I’m finally back in town and settled in, ready to give you a full recap of my Iceland trip. In every sense of the word, the place is awesome. From the volcanic lunar landscape, to the green moss covered and snow capped mountains, to the rock and lava beaches, to the geothermal natural hot springs and geysirs, to the towering icy glaciers and lower lying rivers and waterfalls they spawn, Iceland rocks the senses. Coming from an unnaturally crowded place, with equally crowded lineups, the sheer emptiness of the land and the water there is shocking. I love it.
The surfers – no different than us; though perhaps a bit more stoked. The waves – excellent where I surfed, and I understand there was something surfable, somewhere in Iceland virtually every day. The weather – air temps varied during throughout my stay, from 24F to about 50F. I had drizzly days bookend my stay, but an otherwise cold and sunny trip, with a bonus of 4 inches of snow blanketing the capital on Thursday evening.
With prevailing south swells and winds out of the north, plus the overall spooky dark water alone in the world factor, I stuck to one break for most of the trip. The spot was a lava rock reef bottomed break at the end of a volcanic dirt road, in the middle of nowhere. Then again, where in Iceland isn’t at the end of a volcanic dirt road, in the middle of nowhere? Did I mention I love the place? I managed to surf the spot in everything from waist high to a few feet overhead, with the swell direction and natural setup providing long righthand walls and occasional shorter lefts. At its most crowded, on a weekend afternoon, I was surfing with three other people in the water. I could surf this spot for the rest of my days without getting tired of the place. And… apparently, there are a variety of superior spots when swell conditions are right, and endless points, reefs, slabs and even beachbreaks ringing the few thousand miles of coastline.
I’m sold on Iceland. World class waves in one of the most healthy, friendly, modern, and environmentally conscious places on the planet. If they can survive the current banking crisis that is crippling the global economy and threatening an Icelandic national bankruptcy, then I’ll see about moving there in a few years. If their economy completely tanks, I might have to take full advantage of the situation and get myself a place there earlier. I’ll certainly be back soon for more.