Hidden behind green-clad rocks on Norway’s westernmost and roughest outpost, Stadlandet, you’ll be surprised to find an exotic surfing paradise. There are white sandy beaches and great waves, but no danger of sharks or tropical heat.
Travelers to Hoddevik meet the windy Norwergian Westlands, majestic mountains, barking sheep and wave-hungry surfers from all over the world in their wet suits. At Stad on the coast of Nordfjord in Norway, you will find ideal conditions for surfing. Great waves coming in from the Norwegian Sea, white sandy beaches and steep cliffs that create perfect surroundings for an unforgettable surfing experience – all year round!
“The most weather”
If you’re not quite sure, Norway is the tall skinny bit on the left-hand side Scandinavia, just up and right a bit from Scotland and left of Sweden. Westerly facing and boasting an impressive coastline of over 1500 miles, it’s wild and rugged, scribble like shore grabs all the swell the North Atlantic offers and folds, wraps, dumps and peels the resulting waves into a selection of isolated playgrounds.
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It’s not the first place that comes to mind when the topic is surfing. Maybe it should be. Hoddevik is a small surf town on the Stadlandet peninsula in the Selje Municipality which marks the spot where the Norwegian coast turns eastwards. It is one of the places in Norway, or perhaps in the whole world, where you have “the most weather.” Waves, storms, sun, hurricanes, sleet, breeze, rain, snow, hail, very fresh air and wind.
Exotic surfing paradise in Norway – suitable all year round
These fantastic beaches have long been hidden treasures, but more and more people become aware of the excellent surf spots on the Norwegian west coast. All of it in a little valley between beautiful but steep mountains that you can easily hike to the top of, thanks to the occasionally used path up the hillside. The mountains aren’t only there for decoration or the occasional hike. They provide shelter and make the beach surfable even during extreme weather.
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As a buffer between the land and the furious ocean, there is a beach with the fine and soft white sand you would normally expect to find in Samoa, Marshall Islands or Kiribati. What the hell is it doing here? It either got lost or just wanted a little more excitement than is to be expected in the Pacific Ocean.
Don’t be fooled by the wind when you step outside. What might feel like a force nine in the village is sometimes nothing more than a light breeze by the time you’ve walked to the beach.
Depending on who you ask, and who’s at the shops, Hoddevik boasts a permanent population of somewhere between 15-25 people. So even with the surf camps at capacity and few visiting surfers, this place is never going to look like Cocoa Beach in Florida. The locals spread a cheerful and friendly vibe in and out of the water. You’re more likely to get a wink than stink eye.
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Refreshingly consistent, it’s not often you’ll find a totally flat day here. If nature is not delivering the goods at Hoddevik, there are a few other options close by. Just around the other side of northernmost mountain is Ervik, which offers a higher performance wave than Hoddevik, with a punchier low tide option that fills out as the tide hits high. Ask around at the surf camps and you might even be enlightened to a few of the more secret spots.
What equipment do you need?
Equipment wise, you’ll need more rubber than normal and we’d advise you to take your favorite boards. Although the surf camps and hostels will dish out 5/4/3 suits all year round, if you’re bringing your own kit, you can easily get away with a decent 4/3 up to the end of September. If you’re visiting from October onwards you’re in 5/4 territory, and you’ll need boots, gloves and hat.
Where to stay
Stad Surfing is a surf camp in an old traditional wooden house built in a style often seen on the Norwegian countryside. It has been modernized and is now the place to stay in Hoddevik. There is a modern kitchen and common room in the basement and a well-stocked surf shop and bed rooms on the main floors. The owner, Mr. Torkild Strandvik, has run the place for many years after he moved from Oslo to live his dream, to be a full-time surfer on one of the most unique surf spots in the world.
The La Point surf camp offers standard hostel style housing with bunked rooms, communal kitchens and shared living space. Clean and tidy and run by the friendliest bunch of surfers you could imagine, you’ll feel right at home. Double rooms are available if you want a bit more privacy and there’s a wonderful hot tub in the garden for thawing out post surf.
Both places offer board and wetsuit hire with prices depending on the length of your stay and what you need.
Driving there is a bit like having a handful of picture postcards repeatedly thrown at your face. The thawing of the last ice age left Norway’s landmass peppered with countless deep fjords and huge mountains that make any long-distance travel equally slow and beautiful.
Exotic Surfing Paradise in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg