Within one week of answering an email invite, Nolan pulled on his wetsuit 2,500 miles northeast of York, Maine. His new friends were stoked to see the boards made it safely as each came out of the travel bag, first a 5’5” Mr. Simmons, then a 6’ Wherry, finally a 6’5” Seed. Elli took the Seed, Heiđar grabbed the Simmons, and Nolan got to try the Wherry prototype he had finished glassing a just few days earlier. The rush of cold water on the face was a familar feeling in a strange new world.
Trading waves in a lonely fjord with a couple guys speaking another language was a surreal way to wash away the sleepless red eye flight followed by a 5 hour drive in the dark. Soaking in a naturally fed, make-shift hot tub at the nearby fisherman’s house, going on 24 hours of no sleep, really felt like a dream.
January is not peak tourist season in Iceland, and only one third of the country’s population lives outside the capital city. Line-ups in the small northern fishing towns were empty or close to it. Our small crew consisted of a significant portion of the local surf population. We’d spend the brief 6 hours of daylight driving around in snowstorms searching for sheltered spots in a land known for wind, then settle in for the long nights playing card games with cold and embarrassing consequences.
Steve Lewis of The Empire Expeditions reached out to involve Grain in a film project he’s working on with photographer Elli Thor and prominent voice in the surf-world Chris Cote. All we can say about the project for now is that it involves wooden boards and surfing the near-Arctic, but we're really honored to be involved and excited for what's to come!
Three Grain sleds, fresh off the plane, right into the action.
Heiđar Logi, the first and sole professional Icelandic surfer, is a vibrant bundle of stoke and long blond hair that knows (and shreds) more waves around the island than anyone else. Here he's bonding with the 5’5” Mr. Simmons.
Elli Thor, one of the first guys to push the exploration of surfing in his home country, now shares the amazing visuals he sees everyday with the world through photography.
This 5-hour session was a great opportunity for Nolan to really test out a new protoype of the Wherry fish.
Even with blizzard conditions for most of the week, we can consider it a warm(er) destination surf trip, the temperature upon returning to Maine was much colder!