Nat Geo: Dane Gudauskas in Norway!


Dane Gudauskas in Norway

Photograph by Chris Burkard

“This was my first time surfing the Arctic Circle,” says southern California-based surfer Dane Gudauskas, who hadn’t seen snow for a decade before this trip. “My face felt swollen from the cold, my body felt sluggish, but I was filled with so much excitement that I felt like I could surf all day.” Surfers Keith Malloy, Pat Million, and Sam Hammer were also part of this exploratory trip in Norway, where the weather would flip from blaring sunshine to sideways hail, sleet, and snow in an instant.

“We would get our wetsuits on in the house, then walk down the ice-covered road to the beach, then walk into snow that was sometimes up to our waists—all just to reach the water’s edge,” recalls Gadauskas, whose group was aided by some local surfers who showed them them around. “When the water hit any exposed skin, it would burn like fire until your body temperature could warm up from paddling. Only then could you get the mojo working.”