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Surfing Iceland with Lee-Ann Curren in ‘Cold Lines’
A few months ago, Lee-Ann Curren headed to Iceland to chase a surfing experience that some of us only ever dream of, but for Lee-Ann, the North Atlantic shoreline has drawn her back again and again over the last five years -
“Iceland has become almost like a second home to me. I'm not sure what attracts me so much about this place. Maybe the immensity of the landscapes that make you feel so vulnerable, yet very much alive, and leave you in a permanent state of awe and contemplation. I think this video describes perfectly what it feels like to be out there.”
Lee-Ann’s latest clip ‘Cold Lines’ is a serious dose of adventure fuel, and between watching the video and booking your ticket, read our interview with Lee-Ann about the ins and outs of surfing amongst the extraordinary glacial landscapes of the Nordic isle.
When did you first start searching for surf in the region?
My first trip there was in 2012, I had kind of planed to go on my own and adventure solo but a bunch of my friends jumped on board (Amandine Sanchez, Pauline Ado, Jessi Miley Dyer, Sofia Mulanovich and Emmy Martens), It was when I met all the crew at Arctic Surfers. it was definitely one of the best trips of my life and what made me want to go back!
What drew you to surfing there in such extreme weather conditions?
Probably the beauty of the place, the fact that it's uncrowded and a challenge every time you get in the water. But in the end it's really not that bad once you're in your wetsuit.
What was the average water temperature at the time?
At the start of the trip it was around 8/9 degrees C, but it went down gradually (I was there for a month) and in one of my last sessions at Glacier Lagoon it was about 2/3 degrees. At this point, the equipment you use makes a huge difference in the experience. I was wearing a 6'5 custom roxy wetsuit, booties with no "split toe" and wool socks underneath, neoprene mittens, and I was pretty warm in that.
What’s the local surfing community like?
There's between 20 and 30 surfers in Iceland I think. They're all super friendly and so passionate about surfing. I've met quite a few girl surfers too, one of them would go surfing wearing gloves at her feet because she didn't have booties! There's no surf shops so it's hard for them to get wetsuits and boards. In Iceland people in general are very afraid of the ocean, because it's a "fishermen" culture, so surfers are considered mad weirdos.
Where to next?
I'll be on the Gold Coast during the ROXY Pro.
Filmed and edited by: Claudia Lederer
Music: Samaris - Stofnar Falla