Mike Lays Journey into the Unknown


Iceland with Mike Lay
A-frame wave in Iceland

In the age of internet surf forecasts and exhaustive online guides to destinations, surf travel is less and less a plunge into the unknown. Expectations are managed and itineraries carefully curated... but Iceland was different.

While there are swell forecasts, the well-known spots are confined to a small segment of the island and I had little idea of how the coming swell would translate to breaking waves on the beaches and reefs. The winds changed every day. With no real plan, but a sense for adventure, we circumnavigated the island with a keen eye on the coast.

Shorebreak in Iceland
Icebergs on the beach are a thing in Iceland

We followed our map around the outer edge, winding in and out of deep fjords and crossing valleys and mountains. We surfed whenever we could, which ended up being every day. The landscapes were ever shifting, gloomy to bright, soft to hard, brutal to beautiful. Grizzled sheep and their lambs ran from our often-solitary van. A post-apocalyptic vision or another world entirely. It is a place where humanity seems only to have scratched the surface.

Iceland glacier

Fueled by coffee and tins of beans we followed the beat of our expectant hearts around each new corner, the path constantly lit by the ever-present sun. Just Passing Through in Iceland is an awe-inspiring and humbling experience, a reminder of the insignificance of humanity and a much-needed dose of the exciting unknown. 

Mike Lay gliding on a wave in Iceland
Mike Lay-back
Mike Lay