Cold Hawaii

The little fishing village Klitmøller is located by the North Sea in the northwest of Denmark’s wind torn coastline. For quite some time it’s been a popular place for windsurfing, but in recent years the area has also boomed as a destination for wave starved surfers, mostly from Denmark and Germany.

During my two years living in Denmark I still haven’t managed to make the trip from Copenhagen to the west coast. But finally, after carefully studying forecasts, we decided to go for the weekend. Klitmøller is popularly called “Cold Hawaii. We assumed this nickname to be a stretch and we tried keeping our expectations realistic. But almost there we received a text saying that there was waves, and we ended up frothing and speeding the final distance to the coast. When we arrived it was ankle high and onshore winds.

We decided to drive around and check a couple of spots. However, everywhere it looked to small to be worth the effort to get inside the thick winter suits. A little bummed, we drove back to the town to check out the room we had rented for the weekend. The host was a really friendly guy who teaches surfing to high school students. He gave us some useful tips about where to surf.


The following morning the temperatures had sneaked down below the freezing point, but the sky was clear and there was absolute no wind at all. We drove down to the beach as soon as the first daylight showed. The waves still appeared a little small but we decided to give it a go. Once we paddled out we realized it was bigger than we had expected. A rocky reef created overhead wave, which provided an exciting drop. After a while a bunch of guys and girls with longboards arrived. Playfully and elegant they cross-stepped and hanged ten. It was sunny, still no wind and the waves were super glassy. The whole scene almost made it feel like we where surfing in Waikiki, just more neoprene and less 5-star hotels on the beach. Maybe Cold Hawaii was a fair name for this place after all! We really enjoyed ourselves and surfed for more than three hours in the frigid water.


For the next day, which was also our last, the forecast didn’t look as good with heavy onshore winds. But when we woke up it didn’t seem windy at all. We took the chance, got dressed at home and drove straight to the beach in our wetsuits. At the first glimpse of light we paddled out. The waves were just as glassy and even better than the day before and this time not another human soul in sight. Under a pink sky, we traded waves between the two of us for a good hour. It was magical. Then more people arrived and so did the wind. We left the water with big smiles on our faces, smiles that lasted the whole way back to Copenhagen.


Photos by Yannick Wolff. Words by Magnus Ekermann.