Surfing is no longer only associated with bikinis, board shorts and suncream. Cold water surfing has gotten increasingly more popular the last decade. Both Ireland and Norway are two of the best surfing locations for cold water surfing.

Hoddevika surf

A surfer on the sandy, white beach in Hoddevik. Photo Credit: Katrine Nordeide Kuiper.

Along the coast of Norway three places haven gotten especially popular; Jæren in the south, Stad, which is located halfway up the coast and Unstad all the way up North.

Good swell with harsh weather 

Stadlandet is a peninsula on the very tip of the west coast of Noway. The location makes it perfect for surfing, with a harsh and windy weather. Stad has several surf beaches, Hoddevika being the most popular for advanced and beginners alike.

Driving to Hoddevik takes you through a beautiful landscape, and the view when arriving to tiny village is amazing. With three different surf camps offering place to stay, lessons and rentals, the surfing culture has left its mark on the village which probably has more sheep than residents.

The weather is unpredictable at this place, but autumn and winter months offers the best chances of swells. Luckily Hoddevik is surrounded by mountains that are easy to hike if the waves aren’t good.

Hoddevik road

The view of Hoddevika and the vally. Photo Credit: Roman Königshofer (Flickr).

Arctic surf in Unstad

If you are looking to experience even more extreme conditions, Unstad in the Lofoten Islands is the place to visit. The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten made a short documentary about life in Unstad for the 15 residents living close to the world renowned beach.

Unstad has the worlds most northern surf school, so expect water temperature to be cold both in summer and winter. However in the summer months the surf is not as extreme as it can be in the winter.

“It is far from extreme in the summer. At that time surfing in Lofoten is a popular family activity”, Tommy Olsen who runs the surf school told Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation back in 2012.