Exploring by Helicopter... from Surfing Kamchatka
Scanning the Beach
Typical beach day in Kamchatka. We would scan up and down the beach on the rooftop of the truck and then drive to the best sandbar. After we found the right sandbar we would usually post up all day and be constantly going to and from the truck for food or a new board to ride.
The water temperatures at this beach break were changing daily. One swell would bring freezing cold water, then a different swell direction would raise the temperatures by 10 degrees. With sandbars shifting up to 100 yards each day, we were constantly trekking up and down the beach in search of the best place to surf. On this day we were able to find the perfect sandbar, but with air temps around 80 F and water temps in the low 40s, it became harder to leave the shore for the frigid water.
This was a distant wave that sat on a Russian military submarine base. It peeled just a few-hundred yards down the beach, but we were told it was out of the question to surf. We decided to attempt to cross the river and surf anyway, but within minutes Russian military personnel arrived and escorted us back down the beach. Lucky for us they didn't take our surfboards as a serious threat to the submarines below.