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Surfing between Norway and the North Pole

The spirit of adventure is alive as two Norwegian filmmakers surf and survive the North Pole

Surely it doesn't get much better than surfing under the Northern Lights.

Surely it doesn’t get much better than surfing under the Northern Lights.

Ever wondered what is like surfing between Norway and the North Pole? Inge Wegge and Jørn Ranum did and spent nine months of winter in 2011 surfing an isolated and uninhabited bay of a remote, Arctic island off the coast of northern Norway. Their award-winning film of their exploits called “North of The Sun,” now available for download, captures a true spirit of surfing and real adventure.

When GrindTV talked to Inge, the first question was: Why? “Well, we talked about the project for a long time and then decided it couldn’t be done,” said the 25-year-old from Oslo. “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 knew we would regret it for the rest of our lives.” The teaser of the film can be seen below.

The two built a cabin out of driftwood and other cast-off materials that washed up on shore and ate expired food the stores would otherwise have thrown away. They also went surfing, even if for months at a time the sun never made an appearance.

“We knew there were waves, but we didn’t know how good they would be,” said Wegge, who caught the surfing bug on a trip to Australia. “We are not great surfers, so we didn’t need anything amazing, but as it turned out we scored some fantastic waves.”

Building their shack from scratch.

Building their shack from scratch

Inge drops into the Bay's lefthander.

Inge drops into the Bay’s lefthander

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 out there.”

Now this is what we call hardcore adventure.

Now this is what we call hardcore adventure.

That’s probably why Inge was soon planning his next mission. This past winter he took his three brothers to Bear Island, staying on the remote island in the Swalvbard for three months. Deep in the Arctic Circle, midway between Norway and the North Pole, it has no airport or harbor and the only walking inhabitants are polar bears. “It’s surrounded by ocean, so we knew there must be waves for surfing, 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 the cold and hunger wasn’t far behind.” Their film of the brothers’ adventure, called “Bear Island,” will be out soon. Here is a sneak peek.

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