Arctic Surfing Lights Up The Aura Borealis
Situated more than 100 miles inside the Arctic Circle on a rocky North Atlantic outcrop, Unstad would seem an unlikely destination for an Australian 3x World Surfing Champion to be heading, especially in late Autumn. However, thanks largely to social media the remote but breath-taking archipelago of Lofoten in Northern Norway is becoming an unlikely surfing mecca. But never before, thanks in part to Mr Mick Fanning, has cold water surfing been so cool.
After visiting Alaska earlier in the year, and with his 5mm Rip Curl wetsuit to hand, Mick Fanning set his sights on an a once in a lifetime Surf encounter with the Northern Lights. Mr Fanning teamed up with Norwegian photographers Mr Emil Sollie and Mr Mats Grimsæth as they sought to capture that one elusive moment of surfer and the natural phenomenon in spectacular unison.
I didn’t put my wetsuit on until midnight, and I came in around 2:30 in the morning . . . Everyone was on a high, but I was pretty wrecked and cold by that stage. But once we saw the photos the next day, everyone was pumped. The wave itself was actually pretty good. We had decent waves throughout the whole 10 days, but that was the only night that we had the Northern Lights and the waves together . . . Once I was out in the water, it was anywhere between four and six minutes in between sets . . . I was just staring up at the sky and screaming with excitement. It was incredible. It’s been something that has been on my bucket list for a while. That’s why when the idea came through, I was ready to go.
Mr Fanning and his film crew camped on the beach in sub-zero temperatures to watch the sky for signs of the polar lights for days before the surf and the green glow came out to play. Watch the video above capture this once in a lifetime experience.
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MR MICK FANNING’S LOOK