Vodka. Before getting in the cold waters of Russia, sip a small shot of Russian vodka and you're ready to dive into a unique surfing experience. Yes, the largest country in the world has great waves on offer.
There are only three valid keys to open the secrets of surfing in Russia. The land of matryoshka dolls and caviar will pump perfect waves in the Sochi, Kamchatka Peninsula and in Vladivostok. Always expect low water temperatures, between 5-10ºC.
Surfing in Russian is an adventure and requires a previously planned surf trip. The usual checklist should include special gear and tools for extreme natural events and conditions.
The most famous surf spots in Russia are located in the Kamchatka Peninsula, a 1,250-kilometre (780 mile) peninsula in the Russian Far East. It is bordered by the Sea of Okhotsk, Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, in a volcanic region.
The former Soviet Republic has already been explored by Tom Curren, in Rip Curl's Project Red. Amazing natural scenes, flawless waves, uncrowded peaks and black sand. Three-time world surfing champion had a surf banquet.
"It’s definitely remote and I was really kind of nervous that it was going to be really, really cold. Of course it is pretty cold, but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. We saw a volcano when we were camping at the first beach. That was pretty exciting. I’ve never seen a volcano erupting before", reveals Curren.
"It’s definitely rewarding to go to a new place that you don’t know anything about, and actually get good surf, even more interesting is to see surfing developed in places like this where there’s potential for a surfing culture to develop".
But there's one more surf spot in the Russian Far East that should be explored. Vladivostok and its sunny summer days invite anyone who loves surfing to a regional surf trip. Although a favorable swell is rare, you can ride great waves in Primorsky Krai or, alternatively, rent a boat to the near Reineke and Popov islands.
On the opposite side of Russia - 9780 kilometres by road - the Black Sea has one Russian surf spot for you. That is Sochi, a medium city with mild weather and great conditions for board sports.
Surfing in Russia means having waves just for yourself. Grab a good thick wetsuit, cold water wax, a credit card and a waterproof camera. The "perestroika" of surfing is underway.