Surf Tripping Iceland
Icelandic Surf Exploration
Over the years, Santa Cruz, Calif.-born Josh Mulcoy has traveled the world over in search of surf. Few places have captured his imagination like Iceland. Raw and exposed to the elements, the ocean can be extremely unforgiving that far north, but for Mulcoy it provides the ideal escape from the crowded lineups and congestion back home in California.
When he's not chasing waves up north, Josh Mulcoy operates a surf travel business. One of the premier destinations it offers is a point break in Mexico that looks a lot like this Icelandic right. Of course, the water's warmer.
A far cry from the capital of Reykjavik, the abundance of surf potential in Iceland's countryside hasn't even begun to be tapped. Because conditions can be a huge deterrent, it takes the intrepid surf wanderer to really understand all the weather and ocean patterns.
Loaded up with surfboards, kites, wet suits and a ton of other gear, Mulcoy doesn't necessarily travel light. Then again, he is prepared for pretty much anything Mother Nature can throw at him.
Hack Like A Viking
Staying loose in the cold water can be a challenge, but thanks to his Northern California upbringing and a quality wet suit, Mulcoy is well acclimatized to the 40-degree ocean temp (it gets considerably colder in the winter).
Another unnamed break goes unridden, and probably will for some time to come. The locals are pretty tight-lipped about their spots ... unless you have a carrot.
That Rocky Mountain Feeling
Pastoral and tranquil, in the past few years, surfers have been discovering the country's wide-open spaces ... and of course its waves, too.
Go Fly A Kite
Icelandic surf transportation. When the surf's not cooperating, Mulcoy will very often rig up his kite and sail from one headland to another in search of fun.
The token Iceland waterfall shot. Every visiting surfer is required to take this exact photo. Customs officials will make sure you have one before you can leave the country with your board bag.
A Beach With No Name
It's a certain kind of surfer who checks a lineup like this and thinks it actually looks fun. But then to suit up and paddle out alone is an entirely different level of commitment. Freezing water temperatures, no help around for miles, who knows what kind of aquatic wildlife, it's all just a day at the office for Mulcoy.
"Looks like there might be a sick little wedge off that 'berg on the low tide." Some surfers complain about the wind being onshore or the dawn patrol being too cold. That kind of lip doesn't fly on Mulcoy's trips.
Right Place, Right Time
Although the conditions are ever-changing and difficult to predict, there are moments when the offshore winds, short-interval swell and lighting all come together. Josh Mulcoy projecting on a crisp morning at an unnamed beach break.