JBay local and Surflife coach Shannon Ainslie recently spent some time doing a bit of coaching in Norway. We decided to catch up with him to see what that was all about...
"I was in Norway 3 years ago in Stavanger running surf courses and surf camps. I gave lessons from summer through to winter. This time round I was in a place called Unstad which is in the Lofoten islands above the arctic circle. The place has extremely good waves and a lot of pro surfers are starting to come here now because of the good waves and the extreme surf conditions.
In the summer the water is around 11 degrees and in the winter it's around 4 degrees. When I was in Stavanger the last time the water was around 0 degrees.
Giving surf lessons and running surf camps here is super crazy as the weather and surf conditions are always extreme. I have surfed and given lessons in 0 degrees water with -15 degrees Celcius. It's always cold, wet and windy. There have been times when my gloves on my hands start freezing and it feels like I have frost bite on my fingertips and my nose. Other times my hair has frozen after taking my hood off. I have surfed in hail and snow and is super fun!!
The last few months I ran a 3 day surf camp every week and did surf coaching and surf lessons. I worked with a surf camp called Unstad Camping where we are trying to develop and grow surfing in Norway. Most of the surfers here are above 20 years old so I am trying to work with the kids and trying to get schools involved to help us develop surfing amongst the kids/ youth, just like what I do in Surflife in Jeffrey's Bay and Port Elizabeth."