Reckon your last surf trip was pretty hardcore? Think you did some hard hire car yards in the Canaries, or some frightening ferry time in Indo? Well you pussies, that is nothing to what Norwegian nutbags Inge Wegge has been up to. Back in 2011 Inge and his mate Jørn Ranum spent nine months of cold, dark, winter surviving and surfing an isolated and uninhabited bay of a remote, arctic island off the coast of Northern-Norway. Their film called North of The Sun, now available for purchase by download, captures a true spirit of surfing and adventure. When we talked to Inge in Oslo, the first question was; Why? “Well we talked about the project for a long time and the decided it couldn’t be done. Three days later after we had made that decision, we knew we had to go. This couldn’t be something we talked about and never did, we would regret it for the rest of our lives.”
The two built a cabin out of driftwood and other cast-off materials that washed up on shore and ate tinned food and whatever they caught in the sea. They also went surfing, even if for months at a time the sun never made an appearance.
Now these waves weren’t exactly Desert Point. The film shows a fairly average beachie, all be it extremely uncrowded. “Look we aren’t pro surfers or anything, and this is Norway, but we knew there was some waves and we ended up scoring some fun waves.” We asked if there was any session that stood out as being memorable. “After one day working on the shack, I saw some fun waves and paddled out alone. When I was out the back, the biggest, brightest, double rainbow appeared, and between it a huge sea eagle soared. It will be something I never forget.”
I assumed that after nine months they would have been aching for civilization. “We were prepared for a really hard, intense time, both physically and physiologically,” he said. “But in the end it wasn’t that bad and we didn’t want to leave. Returning to Oslo, a city, was a real shock. We missed the rhythms of nature, the time to think, we missed being calm, it was liberating.”
That’s probably why Inge was soon planning his next mission. This time he took his three brothers to Bear Island, staying on remote island in the Swalvbard for three months. Deep in the Arctic Circle it has no airport or harbor and where the only walking inhabitants were polar bears. “It’s surrounded by ocean, so we knew there must be waves, and we took snowboards, skis, kites and everything we needed to survive off the land,” said Inge. “The polar bears were the biggest threat, but surviving wasn’t far behind.” Their film of the brothers’ adventure, called Bear Island will be out soon. Hats off lads, this is a real surf adventure. Here is a sneak peak.