Australian bodyboarding expats Blake Parker and Warrick Murphy decided to journey to a relatively unknown surfing destination: The Faroe Islands.
Renowned more so for its breathtaking landscapes than its waves, Parker and Murphy were intent on investigating the Nordic country and see if they could find the perfect bodyboarding wave.
Words and photography by Blake Parker
The Faroe Islands are an intricate archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic. Located somewhere between Scotland, Denmark and Iceland, its location within the angriest body of water on this planet makes it susceptible to consistent large swells.
Living in London allows relatively easy access to the rest of Europe and being a teacher gives me plenty of opportunities to travel. After seeing the extortionate prices of flights to Iceland for the October holidays, my buddy Warrick Murphy and I decided a trip to the Faroes would more than make up for it.
A week out, the forecast revealed a giant red dot to the north-west of the Faroes, perfect for the beaches and coves set deep in the fjords. However, a few days out this swell seemed to die in the arse.
Arriving and still hopeful, we scouted a few locations on the main island to see there was just not enough swell. Early on the second day, we thought we would chance the ferry trip to an island further south. Once again, not enough swell. It was lucky that we bumped into the mayor of the village of 19 people and he invited us into his house, fed us coffee and provided us with wifi and a place to sleep.
After a recheck of the charts and a good night sleep, we decided to get back to the mainland with hope of surfing a fun right wedge… And we did. Surfing 2-3 foot wedges at a beach nestled 800m inside a fjord surrounded by massive mountains and waterfalls made you soon forget the 5mm of neoprene that covered your body from head to toe.
Content from the day surfing, we continued to explore and marvel at the natural beauty of this incredible place. The next day delivered a repeat of day two, however, this time with sun. Once again, fun 2-3 foot righthand wedges with no other surfer (or human in the water) within hundreds of kilometres.
By day four, the surprise windswell had receded which left us another day to explore the island.
Experiences included sketchy one-way tunnels with oncoming traffic, getting way too close to waterfalls that were being blown the wrong way from the howling onshores, rescuing a sheep that had its head stuck in a fence, hanging out with the local horses and eating way too many hotdogs.
For the remainder of the trip the surf gods weren’t too good to us. In saying that we found more potential setups including a death slab which was amazing to look at and photograph and were also lucky enough to witness the northern lights.
I would definitely be keen to return to in the future to hopefully score a proper swell and see the other waves light up. We definitely sussed a lot of spots that we could have surfed if the swell had been a little bigger and more from the north. However, the main reason to go back is because it’s generally an epic place. The people and the experiences you can have there are amazing.
See the full gallery below.
See more of Blake Parker’s work at http://www.blakeparkerphoto.com.au/