Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture

Amongst the lakes, forests and fjords, surfers are finding a new home in the waves in Scandinavia. Characterized by a deep connection with nature and an appreciation for a wonderfully raw part of the world, local surfers are taking to the waves like never before. In this article, we take a look at the world’s lesser-known spots and uncover a world of surfing that not everyone knows exists. Dive into unchartered waters: Scandinavian surf culture.

Scandinavian Surfing On The Rise

Given the effortlessly cool culture and aesthetic that shines bright across Scandinavia, in some ways it makes sense that surfing is finding its place across the region. Gaining momentum in a very small way in the 1960s in Norway and Sweden, Scandinavian surfers are truly carving out a new and exciting world of surfing in 2023.

Although it might still be a niche activity, surfing in this beautiful part of the world continues to grow, attracting both locals and international surfers seeking unique and uncrowded waves. So with its raw and rugged landscapes, where stormy cold waters give most a fright, why are surfers taking to the northernmost seas in growing numbers?

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture
Bikinis can be worn on warm summer days – even in Scandinavia. Photo: Emma Bukowski

What is for sure, is that a Scandinavian surfing experience is like no other. The conditions are harsh to say the least, with rough and icy cold waters making it an activity for only the most dedicated. And what with the raw beauty and often isolated surroundings, there’s certainly a thrill to be had for trying something entirely new.

However, it’s this surf culture that really draws people in numbers. Characterised by not only a mutual appreciation of nature – which often extends as far as prioritising conservation and sustainability – Scandinavian surf culture is hard core to say the least as well as highly contagious!

You may be surprised to find an exotic surfing paradise in Norway. Click the image below to learn more.

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture
Click the image to learn more about a Norwegian surfing paradise.

A Peek Into The Scandinavian Surf Scene

Giving anything for the perfect surf, surfers embrace the challenges of cold water and harsh conditions to practice their sport. Just how cold are we talking? In many places, you should expect seas of four degrees celsius, cooled by a biting wind-chill factor that’s enough to put most people off before they even dip their toes in.

A real love of the ocean feels strong here, a love arguably not so visible amongst surf communities anywhere else in the world.

With a feeling of being at the forefront of Scandinavian surfing exploration, locals are getting stuck right in, embarking on true adventures to some of the most remote surf locations in the world. Driving hours to reach waves, an element of discovery and dedication shine bright in Scandinavian surf culture. These are people who are ready for anything!

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture, article continues below the image.

Arctic surfing attracts extreme surfers from all over the world. Click the image below to learn more.

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture
Click the image to learn more about extreme surfing in Norway.

Prime Surfing Destinations

It’s natural that when you think of surfing, you’re transported to far-flung destinations, perhaps turquoise waters and white sand beaches. But surfing isn’t alway this way. If you’re prepared to brave the cold of the Nordic seas, a whole host of surfing destinations await.


With its vast number of islands surpassing any other country globally – naturally offers opportunities for surfing. Perhaps unfortunately, the best time for surfing here aligns with the coldest season, so you’ll need to hold on to your brave spirit to venture into the waves.


Expect to see surfers here when it’s 15 degrees outside and there’s snow on the ground!

Originally a small fishing village, Varberg’s waters attract surfers in growing numbers.


This might be the best place to surf in Sweden. Hosting a few national championships, it’s the spot for big swells.

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture
Although it might still be a niche activity, surfing in this beautiful part of the world continues to grow. Photo: Emma Bukowski.


Perhaps due to its never ending coastline on the North and Norweigen Sea, Norway has a thriving surfing scene. And talk about variation, you’ve got everything here from flanked beaches to midnight surfs in the sun during the summer months. A trip to Norway is a truly special experience for surfers from anywhere in the world.


 First thing’s first, Hoddevik is incredibly beautiful. Tucked away in an incredible fjord, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Come rain, snow, and hail, Hoddevik is calling.

Lofoten Islands

Only for the brave, this might be the most northern surf spot ever. Bring the best wetsuit you can find and you can surf here year-round amongst the seals. Expect 24-hour sunlight in summer.

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture
Denmark is a paradise for surfers. Click the image to read more.


Easy to get to and already attracting surfers from across Europe, Denmark is a wonderful place to surf. On the northwestern Jylland coast, you’ll find surfing spots enough to last you weeks.


Ever heard of ‘Cold Hawaii’? This is it! Agger is home to a number of beaches which are divided up by piers. Here, big waves come with a southern wind (intermediate and expert surfers only).


Made up of the Reef, the Bay and Bunkers, Klitmoller is the most famous surfing spot in Denmark. A range of surf competitions take place here too.


Surf culture in Finland is said to have started around 1997 in Yyteri Beach, Pori. Today, Finland is catching a new wave, with Helsinki now home to a Flowrider indoor wave machine, and locals taking to the coast year-round.


The Finnish surfing capital of Pori has long been popular with windsurfers. However in the late 90s Finnish surfers arrived. Enjoy a rich surfing community here.

The vast coastline

The finest surf spots in Finland are situated on the secluded islands encircling the mainland. Here, powerful swells originating from deep waters collide with steep cliffs, creating an exhilarating surfing experience. Interestingly, on certain days, you can even catch waves in Finland’s largest lakes, such as Päijänne, Saimaa, or Näsijärvi in Tampere!

Riding the Waves in Northern Paradise

From the breathtaking coastlines of Norway to the hidden surf gems of Sweden, Scandinavian surf culture is finding its place in the drop dead gorgeous fjords and endless coastlines of Scandinavia. Ready for a less than regular surf adventure? The northern paradise is waiting!

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture
Emma Bukowski

Uncharted Waters: Scandinavian Surf Culture, written dedicatedly for Daily Scandinavian by Emma Bukowski, founder and designer of Noserider Surf Club.

Feature image (on top): Emma Bukowski

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.


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