Shaka From Kamchatka | Surfing + snowboarding w/ deep Russia Locals
There have been many attempts of surf and snowboard adventures through deep Kamchatka in Russia. Chris Burkard has probably been there 50 times already knowing his love for cold wilderness and even Travis Rice took his circus there. This write-up gives more of the local vibe though. Very cool seeing the passion that must be required to surf and snowboard in those conditions. Ben Herrgott aka The Duck Whisperer made the trip of a lifetime and documented it all.
Kamchatka has one key city of 200,000 people; Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, located close to the Pacific Ocean, and surrounded by volcanoes as high as 3,400 metres. I was based there.. what a base! It certainly has a strong soviet look to it, but this is what makes it unique; colourful and somewhat weathered apartment buildings (built low due to the frequency of earthquakes) spread along a large bay, populated by tough and adventurous Russians. At least the ones I met were, who all made me feel incredibly welcomed; inviting me into their homes (and beach huts!) and letting me tag along on a variety of missions. These were mainly surf and sometimes snowboard trips… and riding a snowmobile to reach a spot to hike up and snowboard down in minus 25 proved to be quite a challenge. Somehow surfing felt warmer – go figure!?
Given the limitations of my basic Frenglish, I struggle to capture in words how these amazing people made me feel; I loved them. We loved each other. They inspired me. Imagine a Russian giving you a hug after a cold surf, telling you that they will miss you when you go; it seems surreal but this is what happened every day, with so many of them. Here are three descriptions that hopefully give you an insight into the Kamchatka people: