I’ll wager that not many of us remember the Beach Boys Christmas Album released way back in 1964. The California quintet were generally associated with the gnarly (rather than holy) trinity of sun, sea and surf instead of snow, turkey and church. However, there is perhaps one group of surfers who are more likely to have White Christmas and Little Saint Nick freezing up their iPods. In the never ending quest to find the greatest waves, whilst avoiding the hoards of summer tourists, a few intrepid surfers have literally gone to the ends of the earth. A wave of recent films has followed a number of thrill seeking, hypothermia defying, harder-than-thou individuals into the Arctic Circle as they endeavour to find the perfect, unadulterated surf.
Currently melting hearts in the surfing community are the Norwegian brothers Wegge who, after their awarding winning film North of the Sun, are set to release an even more extreme snow/surfing adventure in 2014. Simply named Bear Island, after the Arctic Circle island home to a larger population of polar bears than it is people, the three brothers chart their exploits as they explore the Arctic wilderness with surfboards in tow.
In seeking the best breakers amongst the ice caps the boys have put aside conventionality and with it their Billabong long-shorts and Hawaiian t-shirts. Apart from the occasional naked dive, while fishing, hiking and skiing, the boys can be seen in the video tightly packed in goose feathered jackets, thermals and waterproofs, battling the snow and tramping across the ice. In a climate like that on Bear Island, keeping warm is integral and so if, like the hardy Norwegians, Frosty the Surfman warms your heart, it is worth taking a few precautions. Layers of fleeces and feathers are recommended, firstly, as well as reliable waterproof clothing. It is vital not to neglect the need for a good pair of snow boots and a warm hat. No amount of thermal tops will keep you comfortable if your head is cold or your feet are wet. It doesn’t all have to be bulky either; have a look here at Zalando’s collection of fantastic sports gear that makes it possible to look cool while keeping warm. Although a little less hot than the outfit of the Californian beach bum, if you are heading off the icy waves, it’s time to pull out the trusty wetsuit, and layer it up with a rashvest. On top of this, what would be a better Christmas gift for the surfer heading north than a pair of wet suits boots, to keep their feet warm in the water. Assuming, of course, that they already have the Beach Boys’ album.