Bali, Cali or Fiji? Why a surfing roadtrip in Norway is cooler (literally)
Surfing in Norway is cooler, it is also cooler physically. Why should you avoid the crowds and experience real Norwegian Goosebumps?
This post will give you a hands on route to follow. Or a quick guide.
When traveling to Norway your flight is likely to arrive in Oslo. The majority of people describing themselves as surfers in Norway live in Oslo. The reason for that is that Oslo and the surrounding area is where half of the country´s population live.
There are not much surf in the Oslo region. Sure, you have a couple of river spots and some ok waves in the Oslo Fjord, like Saltstein outside Stavern in Larvik, but this is not where you go to get salty hair.
You can make a long roadtrip via the southern coast to Stavanger.
Southern Norway have spots, and it has swell, in the winter. But the UK is stopping the waves coming in from the Atlantic, so you need weather. A lot of it.
Stavanger, on the other hand, is around the corner and pointing towards Greenland and Iceland. There you will have the winds you need to produce swells coming in. And Stavanger is decent. A lot of great beach breaks on the Jæren coast. Hellestø, Reve and Bore is good.
Going up the west coast you will find a lot of great waves. If you like searching. Some are listed on MSW and other forecast sites, like one in Karmøy, but to find the others you´ll need a local, a boat or mountain climbing equipment (!). To get the most out of your roadtrip you should go straight to Stadlandet. Hoddevika and Ervika are well known, beautiful and consistent. People come here from all over the world. The atmosphere is great in Hoddevika and you will love it. You can rent gear and a bed. And you are likely to meet some nice people.
Driving up the coast, you should have a stop at Alnes lighthouse. The spot surrounding the lighthouse is great on the right days. It´s actually a bit crowded when conditions are right, but not like you´re probably used to, and no defined point. Crowds are generally not a big problem in Norway. That´s why you are coming, right? You can also find some other good spots around Ålesund.
In the Hustadvika region you have to search a bit. There are numerous waves. Most of them you have to be an insider or have a boat to reach. You will easily find the Farstadsanden beach, which can be fine on NW swell, if you like big boards. But you probably won´t get satisfied. To get the best out of this spot you have to get that inside information. Some of the locals are very protective, while most are happy to share the best waves with others. There is a community around, and there are almost always people in the water.
There are waves between Hustadvika and Bodø, but life is to short. At least your roadtrip is to short to search. You have to live there to do that. The Helgeland coast have loads of waves, but you won´t find them. And there are islands and reefs protecting the coast, so you´ll need to get further out.
Close to Bodø the locals enjoy waves in a spot called Selnes. It works, but face it. You are very close to Lofoten. Go there instead.
Unstad Beach is amazing, the locals are friendly, the Lofoten Islands are magic, and you will probably get insiders tips to new waves just by asking. After a while you´ll want to pack up your stuff and move to Lofoten, permanently. Or you will keep on going north. To the arctic sea.
The following route further North is crowded when it comes to beaches and waves. Not on people. Very few people live there. This is where it really starts to get interesting. The time has come for you to search on your own. You have learned some things about Norwegian surf. Use this when going further north.
Tromsø have a spot, but go further. Find Senja. Find Finnmark.
Get close to the russian border and the Barents Sea.
There you´ll experience something to tell your grandchildren. Be aware that waves are best in fall and winter, but days are short and the weather is fierce.