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Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Big wave surf in the Orkney Islands

Check out the latest Northcore Boardriders blog entry below on their trip to the Orkney Islands:

"Big waves, unsurfed/undiscovered locations, huge swell windows, vast ocean fetch, endless variety of set ups, constant waves....its like a mini-Hawaii, so who wouldn't want to go to the Orkney Islands?!

For those who dont know, the Orkneys are a group of islands situated north of Scotland and the fabled reefs at Thurso. They lay on the same latitudes as Northern Canada and Greenland but although the islands do get bitterly cold in winter, the gulf stream tempers the climate and the ocean enough to mean that icebergs and polar bears arent local hazards!

We were lucky enough to visit one of the outer islands recently, partly to visit friends and partly to check it out for a possible future Northcore team trip and after days of looking at maps and swell charts I was dreaming of the seemingly limitless surf possibilities. The main drawback other than the aforementioned cold, is the length of the journey there, for us it meant a 450 mile road trip, a flight, a cross island drive, a ferry and a long walk, which meant that we could have flown to the other side of the world in a similar amount of time. The journey is worth it though as the huge skys, vast seas and remoteness of the Orkneys is stunning.

The drive around the whole island we were staying on is only about 45mins and a few potential surf spots can be seen from the road but most are well hidden and all involve long walks across steep fields, stone walls, dead sheep and streams. Winter swells regularly reach 20ft+ (it was only a 12-14ft swell when we were there) and all of the spots we saw were rock reef set ups, some only accessible by boat or PWC. This place is hardcore! I'm not going to give away anymore for now but watch this space for a possible trip in 2009..... "

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