If you told me I would be surfing in the North Sea four months ago, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. If you told me I would be surfing in the North Sea with nothing but 5mm between me and freezing double overhead waves, I definitely wouldn’t believe you. But I did, and it was undoubtably one of the coolest experiences of my life.
Driving seven hours through the snow spotted Scottish highlands isn’t your usual precursor to a surf trip. Despite the snow topped mountains, occasional sheep pasture, and the retired nuclear power plant (I’m not kidding), Strathy beach proved to give me a surf session to easily beat the swells of my beach back home in New Jersey. Paddling out, massive cliffs engulfed the horizon, and if you looked through the mist generated by the Scottish winds at just the right time, you were greeted with a rainbow.
It was absolutely surreal, and I wasn’t even that cold – I’m pretty sure adrenaline and happiness keeps you warmer than any 5mm wetsuit could.
Surfing in the Scottish highlands was so out of my comfort zone I don’t even think I could have thought of a situation that would have resulted in me on a surfboard in the North Sea a couple months ago. If I hadn’t pushed myself to sign up for this trip and do something just a little crazy/hypothermia inducing, I would have lost an unforgettable and irreplaceable experience in my life – hopefully one I get to experience again.
By Kacie Redding – Boardwalk Staff Member and World Traveler
Shaun founded SUMMERTIMESURF in 2006 and loves to surf and travel.