A chill wind, a brash and clear dawn, some hot coffee beside a high energy breakfast, then off out to hit some of the coldest, emptiest waves on earth. This is what is attracting an increasing number of inquisitive travellers away from the warmer, overcrowded surf resorts of Australia, The US and Central America.
Like many frontiers, the Northern waters of Alaska, Canada and Western Scotland tend to draw all sorts of wily and slightly unhinged adventurers with the promise of high drama as well as undiscovered sights, sounds and treasures. Watching the massive surfing events continually hit up the same few destinations and reading the acres of surf articles it can be hard to comprehend how many un=paddled waters and un-ridden breaks there still is waiting to be discovered out there.
After all there are somewhere around 356,000 kilometres of coastline on our little planet, so heading away from the few famous breaks and beaches can be an exciting, rewarding and breathtaking adventure. My few ice-cold experiences in Scotland have certainly taken my breath away.
The crew who filmed the Alaska Sessions: Surfing The Last Frontier went much further, finding new breaks in the freezing cold of the northernmost US state. It found critical acclaim among surfing critics, alt film critics and casual surf fans alike.
Director Matt McNeill said: "The feeling of pioneering is a hard thing to explain, but there's something really satisfying about that feeling that 'you know I'm out here doing this and maybe this hasn't been done before".
The quiet solemn beauty of many of the locations is heart stopping and the lack of others trying to cut up on your wave or get over-competitive is a bonus everyone will appreciate.
Despite his film's title, Matt McNeill and his boys don't have dibs on the last frontier. There are many people who have the skill, the confidence and the safety awareness to get out there and find something new. Despite what Captain Kirk says there's no such thing as the final frontier.
Writer: Jamie Smith