When I started thinking about Seafox in early 2017, I originally envisioned it to be a clothing brand similar to Finisterre or Gnarly Tree. Something with cool threads from sustainable sources, which also rebelled a little from the summer beach vibes surfing attire tends to lean towards.
Seafox then evolved into an online scrapbook of surfing movies, images and music that kept me stoked even though I was rarely in the ocean. It kept my vibes high and my focus on moving into a situation where I could be in the line up every week, as opposed to every few months. I was determined to get better and I knew that meant being in the water a lot more than every now and then. I loved surfing, but couldn’t really surf.
Cold Water Community
Seafox allowed me to make contacts, to connect and share ideas. I quickly realised that the creativity of the Cold Water Surf Community is pretty unique and special, so I began to focus on the artists and makers who were doing interesting things both on and off the waves.
Seafox connected me to people, who then connected me to communities and within a year I had a solid surf network in Cornwall and Portugal, as well as friends in Canada, Australia and Indo. Through this community I was presented the opportunity to try surfing in the Arctic circle, something I couldn’t even believe happened the first time I saw North of the Sun for the first time. In May 2018 I went to Lofoten for a month. I stayed for 10.
Lofoten is both a land of dreams and a land of extremes. Time and time again I have pushed what I thought I was capable of into new realms. Through boundaries discovered, broken and forged, I have excavated the best version of myself I have ever known.
The landscape of Lofoten continuously asked me to push a little harder in order to reward me with amazing views and experiences. The summer was endless, accompanied by Ben Howard’s Noonday Dream and a lost sense of time. Autumn brought Northern Lights and the deepest sleeps I have ever known. All of this made even more intense by the incredible community I found myself a part of. And there was surf. Lots of it.
There have been good waves, bad waves, broken waves, dumping waves, no waves, barrels (not for me just yet!) and wipeouts (plenty of those). In my neoprene armour I have surfed at 2am under the midnight sun and on days where the sun never came up at all. I have surfed down the road, I have pilgrimaged for waves that never showed up, I have watched surfers on unclaimed spots, stood on Unstad beach knee-deep in snow and tried to comprehend how it was even possible to not be freezing to death in my 6/5 Cskins suit.
My first Arctic Surf didn’t actually involve any waves claimed, but sitting out back in the icy green that I had chosen as a key colour of Seafox two years ago was a moment of bliss and revelation. I could never have predicted a simple passion project would manifest the way it did.
Strange as life is, I was too busy living the Seafox manifesto of Cold Water Creativity to actually keep the site updated. I decided not to push it. Not to make a chore of something I loved so the site went quiet. Now the salt water muses are whispering again. There are new stories to tell.
There are also new authors and creatives to feature, new projects that make my heart beat faster and the continuously inspiring back drop of sharp mountains and cold oceans. How could I ask for more?
Yet my heart still yearns for different horizons, and it will not be ignored. I am moving on from Lofoten, Ireland and Cornwall are calling and I can’t ignore the pull of familiar soil, no matter how enchanting the Northern Lights dance for me. However, Lofoten, Norway, Arctic will always have a piece of my heart and have given me more than I can hope to return. Yet I can try and paying homage through a small Cold Water Surf website seems like a great place to start.
Here’s to the stories already told, the ones in progress and those waiting to be written. Both with old friends and new.
On y va.
Nomadic writer and designer