68.9 degrees north

The Vikings are still out there in the water. Welcome to the Arctic.

Now almost a famous, this previously “unknown” spot has gained more and more traction in the media. Hosting only a dozen locals, the village lays sheltered between two giant mountains that embrace it like two warm arms. Ironically, it’s most often quite the opposite: Harsh winds, cruel weather and heavy rain is common, and shouldn’t surprise anyone living or visiting the Lofoten Islands. In fact, the archipelago is known for its harsh conditions. Still, you’ll have no problem finding locals trekking the mountains, skiing, or surfing, no matter the weather.

 

 

On the road to Unstad: Upon entering the tunnel to Unstad, this stunning scenery greets you. At this point you will want to have done your shopping: Except for the surf camp and surf shop located close to the beach, the closest supermarked is a 15 min drive away. Photo: Kleving Photography

 

 

New swell: Powerful, uncrowded surf. Photo: Kleving Photography

 

 

In Norway, most people have moved from the smaller towns to the cities, making a lot of the towns empty or even dead. Luckily, surf tourism has kept Unstad somewhat alive and attracts people from all over the world.
The locals are friendly and welcoming, but Unstad still have residents that either farm or commute to work, so show respect. Use common sense: Respect the signs, fences, and don’t trespass. If you’re in doubt on whether you’re allowed to camp on a spot, just find someone and ask! Norwegians might not say much, but they don’t bite.

 

 

When the conditions are just right: Unstad is usually uncrowded, but does occasionally attract crowds. Say hello, chat, show normal surf etiquette, and you’ll be fine. Photo: Kleving Photography

 

 

Heading to boulder town: Unstad consists of two point breaks, and a beach break. Boulders are present on each flank, so beware. Or simply have a solid pair of balls like this local surfer. Photo: Kleving Photography

 

 

Say hi to the locals: You’ll find these stomping around at Unstad. They don’t catch many waves, but sure as hell see a few. Photo: Kristian Breivik

 

 

8365 Unstad: Kristian owns what’s said to be the world’s northernmost surfshop, and has been shaping since 2001. Drop by Lofoten Surfsenter, he’ll easily brew a cuppa and have a chat. His favourite wave at Unstad? The left – his cojones have better ballast there. Photo: Kristian Breivik

 

 

 

Public transportation: The bus doesn’t go to Unstad, so just let it be said, without a car you’re screwed. Once there, a bike will do nicely to get around. You can lock it, but the local sheep usually don’t steal. Photo: Kleving Photography

 

 

A lot of publications and media outlets have been “bigging up” the conditions, the remoteness and rawness of Unstad. It is raw. It is harsh. But most of all, it’s a welcoming spot with the most stunning alpine scenery you can imagine. Best of all, the local area can offer world class trekking, climbing, skiing, and fishing when the ocean is flat. In the summer, the midnight sun makes for a glowing and stunning atmosphere, keeping the night away, and extending the surf hours. In the winter when the day is short, and you can enjoy the beauty of “aurora borealis”, also known as the “Northern Lights”.

 

 

Up in the air: It doesn’t happen every day, but Chippa Wilson stopped by and secured his place in Valhalla. Photo: Kleving Photography

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