The Coldest Surf Spots In The World

For most people and even some surfers, surfing is done in warm sunny weather, but some of the best surfing spots are in places with fridged waters. Cold-water surfing is popular in many countries, and well-traveled surfers visit these spots to experience their thrilling and icy waves.

Canada, Russia, Norway, and Scotland are known for their cold weather and surf spots that challenge surfers worldwide. Oceans in these countries have water temperatures that go as low as 28°F and waves that reach 18 feet, which provide a thrilling experience for many surfers.

Surfing in icy water with high winds and enormous waves is something every surfer must consider doing at least once. Surfers all around the globe seek out challenging locations where they can ride massive waves and face harsh weather conditions to take their surfing skills to the next level.

Discovering The Thrills Of Surfing In Unforgiving Environments

Surfing in frigid waters may seem like a crazy idea and not something any surfer will attempt, but there are beautiful places where the rush and excitement make the cold water an afterthought. If you love surfing and are considering experiencing cold-water surfing, you will love some of these places and why it attracts surfers worldwide.

Tofino, Canada

Tofino is known for its surfers, who tackle the cold ocean daily. Temperatures in Tofino can drop to as low as 29°F, but typically the water temperature is around 40°F during winter and 50°F during summer. Winter Temperatures outside go from 38°F, and in the summer, as high as 67°F.

Like most cold-water surf spots, the summers in Tofino are short, with clouds blocking most of the sun, and the winter is rainy and overcast, with high winds that last most of the year.

If you love cold-water surfing, consider visiting Cox Bay and Chesterman Beach in Tofino. Both surfing spots are a favorite of locals and visiting surfers.

The Coldest Surf Spots In The World

Cox Bay

Cox Bay is the number one surf spot to visit in Tofino and attracts beginners who tackle the waves closer to the shoreline and pro surfers who ride the long and large waves year-round. The swells draw longboard and shortboard surfers from everywhere, and it is the largest surf spot in Tofino.

Chesterman Beach Chesterman has a north and south beach, although most surfers prefer North Chesterman Beach, which produces waves throughout the year. Both beaches are in the eyesight of one another, and surfers can easily spot which one has the best waves. Chesterman Beach attracts pros and beginners, although its calmer waters are best suited for those less experienced.

Thurso, Scotland

Thurso in Scotland is the northernmost town on the island of Great Britain, and the temperature requires wearing everything available to survive the cold waters. With the ocean reaching 43°F in the winter and 57°F in the summer, every surfer is tested by the cold waters and the waves.

The big waves that break inside the bay are called “Coldwater Nias” by locals, and it is a big attraction for surfers visiting around the world. If the water temperature does not test your courage, it’s air temperature that goes as low as 35°F in the winter and a maximum of 61°F in the summer defiantly will.

The summers in Thurso do not last long, and it is windy and cool. The long winter has high wind conditions, and it rains most of the time with cloudy skies year-round.

If cold weather does not faze you, you must consider these local spots in Thurso on your next surf outing:

Thurso East

Thurso East is located on the coastline of Highland’s Caithness and faces the North Atlantic. Taking on these waters requires wearing a 4,5, or 6mm wetsuit and not forgetting boots, gloves, and a hood. The waves reach heights between ten and twenty feet, producing long walls and excellent tubes.

Brimms Ness

If you go west, you will find Brimms Ness, the surfing capital of Thurso. Brimms Ness is a Norse meaning “surf point,” the name says it all. Brimms Ness has three surf locations: The Bowl, The Cove, and The Point, providing the best waves from September through May.

The Coldest Surf Spots In The World

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands in Norway is more than 500 miles north of Oslo and home to one of the coldest surfing spots in the world. The Norwegian Sea produces large waves and cold temperatures that test the endurance of surfers year-round.

In Lofoten Islands, summer temperatures reach between 53°F and 59°F in July and August. The winters, with February as the coldest month, sometimes go as low as 28°F and average a maximum of 34°F.

Lofoten Islands waters are warmest in July and August and, at their highest, reach a maximum temperature of 53°F in July.

Here are two spots in Lofoten that provide the best cold-water surfing conditions:


Eggum produces great waves, especially when the northwest swells approach the beach and when there is a strong wind from the south. There are no high mountains that make for great scenery, but without protection from the wind, it creates mushy waves that are great fun to ride.


Unstad’s increasable scenery has surfers worldwide buzzing and pros flocking to enjoy the beautiful coastal mountains and shoreline covered with spots of snow. In mid-winter, surfers enjoy swells between five and eight feet, and onlookers visit to see famous surfers battling the icy waters.

The Coldest Surf Spots In The World

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia

The Kamchatka Peninsula, located in the far eastern part of Russia, is where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk meet and is home to one of the best cold-water surfing spots in the world. Surfers can use thin wet suits with the ocean reaching 59°F in the summer. When water temperatures are between 32°F and 36°F in wintertime, having a thicker wetsuit, boots, and gloves is a good idea.

The Kamchatka Peninsula has summer days that range between 59°F and 86°F during the day, which makes for good surfing. From November to March, with January, the coldest Kamchatka Peninsula puts cold-water surfers to the test with temperatures as low as 22°F.

Here is a popular surf spot in Kamchatka you must consider on your next surf trip:

Khalaktyrsky Beach

Volcanoes and black volcanic beach sand provide an awe-inspiring view, and Khalaktyrsky Beach produces waves that will make any surfers heartbeat faster than ever. With waves 18 feet high and icy water, surfers must wear boots, gloves, and thick wet suits to combat the cold. Khalaktyrsky Beach attracts surfers from all over and provides a great cold-water surfing experience.

Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland

Reykjanes Peninsula, located in the southwest of Iceland, is a popular cold-water surfing destination, and surfers worldwide visit its beautiful ocean to experience the cold but thrilling waves. Reykjanes Peninsula is where most of the surfing happens in Iceland, and surfers love the beautiful scenery and chilling waters.

The Gulf Stream warms the ocean, but temperatures in the winter still go as low as 32°F. The summer, heated by the midnight sun, produce temperatures between 50°F and 55°F. August produces the warmest temperatures averaging 52°F, and March, the coldest, averaging 43°F.

Here are two cold-water surf spots in the Reykjanes Peninsula to consider:


Sandvik provides surfing conditions throughout the year, but winter, especially February, produces some of the best waves year-round. East winds blowing northeast provide incredible west-southwest waves for left and right-handed surfers. Sandvik is secluded and rarely crowded, making it an excellent surf spot.


Grindavik Antenas produce clean swells; the best time to take on the waves is at high tide and in the summer. Grindavik has few visitors that leave surfers to enjoy the thrilling waves without distractions or interference. There are a lot of rocks, but seasoned surfers navigate the waters easily. If going to Grindavik, consider going in July when the waves, temperature, and weather conditions are best.


Every surfer should think about surfing in freezing water, and Scotland, Canada, Russia, and Norway are renowned for challenging surfers with strong gusts and large waves at least once in their lifetime. There are locations where surfers push the envelope and contend with powerful waves and harsh weather to reach new levels of surfing.


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