In autumn in Unstad, Norway, when the valley flames with the gold of birch trees against the red of the houses, there are often more sheep than people on the beach. The waves rumble like subway cars, foaming on white sand and rounded rocks that, from a distance, look like a colony of seals. And out in the water: surfers. There’s a thriving surf scene in Norway’s Lofoten Islands, where the waves are cold and the air is colder. “Everyone has done the tropics,” said Timothy Latte, 25, a Swede who won the 2015 Lofoten Masters. “Cold water surfing is the new black.” The #LofotenMasters, which took place on October 8 this year, is is billed as the world’s northernmost surfing competition. But Norway isn’t the only cold place that attracts surfers. Since the 1990s, and especially in the last decade, enhanced insulation in wetsuits has opened some of the most frigid reaches of the world — Alaska, Antarctica, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Russia, Sweden, Norway — to surfers seeking isolated adventures, craggy nature and uncrowded and unexplored waves. In Norway, they rent #surf shop cabins, drive pop-top campers or sleep in tents under the Northern Lights, drawn by the tranquillity and splendor and muscle of the surroundings. We’ll be sharing more images by @leslyedavis later this week. # ♀️
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