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Surfing the World's Freezing Waters

Photographer Chris Burkard captures breathaking—snowcapped—surf shots

“Some days I would literally be on the beach with sleet blowing across my hands and air temps the coldest I have ever experienced. At the same time, I have to smile because that is why I travel to these experience the raw power of nature and find areas that are relatively untouched by humans.” —Chris Burkard, on the photos you’re about to see.

Photographer Chris Burkard has a pretty enviable life. At 24, he’s already established in his field—he consistently shoots for big name publications around the world, has published a photo book, and is the winner of more than a handful of BFD awards (most notably, he took first overall in the 2010 Red Bull Illume photo competition, which had more than 28,000 submissions).


A lot of the time, Burkard shoots surfing. Some surfing in the picturesque, clichéd tropical locations, sure, but Burkard also has a passion for travel, seeking out some of the most extreme and remote locations on the planet (for instance, he’s currently with a crew on the uber-remote, volcano-dotted Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia—a trip, or rather an expedition, that took two years to plan).

So without further ado (as though you’re even still reading), we bring you 10 amazing photos—along with some commentary straight from Chris—captured in the world's freezing waters.

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Pro kayaker Steve Fisher does some 3-D filming in the rivers of northern Minnesota. Courtesy Red Bull

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