Exploring by Helicopter... from Surfing Kamchatka
Exploring by Helicopter...
Keith Malloy and Dane Gudauskas exit the heli as we land in a bay with a few potentially world class set-ups. Going up and down the coast in the chopper just made me wish I could stay for months. All the set-ups just waiting for the right swell was ridiculous.
And Military Truck
Our Russian military vehicle allowed us to go places we never would have been able to venture on our own. It really was the only way to make our way through the wilderness of 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’s Cold
Keith makes his way out into the lineup with volcanoes looming in the background. The air temperatures were constantly changing from 60-80 F, but the water always remained a cool 45 F.
A Russian Barrel
Dane can't contain his excitement as Cyrus Sutton tucks into a Russian barrel. The surf always seemed to surprise us as the waves were ever-changing; often if you waited long enough they changed for the better.
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.
In between sessions Keith and Dane would provide musical relief plucking away on the guitar and fiddle stick. With no modern amenities to fill the hours of the day it was pretty essential to have these instruments around for some entertainment.
Getting to the nose, Cyrus enjoys an evening session with no one for miles. His style and board choice suited this trip perfectly. A lot of the days were a longboarder’s heaven and he was equipped for any type of wave Kamchatka threw his way.
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.
Teeming With Salmon
Trading a sunset surf for a sunset fish, Cyrus casts away. The rivers teemed with salmon and at times we didn't even need our poles to catch a fish. On the days it was flat we would spend a lot of time fishing the rivers that led into the ocean.
One of the most insane sunsets I have ever witnessed. The crew had to get a top our truck and watch as the clouds above the distant volcanoes lit up the sky. Later we learned that these clouds were unique to regions with active volcanoes.
A scene that became commonplace while camping for two weeks straight along Kamchatka's coastline.