From the Holy Lands to Viking Territory – Mor Meluka and the Waves in Denmark
When I think about the country of Denmark, the things that come to mind are good looking people, trendy fashion, cold weather and forward thinking ideas. As a matter of fact most of my friends don’t even know where Denmark is and when I tell them I’m living here, they think it’s somewhere in Holland or next to France. They ask when I’m going snowboarding next, to which I kindly reply that Denmark doesn’t have any mountains. Yep Denmark definitely doesn’t have any mountains, with its highest point 179.89 metres above sea level. But what it lacks in mountains, it makes up for in waves! So next time you’re thinking about Denmark, don’t think snow and mountains, think coast and waves. This is now on my list of things I think about when characterising Denmark.
To get a better insight into the coastline and waves that Denmark has to offer, I got in touch with local corelord Mor Meluka, who himself is an adopted Dane, whose roots originally sprouted in Israel, which is an interesting story itself. Mor lives on the west coast of Jutland, the part of Denmark connected to Germany. More specifically he lives in a little town called Klitmoller which has adopted the name Cold Hawaii. This is home to the best waves in Denmark, as it captures the most swell out of the North Sea. The swell is even more consistent in winter, but of course that means freezing water and thick wetsuits. I spoke to Mor in the middle of winter and he was pleased to tell me that the waves have been non-stop. Enjoy our chat below!
@FelixPams stylin’ in Denmark
Hope you’re well and you got some waves the last few days and the ears are feeling better, hope the plugs have arrived! I am going to jump straight into some questions for you mate!
So Mor your from Israel originally/born in Israel, tell us what life was like growing up there and how you got into surfing?
Yes, born and lived there until I was 20. Started surfing when I was 6, fell in love with surfing that very moment and never really stopped. Surfing has been the meaning of my life since my first wave and it was clear for me that that’s what I was supposed to do in life. The surf scene in Israel was quite well developed back when I was a teenager. I won 3 national junior titles, got big sponsors, got good results on the European junior tour and the Eurosurf and got a wild card to the world junior championship in Australia. I already planned to stop competing before starting my last year as a junior, so after these years of competition I was looking for some chill time.
Then you moved to Denmark, explain how you got here and where you moved first and what you expected when you first made the move?
Yeah, I met Vahine, my wife in France during my last year of Juniors. She is from Tahiti originally but lived in Denmark since she was 10. So that is the connection. When I first came to Denmark I immediately fell in love with the ever changing sand bars and wild coast. The surf possibilities just looked endless and back 14 years ago it was empty line-ups all the time. Still now we have days with empty line ups. but a lot of surfers are indeed filling up the beaches.
So you settled in Klitmoller in Denmark and started Cold Hawaii Surf Camp, then watched surfing explode here since. What was it like when you first moved? Was surfing popular back then or were there only a few people surfing? Was it called Cold Hawaii back then and who were some local Danes surfing when you first settled, if any?
So yes, there were surfers here before of course, but very few compared to today. You knew every surfer and the community was a tiny group of people going for it. It wasn’t popular by any means, on the contrary, people looked at surfing as a rebel thing, just like anywhere else in the world 30-50 years ago. Windsurfing was the thing here, still is in a way. The name Cold Hawaii was just used here and there by some people and the local club asked me and Vahine to call our new surf camp, Cold Hawaii Surf Camp. We went for it…
Do you think surfing has grown in Denmark since you moved here? If so, do you think it’s due to better technology in things like wetsuits and swell forecasting or something else?
Surfing has exploded in Denmark in the last 4-5 years. It was quite stable and chill the first years. I truly think the reason for the huge growth of surfing in Denmark is because people in Denmark didn’t know it was possible to surf in Denmark, and as soon as people discovered it, there was no point of return. A snowball. Of course the world wide surf boom helped, as well as the better, warmer wetsuits. Surf forecasting is still hard for most people. To know what’s going to break, when and how, that takes dedication, time and experience, so you have to sum up all the coast possibilities in your head and process it, then you score.
The waves are often cold and windy in Denmark, what do you wear in winter to keep warm? Do you have any tips to keep warm whilst surfing in cold water?
It sure is. No secret there, the best gear possible is the answer. You can’t expect surfing winter time in Denmark with an entry level price wetsuit, you will freeze. And the gear wears out quickly, I’ll go through 2-3 winter suits every winter just to make sure I can surf for hours. And then I can go for 4-6 hours session while it’s below zero.
I’ve seen some Danes ripping as well as yourself this winter! Who are some Danes to look out for in the next few years?
There is a group of up and coming juniors but most are into longboard and mid length which is cool. But as soon as it starts getting steep and hollow you would find yourself alone most times.
In that way I wish there was a bit more drive from the youth to rip hard. Obviously Oli and Chris improved a lot the last few years and they surf very well. But i look forward to the day we point out a junior kid and say holy sh** he seriously rips!
What the best thing about Klitmoller and Cold Hawaii, why does it make such an epic surf trip?
The landscape of the area, the bays and the cold weather. No matter how good or bad the waves are, the after surf feeling is epic for itself.
And finally, how have the waves been in the last week, I heard there was a bit of swell. And how are your ears? You were out of the water with an infection last time we spoke.
Until last week we had 10 days in a row with back to back swells from different directions. Head high and above everyday for 10 days, with good surf conditions and that doesn’t happen often.
My ears are better thank you! Cold water for many years gets you I guess, but I’m looking forward to trying the new plugs.
Mor lining one up, photo: @Vahineart
Article Cover Photo: Mor Meluka – by Hannes Knockels @ankerrampen
Words: Sam Shearer