Surfing in Siberia: braving the icy waves in Russia’s wilderness

A small-time banding of addicts has helped the remote neighborhood of Kamchatka become a year-round mecca for surfers. The Moscow Times reports

The hill overlooking Khalaktyrsky beach in Siberias Kamchatka region offers a impressive thought in winter, elongating out over snowy volcanoes and crystal-clear ocean billows crashing onto black volcanic sand.

But look closer at the icy billows and you are able to visualize an unlikely wetsuit-clad silhouette since the beach has become home to groupings of intrepid neighbourhood surfers who travel the billows is not simply in the warm summer months, but in the long and solidifying wintertimes too.

Years ago people here didnt care about the ocean. The beach was completely empty, says Anton Morozov, a surfer and owned of neighbourhood snowboarding and surfing school, Snowave. You could meet young guys who had lived their whole lives in Petropavlovsk, but had never even considered the ocean.

Now, despite its remote point and shortage of facilities, Kamchatka has begun to draw a steady flow of visitors to its impressive backdrop and its surf.


On Khalaktyrsky beach the irrigate is sometimes warmer than the breath. Image: Moscow Times

15 minutes of fame

Kamchatka firstly grabbed Russias attention two years ago when Surf in Siberia a collecting of film-making surf addicts dedicated a video to the regions winter billows.

Kamchatka is an incredible situate, says Konstantin Kokorev, the organisations founder.

Ive been here before several times ensure the ocean, the gulf, carries sailing but I had no idea you are able surf here. Beings who live here had not yet been clue they have world-class surfing opportunities.

Surf in Siberias firstly 15 time movie caught Russias attention

The film was soon picked up by local and national media and in the two years since neighbourhood surfers say the number of visitors to Kamchatka has significantly increased.

Learning to surf

Morozov started surfing more than 10 years ago. Id always wanted to try, but back then there was nothing that would help me All we could do was watch movies and films and try to figure out how, he says.

When he tried for the first time in the summer he employed a borrowed wetsuit and an old-time surfboard a friend had left him. The suit was no good for surfing, Morozov says. And we had no idea how to do it, when to get nice billows, how far to swimming. It took me months to learn all these happenings.


Anton Morozov tried winter surfing five years ago and fallen in love with the elegance of it. Image: Alexander Gerasimov/ Moscow Times

Morozov and other addicts gradually gleaned enough information and experience to enjoy their new pastime. Soon they wanted to try surfing in winter.

I ensure a video with a person surfing in the winter in Canada, and the elegance of him travelling the billows against the snowy background only dazed me, Morozov said.

His first winter experience, without winter wetsuit, boots or gauntlets, was excruciating. My handwritings swiftly ran numb in the irrigate. I moved out of the ocean hollering in pain and was reluctant I wouldnt be able to ever warm them again.


When they firstly started the surfers shortage the proper equipment. Image: Anton Morozov/ Moscow Times

Despite the bone-chilling cold, he fell in love with it. We went to the ocean in the morning, right before the sunrise. It was astounding because of the low temperature the breath was crystal clear, the sunshine was rising from the irrigate, our black diving suits differentiating with the grey snow, he said.

This is his fifth surfing winter. Morozov and his fellow addicts now have the necessary gear and surf three to four times a few weeks.

That feeling, when you struggle with yourself in cold water and at some part the fight discontinues and leaves pure euphorium in its situate is special for me.

Pure torture

Lyudmila Tanachyova passions to surf and though she sees the cold certain challenges shes encountered herself gallanting the icy water out of necessity.

Here in Kamchatka we have only three months of summer, if you take a break for the other nine months, the next summer you have to learn happenings from the beginning all over again, she says.

Originally a rock-climbing coach, she firstly tried the boast last year. I caught the billow and started falling, imagining the moment I would go underwater remembering Oh my God, here reaches inferno, she says of her first experience.


Surfing fanatics are drawn to the stunning landscapes despite the frost temperatures Photograph: Anna Gavrilova/ Moscow Times

During winter, the irrigate quantifies around 2C( 35 F) with an average air temperature of -1 5C, but both Tanachoyva and Morozov agree that the greatest obstacle in winter is not the cold but the lack of facilities.

When snow implants the road to the beach it can only be reached with a snowmobile, and a small beach-hut furnishes scant protection against these components. Its pure torment to put on a diving suit in the cold, Tanachyova said.

Untapped potential

Sergei Rasshivayev, a professional surfer and head of the Russian Surfing Federation, too am of the opinion that winter surfing is the most interesting counseling the boast has taken.

Its a great channel of objection yourself, of experiencing totally different ardours. Surfing among palm trees is not intriguing anyone these days surfing against a background of volcanoes and glaciers is, he explains.


Could winter surfing be the next frontier for the boast? Image: Moscow Times

He has been to Kamchatka several times to surf. When I firstly ran there, the elegance of the place literally took my sigh away, he says.

Rasshivayev, who too founded Surfholidays a worldwide network of surf institutions accepts Kamchatka indicates predict despite its remote point.

I think there is potential, and its quite significant. Kamchatka involves modernization, thats genuine, but its not absolutely ramshackle either, he said.

Morozov announced potential does not even begin to cover it.

I study many things about surfing climate, landscapes, weather conditions, winds, torrents, and Im positive there are a lot amazing regions for surfing in Kamchatka that simply has still not been discovered. But at some part the authorities concerned will, he says.

A form of this article first appeared in The Moscow Times

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