Logan Landry Iceland air

Logan Landry, Viking air. Daniel Mansson

The Inertia

Day 2:

“Now for some traditional Iceland weather,” Ingo says when he picks us up. Thirty-five knot onshores and 15-foot death faces have arrived.  We end up driving north for hours into a land that looks a bit like Kona, a bit like Venus. Ingo says that we will die if we paddle out and the wind feels like pieces of glass blown at your face, so instead, we watch the squally black waves break against azure glaciers. We hike over fields of almost neon green moss that you can literally bounce around on as if walking on clouds.  Geothermal steam vents dot the horizon like ethereal oak canopies.

Ninety-nine percent of Iceland’s energy comes from geothermal power, a phenomenon that has created a few surf breaks way up north that have hot springs basically at the foot of the wave.  There’s no time to go that far north today, but we end up at the next best thing: a football-field sized, naturally-occurring pool of almost neon blue water heated by the volcano called Blue Lagoon. This experience costs about $40 US, but given that it can only be compared to swimming in electric life, I’d gladly pay again. They also serve fantastic hotdogs and beer. “We like it,” says Ingo.

Day 3:


Not everything in Iceland is expensive. In the town of Grindavik (pop: 2,817), an hour outside the capital, the café we stop at won’t let us pay for our coffee. They just wave us on, saying, “free, free.”  To top off the good fortune, the seas have turned to glass. The sun is shining and Ingo brings us to a fairly perfect head-high, cobble-stoned bottom A-frame in Grindavik’s harbor.

“It’s crowded though,” Hreinn says, meaning there are two other surfers out.

The two locals – an older Viking-like guy and a younger Viking-like guy – don’t seem to mind us ruining their private session, maybe because they want to buy our boards, very hard to come by here (no surf shops).

“How about you sell me your board?” the younger one asks Logan right away when we paddle out.

“This is my favorite board,” Logan says.

“That’s ok, sell it to me.”

“Nah, I can’t.”

“Sell it to me.”


The Vikings don’t get our boards, but they seem happy for some good old fashioned, Icelandic conversation.

“So what’s this spot called?” I ask.

“Rolling Stones,” the older one says.

“Why’s that?”

“Because the stones roll.”

That night at the pub with Ingo and Hreinn – happy from a solid 4-hour session – drinking $12 beers and snacking on local oddities like smoked Puffin, I realize I love Iceland. If I had to sum it up, I’d say it’s a lot like Iceland. I’m sad to go, but Ingo directs me to some samples of rotten shark before the plane, which makes leaving easier. It tastes dead-on like rotten shark. Or maybe like shit.

Everything else in Iceland is great.

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