Brett Barley and Ryland Rubens went off-road in Costa Rica in search of a wave we’ve all seen before. But when the road forked, they took a left rather than a right, followed the wrong route too far to turn back, made a few more errors looking for a different break, crossed a sketchy, croc-filled river, and — to add insult to injury — they nearly got stuck in the mud. Disgruntled and dirty, they finally found the the ocean, in an area they never meant to be, and they couldn’t believe what they stumbled into: a 3- to- 4 foot left point, clean, barreling, and with nobody around.
Every surfer, irrespective of their home coast, seeks an intimate relationship with the distinctive setups that define their wave region. Whether some combination of sandbar and jetty, rock pile and headland, or a dynamic twist in the coast that might both obstruct the prevailing winds and invite imminent swell, these amalgamations of aren’t to be taken for granted. Indeed, for surfers, they’re magical formulas.
But for surf photographer Elli Thor Magnusson, the wave-rich Westfjord region of his native Iceland presents a different beast altogether. Magnusson spends his summers traversing the dynamic topography around the coast, framing up dynamic landscapes photos, while weighing swell potential among each fjord–where a considerable (and seemingly bipolar) diversity of microclimates exist.
Austin Hackett-Klaube and Dillon Lemarr take you for a lap down the 2021 US National Championships DH track in Winter Park, Colorado