All you need to know about surfing in Norway

SurfingPhoto: Nathan-Hill-Haimes / Unsplash
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With a stunning backdrop of mountains and fjords, breathtakingly chilly waves, and a raw Nordic feel, Norway is home to one of the most surreal cold-water surfing experiences in the world. 

Looking for an unforgettable Nordic surfing experience? Whether you’re new to surfing or a more seasoned surfer looking to catch some big waves, we’ve got you covered. 

In this guide, we will share some general information about the Norwegian surfing culture and when and where you can surf.

Norwegian surfing culture

What started as a feat of exploration for two Norwegians in 1963 has today developed into a thriving surfing community filled with many enthusiasts from all over the world. 

While Norway may not have always been known as a great surfing location, there has been a steady effort to grow the country’s surfing culture in recent years. 

The efforts include people mapping out the coastline and setting up infrastructure to ensure that surfing remains an enjoyable and safe sport. 

Norway’s pristine waters and landscape has also been a destination worthy of hosting the European surfing championship; the 2017 championship was hosted in Jæren, Fjord Norway.

Norwegian Princess Ingrid Alexandra surfing in Jæren. Photo: Kristine Tofte / Brettforbundet / NTB

Surfing seasons in Norway

You’ll see people surfing in Norway all year round as the surf season lasts from February to November. 

For beginners, it is recommended to surf during summer as the swells are less frequent, and the waves are smaller. 

Meanwhile, experienced surfers will enjoy surfing in late autumn to winter, which is when the waves are at their peak; however, it also offers colder conditions.

What are the best surfing hotspots in Norway?

The surfing spots are generally free of crowds, with the exception of Lofoten. 

Some of the sites also provide schools with instruction classes for those looking to start surfing. 

Norway’s most famous surfing spots are located in two main places: Lofoten Islands and Fjord Norway.

The beautiful Lofoten Islands. Photo: Zoya Loonohod / Unsplash

Lofoten Islands

Situated in the North of the Arctic Circle, the Lofoten archipelago is internationally recognized as one of the most picturesque places for cold-water surfing in Norway. 

Every year, thousands of tourists visit the beaches of Lofoten to ride the arctic waves. 

Unstad is the most popular surfing spot in the archipelago, attracting arctic surf enthusiasts from all over the world since the early 1960s. 

Another significant feature of this location is the Northern lights, which create spectacular scenery that amplifies your immersive experience in Norway’s deep blue waters when coupled with the arctic landscape. 

This is undoubtedly a more noteworthy highlight, and it deviates from more traditional surfing spots.

Fjord Norway is a major surfing hotspot for tourists.  Photo: Tom Dale / Unsplash

Fjord Norway

Known for its stunning fjords, many of which are worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage title, Fjord Norway is also a surfing hotspot for many tourists. 

This is where you will find many surf breaks. 

Within Fjord Norway, there are two significant locations:

Jæren

Situated in the Rogaland county, in the southwestern stretch of the Norwegian coastline, Jæren is an excellent location for different types of surfing. 

You can partake in many surface water sports like windsurfing. 

It also has great surfing conditions all year round; the waves are relatively mellow, making it suitable for all levels. 

Jæren also offers a surf school with full surfing gear included, which we recommend checking out if you’re a beginner.

Surfing
The Stad peninsula offers numerous great surfing spots. Photo: mauro paillex / Unsplash

Stad

Considered a hidden surfing paradise in Norway, the Stad peninsula offers many of the best surfing spots in Fjord Norway. 

Situated in the westernmost part of Mainland Norway, Stad is hit by waves from both the north and south – this means you can almost always find a spot to surf. 

The most popular spots here are Ervik and Hoddevik. 

While Edvik attracts attention with its big waves, Hoddevik beach focuses more on the visual aspect, offering pristine waters framed by a backdrop of tall mountains. 

Therefore, Edvik is more recommended for experienced surfers but watch out for shipwrecks! Unless you’re also planning on combining your surfing experience with scuba diving.

Share your surfing experiences with us by writing to us! 

Or share your top surfing photos with the hashtag #norwaytodaytravel on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

Source: Norway Today

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