Warm water was obsolete, sunshine was a memory left in a rainy haze, and dry wetsuits were an unspoken dream. This trip was not about comfort or serenity, more like endurance and extremity. It was about braving conditions that would help dignify our ego. It was about the cold, it was about Iceland.
For a few months we had been eager to do a proper cold-water mission. We always brave the storm and yes, we climb out of the comfort zone. But riding in sub-zero water temperatures with gale storms above our heads felt like the new order. The idea was to head north of Europe, to the Arctic Circle. At the beginning of May we saw that a massive storm was due to hit Iceland. We booked tickets, made a cluttered plan and three days later the whole crew was in Reykjavik with a camper, a 4×4, a bunch of kite gear, and a zest to explore. “We had no plans, other than driving around the Icelandic spots trying to find the best conditions and shoot top-notch content,” said Camille. The group was small, but all essential to the success of the mission. Vincent Schaap was our photographer, his eyes minimalistic, prone to capture glimpses of magic. Jason Broderick helped orchestrate and gather the crew, driven beyond measure to let the scenes unfold. Jop Heemskerk, our videographer, would sacrifice his RED for any shot. And last but not least were Camille and I, the cold-water guinea pigs. The plan was simple: go and wonder, fill our hearts with fun and thunder!
On the drive round the infamous kite spot, it became apparent to us that this place had much more beauty than we had expected. Every bend and corner was painted with a green canvas of holy ferns, tainted with an evanescent message of a sub-tropical paradise. Waterfalls would dash on the sharp dolomitic rocks below with a dark ominous shadow connecting the two. White follicles of snow hugged the mountain range from afar, assuring us of the fact that we were locked into frozen Zion. We spent the first couple of days searching for wind and potential spots without much luck.