This short film was released a couple years back, but as the thermometer’s needle begins to dip in the northern hemisphere, our thoughts turn to shivering, cold water surf sessions, and it’s a film you can’t watch enough, really. Called Freezing, it’s a poke in the eye of overly serious surf films about exploring the frozen shores of Alaska, or Iceland, or Antarctica. “Exploring Frozen Shores” is probably the name of a surf travel doc, now that I think of it.
The filmmakers, Rob Lockyear and Jeremy Joyce, are surfers from London (yes, England has a thriving surf scene, especially down near the Cornwall coast), and they’ve made a few other equally good surf film parodies. For this film, they enlisted their buddy Jamie Baughn for acting duties, and even though he’d never been on a surfboard in his life, they shipped him over to Iceland, sponsored by a European coffee company. The filmmakers aren’t pro surfers themselves—”We were fat and lacking talent,” they said in an interview—but the action isn’t the star. Iceland is.
While there, they ran into awful weather, enlisted the size and ferocity of Icelandic strongmen to act as surly locals, found some surprisingly good surf, and made one hell of a funny film. I’ve never been on a surf trip in the snow, but I can assume it would go a little something like this movie.
Iceland boasts some seriously good surf, by the way, with spectacular ice-shrouded volcanoes as backdrops, black sand beaches, and snow-white coves illuminated by the northern lights in the evenings. The crew making the film made several trips to Iceland to scout locations and never quite scored perfect conditions—weather in the middle of the Atlantic is fickle—but saw plenty of potential. If you’ve ever wanted to take a unique surf trip and be the one person talking story at the bar who’s actually surfed beneath the northern lights, Iceland would be a solid choice.
For a serious look at the incredible waves Iceland has to offer, check out AJ staff photog Chris Burkard’s ‘Under an Arctic Sky.’