Outer Banks: North Winds

Despite the indisputable beauty that’s to be found up north in the Arctic circle, there’s often just the one small factor that puts off even the most intrepid wing rider from heading in that direction, even in the summertime… the temperature. It takes no prisoners. Luckily, Kari Schibevaag spends her life in this environment, so is best placed to tell us about one particular glacial mission, and how best to conduct yours, should you wish to…

Photos: Schibevaag Adventure / Meløy Adventure


Norway is a special country, not only because the people are so super cool, but because the nature is so extreme and special. When I talk to visitors, they all say they come to look at the fjords, mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, lakes, and they all love the wilderness we’ve got up here…  And it is true – you don’t find many places in the world with the kind of crazy variety of nature as you do in Norway. 

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The weather is hard to predict. Up north we say that we can have all four seasons in one day – which is true. To plan a day of wing surfing or SUP is hard. You must be ready for anything – and do what fits with the conditions. It’s not like in Brazil in the windy season when it’s always blowing the perfect kind of winds. No, Norway has the kind of weather that can give you winter in the summer and summer in the winter. You never know what you will get… so just bring stuff for all four seasons and be ready for all kinds of action. 

This country has so many spots that have so much potential for winging, and since last year I had had this dream to try winging up in the glacial waters of Meløy. To get to Meløy I jumped on the ferry over to Bodø and drove for a couple of hours further south to get there. I had a mission in mind that I did not manage to complete last summer. I crossed my fingers for wind and sun. Up north, you’re lucky to get them both…

If you are traveling from outside of Norway to Meløy, I recommend flying to Bodø and then rent a car for the 2-hour drive along the Coastal Highway 17 to Meløy. It is known to be one of the most beautiful stretches of road in Norway and I was really looking forward to experiencing it.  There is this super nice spot up in the mountains in the arctic ice-cold glacial water, called Storglomvann, which is overlooked by the glacier as you enter the beautiful, turquoise waters. The water is around 4 to 6 degrees at this time of year, and the wind is always cold, but the view is always amazing up there when the sun is shining.

I drove up there with the camper van. I got there and saw white caps on the water – a good sign. I got changed, rigged my gear, and jumped in. The wind was perfect, and the color of the water was mesmerizing. It was cold at first and I got a bit of a brain freeze, but after some dips in the water it felt ok. It’s funny to wing surf in this lake, because when you are thirsty you can just take a sip of the beautiful, pure waters – and then continue winging. 

It was one of my best sessions this summer. Perfect wind, no people and I was the first person to ever wing surf up there. You feel so clean and nice after a session in the cold, fresh water. After the session all the gear was already clean, so the only thing I had to do was to dry it. It was hanging outside the car in the sun and wind in preparation for the next session. 

I camped up there for the night, alone with only stars above me. When I fell asleep that night, I felt tired and happy about what this day had brought. It is these kinds of moments I am looking for in life. 

KARI’S ARCTIC SUMMER WINGFOILING GUIDE 

Essentials 

  • A good wetsuit or two, with attached hoods. I use an RRD Fahrenheit 6/5/4.
  • Good quality wetsuit boots and gloves. 
  • Cold cream for the face.

Preparation: 

  • You need to be ready for the cold water – it’s colder then  tap water! It’s hard at the beginning but if you have a good wetsuit you should be comfortable. 
  • Never take a break for more than five minutes otherwise it’s game over and you’ll need to change.
  • A good tip is to have some hot water ready, so you can dip your gloves or boots in to it to get some feeling back before getting changed.
  • When you are wingsurfing with all this wetsuit gear and in cold waters, you will lose energy quicker. Be prepared not to stay out there for a long period of time.
  • It’s good to have someone with you, even if he or she is on the land, just in case something happens. 
  • If you are alone out there, don’t push your limits. Stay within your comfort zone and stay safe.
  • Stop before you get too cold. 

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