All photos by Elli Thor Magnusson

Surfer and filmmaker Ben Weiland began posting his Arctic surf curiosities on a blog nearly a decade ago. It was his way to document the ice cold locales with surf potential he’d found while scouring Google Earth. Weiland never would’ve guessed that the hobby would actually end up sending him to the places he was initially introduced to via satellite. The years of research, travel, skunks and scores have all culminated in his gorgeous new film, “Coldwater Journal,” which is available now on iTunes, Vimeo, Xbox, Vudu, Google Play and Amazon.

In celebration of the release, we’ve curated a gallery of images created by surfer and photographer Elli Thor Magnusson. These photos were taken during a section in the film when Brett Barley and Magnusson ride the emotional rollercoaster that is the Arctic surf hunt. With little information about the region, fickle winds that change instantly and short swell periods, chasing quality waves is just as taxing on the heart and mind as the harsh physical conditions are on the body. Ben Weiland summarizes the experience as “Challenging yourself on a primal level.” But as you’ll see in the photos, the efforts were not done in vain and proper tubes were found and stuffed.

It was originally the potential to surf quality lefthanders that drew Barley and Magnusson to the region.

After racing around from spot to spot looking for optimal winds during the swell’s peak, Barley found the ice cold tube he was looking for.

They lucked out on finding some rights too, like this empty slab.

Barley sets up a tube in an empty lineup with a snow-capped backdrop.

Arctic gold

Coastal access is a challenge during these types of surf strikes. At this particular spot, a surf check means hoofing it across icy cobblestones.

Weiland rides the bow en route to a spot only accessible by boat.

An aurora borealis is a fringe benefit of the Arctic surf trip.

Who cares how cold the water is when there’re barrels on tap without another soul in sight?

With no locals around to glean, paddle-outs become part of the mindsurf.

Barley about to exit the Arctic surf hunt’s emotional rollercoaster through the gift shop of empty barrels.

For an interview with Ben Weiland about “Coldwater Journal,” click here.

To rent or purchase “Coldwater Journal”, click here.