Cold-weather surfers are cut from a different cloth. Eager to travel north, these guys dodge icebergs between sets and aren't afraid to freeze for the perfect Arctic barrel. Photographer Chris Burkard has the heart of a cold-weather surfer but more impressively, the eye to capture these stunning Nordic scenes from places such as Iceland, Norway, and Russia.
Photo: Adventure at its finest. Keith Malloy exploring a glacier the surfer's way—by paddling through icebergs in Iceland.
Chris Burkard's new book: Distant Shores
Iceland's Frozen CoastLooking for an opening between the ice, Dion Agius prepares to paddle out from Iceland's raw and frozen shore.Staring at this landscape the fact that there is a perfect a-frame seems to be overshadowed by everything else. Some of the colors produced by the sky on this trip seemed like an illusion, but when you're this far in the north atlantic, anything can happen. IcelandKeith Malloy navigates his way through the ice that lines the shores of Jökulsárlón. It is one of the few breaks in the world where the biggest danger is submerged chunks of glacial ice. IcelandSometimes the road traveled was half the fun. Our Land Rover definitely allowed us to go places we never imagined exploring before. IcelandWith Iceland being such a small island the weather patterns are constantly in flux. Swell and storms can move quickly across the country. One day could have rain, the next snow and the next hail. You really have to motivate yourself to get out of a warm car and trek through the elements to the surf.Chasing the sunset we made our way back up the cliffs over Vik. We hadn't see the entire trip at this point and moments after setting up camp it showed itself for a glimmer before dropping behind the mountains in the distance. IcelandA quick fire brings some much needed warmth after a frigid surf in Iceland.There are very few places in the world where you can find ice on the shores of a beach. Walking around huge glacial ice chunks on the way to the water there was no question this was going to be the coldest session of the trip.Norway offering more peaks than one can count. From wave peaks to mountains peaks the transition is seamless.
Keith Malloy in NorwayTo me it seems Keith Malloy surfs better the colder the water is. Here he is leaning into a bottom turn with snow capped peaks looming in the distance.
Aurora BorealisAs if scoring waves wasn't enough, the Northern Lights put on a spectacular show for us as well.
Feeling SmallThere's no better place to realize how small you are than beside the mountains in Norway. Brett Barley is humbled by the Norwegian coastline.
A Light DustingKeith Malloy brushes off fresh snow from the previous evening's storm. Although the surfboards dusted right off, some of the wetsuits were frozen in place.It's hard to tell, but this is prime beach front property in Norway. Keith Malloy and Dane Gudauskas make the long walk through a blizzard that cut their surf session short. NorwayAs soon as we exit the water we make a break for the warmth of the cars heaters. Unfortunately the air isn't always warm as the cars sitting in snowstorm take a little while to warmup themselves. Norway
Beach ReconWith no webcams and low visibility, the only way to check for waves in a blizzard is to walk to the beach. Brett Barley had to come in early as the snow and hail whipping across his face made it impossible to surf with his eyes open.
Norwegian Hot TubKeith Malloy warms up post-surf in what Norwegians referred to as a "stump." To everyone else it was the wooden jacuzzi that brought life back into frozen limbs.
Kamchatka, RussiaThe simple joys of surfing in Russia. Don't need much more than a board and a tent.