After driving through the night, the first rays of light hit the sky and I can see the mountains surrounding us. It’s a steep, harsh environment. It’s Norway. There’s a beauty here I cannot deny. In the search of waves we have traveled for hours and hours to Hoddevika, a place that seems like the end of the world.
In a narrow valley on a peninsula lays Hoddevika, far from palm trees and crowded line ups. A bunch of houses spread out in the rough landscape. The mountains on each side of the valley look like sleeping giants cutting off Hoddevika from the rest of the world. And between the giants’ heads, a white tongue of sand connects the two of them in a grim smile, constantly washed by the waves of the Nordic sea.
As we arrive early bird we pass by our location for the next few days, the villa Lapoint Utsikten, and drive straight down to the beach to scout the waves. From the upper side of the valley, at a first glance, it looks flat. But as we approach the old fisherman’s harbour we can see sweet longboard peelers succeeding each other in a nice pace. We have to make an important decision, go back to the house and sleep a few hours or jump into the water. We take the golden midway, a revitalizing breakfast to gain some strength and then straight to the surf. But at the breakfast table Knut comes up with a new idea, “let’s have a look at Ervik” he says, “I guess it’s bigger there and I really want to try my new shorty.”
So, an hour later here we are, in the next bay at the very end of the peninsula. The waves are indeed a little bigger and looks great. The landscape is very similar with the additional feature of a church and a graveyard right next to the beach. At Ervik we catch some nice waves, they are strong and easy to paddle but they close fast and you have to be on your toes and take a quick bottom turn. A little advanced for me but Fredrik and Knut are in heaven.
Later that day, after a well-deserved siesta, we finally jump into the water at Hoddevika. Still nice peelers at the famous spot Peaches, on the right side of the bay close to the harbour. The waves are small but really nice and easy to catch. It creates an atmosphere of ease and fun, everybody feels relaxed and in a playful mode. Some of the more experienced surfers show great skills riding backwards, on their knees or just relaxing laying on the board. It’s an extremely cheerful and friendly line up.
The sunrise on the next day offers us a brass coloured sky, a gentle breeze and perfect longboard waves. We are not the first to arrive to the line up, our friends from Sweden, who stay closer to the bay, got the first waves. But there’s plenty of room as the swell is very broad and invites to party waves, what a feeling to catch the same wave with 3 or 4 of your friends.
“This is a good one”, Elena shouts at me. I turn my board, start to paddle and feel the water beneath raising the tail of the board as it catches speed. I pop up, do a gentle right turn on my toes and here we go. I see the wave closing in just a few inches behind me and I got this sweet, long ride all the way to the shore, wandering back and forth on the board to trim the ride. My chest explodes in joy, ten months of hard work since I started to surf last fall finally pays off. This trip has rewarded my efforts, and to share this with my son Emil, my surf tutors Fredrik and Knut and all the other friends in the line up makes it even bigger. Hoddevika lives up to my expectations and exceed them with plenty. Never mind you have to travel to the end of the world, it’s worth it.
Hoddevika in a nutshell
Location: Hoddevika is situated on the west coast of Norway, in the peninsula Stadlandet where probably the best surf in Norway is to be found. Southwest of Ålesund and North of Bergen.
How to get there: By car from Oslo is a trip of around 8-9 hours, take the E6 north bound to Otta, turn left Rv15 to Stryn, after passing Stryn follow RV620 and then 632 and follow the signs Hoddevik.
You can also fly to Bergen or Stavanger and catch a ferry. Check www.fjordline.com for details.
Stay: We stayed at Lapoint, they offer 2 alternatives. Lapoint Surf Camp closer to the beach and where the staff live, and villa Lapoint Utsikten, further up the hill with an amazing view. At Utsikten the atmosphere is calmer and relaxed, at the Camp it is younger and more lively. For more infoation go to www.lapointcamps.com
Interview with Sebastian, founding father of Lapoint Surfcamps
When did you start to surf at Hoddevika?
“First time I was here was in 2001, one of Norway’s legends in surf Eyvind Torgersen told me about the place. Eyvind and Baard Bernhardsen introduced me to surf, and they were also the ones that discovered the spot at Hoddevika.”
When did Lapoint establish the camp there?
“We opened the camp in 2007 and later the villa Utsikten.”
What’s the best with Hoddevika?
“You feel like you are in another planet, there in the valley you can relax completely. It’s awesome to look around and contemplate the mountains, the landscape, the lakes and the sea, it’s epic.”
When does the swell work best?
“Spring time is my favourite, great waves in combo with sparkling sun and snow covered mountains, amazing.”
What should you bring in your quiver?
“A good shortboard for the pumping fall/winter waves, a groveller with some volume for spring and a longboard for those summer peelers.”
Featured image: Life’s good for Knut at Ervik. Photo: Kjetil Gardshol/WaveAction
Words by Alvaro Susena