Our friend Ben Weiland has one of the raddest websites we've ever seen.. it's called Arctic Surf. (He finds remote surf breaks in the arctic and antarctic regions of the globe) We loved the concept so much that we asked Ben if he would do an Arctic Surf t-shirt for us this season. (His open-mindeness is your gain)
Here's a bit more about Ben and Arctic Surf, in his own words:
Who are you?
My name is Ben Weiland. I am a graphic designer and illustrator. I also occasionally write and make electronic music.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and grew up in Germany. I moved to Southern California when I was twelve or thirteen.
When did you start surfing?
I started surfing when I was fifteen. My parents bought me a 7'2 turquoise shortboard at a garage sale. Some older guys from a church surf club would pick me up to go surfing every Saturday morning. It took many weekends of getting worked by the whitewash before I was even able to paddle out to the lineup.
What inspired you to get into art and graphic design?
I've been drawing since I was a kid, and I always spent a lot of time doing it. I would draw batman, ninja turtles, and dinosaurs for hours. My interest in graphic design started with the internet. In seventh grade I made a web page, and I wanted to make it look cool, so I began to learn how to use Photoshop. Designing and building a website go hand-in-hand, but eventually I realized that I enjoyed the design part way more. The first thing I drew in Photoshop was a plesiosaurus, and I applied a ripple effect to make it look like it was underwater.
Tell us about Arctic Surf blog... where did the inspiration come from?
In my free time I like exploring Google earth and looking for potential surf spots. I found a handful of quality breaks in snowy places and thought it would be interesting to have a page on my website devoted to showing these images. It was such a strange idea to me that there could be dozens of perfect waves in the coldest places on the planet, and no one knew about them or had ever surfed them. My friend Cody Iddings encouraged me to turn the web page into a blog.
Where is the most remote place you've gone surfing?
Earlier this year I surfed in Yakutat, which could be considered the surf capital of Alaska. There are only a few communities in Alaska that have road access to the coast, and Yakutat has a handful of great breaks located just outside of town. It was at the end of the spring season, and the water was actually warmer than I expected. It was pretty surreal to be surfing with a white mountain range and glacier in the distance.
Where is your next surf trip going to be?
There are so many places I want to visit, but a few of the main ones include northern Norway, Tierra Del Fuego, and Iceland. I'm hoping a few of these will come together next year.
What is the most intriguing spot you've discovered in your Arctic Surf search?
There are a few places in the islands off the coast of Antarctica that look like incredible setups. It's really expensive to get there, and the weather is very unpredictable, so it's hard to say whether these waves will be surfed any time soon.
Have you ever played the Antarctica level in Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer..?
Haha yes! I actually just recently found a video clip of Kelly Slater surfing in Antarctica and was wondering whether that trip inspired the Antarctica level. I had no idea that he had surfed there, I wish I knew more about how that trip came together. But regarding the game, it's pretty nice to be able to surf in Antarctica from the comfort of your home.
Thanks Dave for the interview and thanks Almond Surfboards!