While the World Tour has all eyes firmly focused upon a relatively small Banzai Pipeline, Mick Fanning, who is usually central to the competitive surfing circus, has been about as far away as one can get: Norway.
At Surfd.com we’ve been covering the fledgling surf scene in Norway for some time now, so we were excited to catch a glimpse the World Champ, looking rested and serene, on these far flung shores. The land of Vikings, beautiful women, oil wealth and northern lights is most obviously an excruciatingly cold place. The kind of place only a few crazies even imagine surfing during the depths of winter.
But Mick is a man footloose and free. He’s thrown off the bowlines and sailed away from the safe harbour. After the year he had in 2015 he deserves the indulgence of being a nobody in a cold, isolated place. There’s nothing like a deep set winter to bring a man back to himself. And when nature ignites with displays of natural splendour like a phantom, green Aurora Borealis then a sense of great accomplishment, if not enlightenment, ensues. The journey has been successful, the road led you to where you needed to be.
That’s not to say that capturing a surf session like this was without extreme levels of preparation both from Mick, the talent, and from Norwegian cameramen Mats Andreassen Grimsæth and Emil Kjos Sollie, who were thrilled with the outcome. Mixing darkness with Northern Lights, and high speed surf action is bewildering from a camera exposure perspective. But they did it.
Mick said, “Surfing under the Northern Lights was something I will remember forever. The Aurora Borealis was dancing across the sky. The shoot itself was tricky. We sat out for two nights in a row waiting for the lights to come. I found myself half asleep, jumping in a wetsuit and heading out!”
“When I first came in, I thought we had nothing but it is pretty amazing what the boys could capture.”
“I count myself lucky I had the opportunity to do so. It’s another world up here in Norway.”