-forecast.com, choose Norway, your region, and the break you want to surf. Look at the more detailed 48h forecast, to determine when you want to go out. You want a long period swell, not too much wind and wave height between 1.5 & 3.5 meters. Bigger days are only for very experienced surfers, as there are no lifeguards and most surf spots are very isolated, often with limited cell-phone coverage. So a rescue is pretty much out of the question!

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Where to Surf:

South:
The capital of Norway is Oslo. Although it is a long way away from the usual surf-spots on the West coast beaches, some keen surfers explored and found some gnarly slabs in Oslo's fjord where they get barreled with a big rock right in front of the take-off zone. Only for very experienced surfers and not for the fainthearted!

Photo by @seamusfox from @surfshopno (Surfer: @wes_schaftenaar)
Photo by @seamusfox from @surfshopno (Surfer: @wes_schaftenaar)

Apart from that, Saltstein is a popular surf-spot and lies about half way between Oslo and Kristiansand. You’ll find a relative big surf-scene (for Norway standards) around Stavanger. They have nice long sandy beaches where you are bound to find an uncrowded peak if the conditions are right.


West:
The main surf spots are in the Jæren region. If you follow up the coast, you can "Live the Search" and score some gold. A famous place for surfing is Stadlandet. On this peninsular you will find a few different surf spots, with Hoddevik being the main place.

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Hoddevik:
Drive down a tiny, narrow zigzag road to an isolated small village with a white sand beach nestled between the mountains. Along the beach there are numerous peaks, but it can get crowded here. At La Point surf camp, located in the village, you’ll find anything from accommodation, surf hire to lessons. Just be aware that Hoodevik does not have supermarket so stock up on supplies before you get there. (The nearest supermarket is about 15 minutes by car.)

Right at the beach you’ll find a white and blue surf-yoga house called Strandro. Here they have a small surf shop, equipment hire, dorm and private rooms. At certain times yoga lessons are offered across the street in an old barn. Strandro has their own restaurant and you can chose if you want to overnight stay with full or half pension. You can check this out at www.stadsurfing.no - the site is in Norwegian, but you will get a lot of info from the pictures and they have an email address for English info.

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Photo by @kkbrunvaer

We usually stay in the camp ground that borders the beach, with best view and by far the cheapest option and a great set up if the weather is good! It is super basic though, so make sure you have a gas cooker and pans with you as there are no kitchen facilities.

When the surf is flat or your arms are falling off from too much paddling - there are some great hikes around and the view will make it worth your while. If the sun is out and the waves are on you can’t beat this place - it is truly heaven on Earth!

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Ervika:
Close by is Ervika. The surf is usually 1 ft bigger there, but it breaks over rocks. You also have to be careful as there is a shipwreck in the middle of the bay, a little bit to the left, that is noticeable at low tide.  Make sure to ask a local about it and stay well away from it. Ervika is mainly a right hander, but occasionally you can score the odd left. If it is big, it is recommended to walk around it.

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Photo by @kkbrunvaer

They just opened a small surf shop in Ervika and sometimes there is a pop up cafe at the beach - meaning you can buy a nice cup of takeaway coffee & check the surf.


Check out this beautiful video of surfing in Norway by KLM.

Surfing in Norway Video CLICK!!!
Surfing in Norway Video CLICK!!!

We've got a TON more information on Surfing Norway, so stay tuned for Norway Surf Guide: Part 2, coming oh so soon!

We’ve been covering the science of surfing in the past few months, so click here to learn more about swellhow waves are formed, how wind affects waves or what makes a wave a left or a right.  We also have super handy surf guides from all around the world, written by our local ambassadors, so if you are headed on a surf trip be sure to check them out! If you are headed to New Zealand, be sure to read Susi's Christchurch, New Zealand surf guide!

 
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