Pro Surfers Hit the Arctic Circle

Abby Patterson, Staff Editor

Of all the activities on your bucket list, I doubt that surfing in the Arctic Circle is among the top three. For Patrick Millin, Brett barley, and Chadd Konig, this is an everyday exercise. These daredevils travel around the Arctic wrestling temperatures far below zero. Coated in five to seven millimeters of rubber, the surfers plunge into the water. “And then you make one turn the wrong way and your wet suit gets flooded,” one of the surfers said. “It feels electrifying.”

The most common first thought when surfing is mentioned is tropical. People think of Hawaii, California, and Miami. Millin, Barley, and the rest of their crew went way beyond that association. Surfing between the cliffs and giant waves is a challenge that the guys enjoy. “I feel like I’m going to war or something,” a surfer said. “I got my combat suit on.” It’s a very unpredictable experience. The winds and seas being surfed are of the roughest in the world and that makes their feat much more difficult. Evidently, that does not seem to be stopping them.

Of all the reasons to go home, the harsh climate would definitely be the last straw for anyone else. Chris Burkard travelled with the surfers to make sure that every breathtaking moment was documented. When it comes to him, it’s a different story. “I love to suffer,” he said. “That’s when you feel like you’re really paying the price but the greatest rewards come.” Everyone has a sense of adventure and curiosity. Only a few, however, feed it. Those few are the ones that do great things.