Surfing Siberia | Searching in the Arctic

Craig Murch

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Updated 522d ago

Cold water surfing suits only the hardiest of folk - and this is as cold as it comes. This isn't your usual winter-time session armed with a 5mm, and all the trimmings, to keep you toasty. That doesn't cut it in Russia, in the Arctic Ocean.

For native surfers Sergey Rasshivaev, Konstantin Kokorev and Nikolay Rahmatov however, they revel in the chilled waters, the exploration and the freezing unknown. Having embarked on trips all over the country for the sake of surf, their next goal was to head north - to a region commonly known as The Extreme North or Far North.

"The Arctic Ocean was the biggest goal for us," recalled Sergey. "We knew it would be tough but that's what we search for. Only a few have tried surfing at this latitude and even fewer have tried it in Russia."
If something happened we cant wait any help there. There was no room for making mistakes.
There's a reason only a few have ventured this far however. You won't need telling that taking a dip in the Arctic, camping on ice and navigating deep powder poses potential danger at every corner.

"Sometimes it was really dangerous - if something happened we can't get any help there. There was no room for making mistakes. We surfed in huge storms with 35 mph winds. We escaped from snow storms in the car with zero visibility and sometimes the snow on the road was higher than our car."

White extends in every direction. The heart of The Extreme North.

White extends in every direction. The heart of The Extreme North.

The reason behind it all. A cool, clean left all to yourself.

The reason behind it all. A cool, clean left all to yourself.

Of course, safety concerns aside, the main focus of the trip was to search out waves. Research and planning, like on any trip into the unknown was key.
We gave so many names to so many spots because we were the first to ever surf there.
"Before we went we checked maps and local surf forecasts of Norway and Russia, then used google maps to try to predict the best places. The best waves we found were in Ribachiy Peninsula but normally we surfed near a small town called Teriberka.

"We gave so many names to so many spots because we were the first to ever surf there. A few favourites were named Meteorological Station, Waterfall and Stones. We didn't think about them too hard, the names just came naturally."

Post session stoke in the snow. Those are some frosty faces.

Post session stoke in the snow. Those are some frosty faces.

Natural light shows combine with man made beams for quite the scene.

Natural light shows combine with man made beams for quite the scene.

Name as you so please.

Name as you so please.

We can think of worse places to spend a night...

We can think of worse places to spend a night...

Navigating boulders to get to the break would be hard enough never mind the white stuff.

Navigating boulders to get to the break would be hard enough never mind the white stuff.

Relaxing...

Relaxing...

All photos shot by Tatiana Elisarieva and Andrey Artukhov


Craig Murch

MSW Content Editor