Skip to main content

‘I love the sea,’ Jake Crumbleholmeexclaims.

‘It’s huge, it’s deep, it’s massive, and it's ever-changing. It's constantly showing new sides.’

The community where the young Englishman has acquired his passion for the ocean is Stadlandet in Stad municipality, at the very edge of the ocean.

It’s so peaceful here that you can walk in complete solitude across the fine sandy beach in the early morning, or, if you enjoy being in the water, take a bracing morning dip among the breakers. If you want a bit more action and a few more thrills, and the wind has made perfect waves, you can do what Jake does. Surf.

The joy of mastery 

‘Standing on top of a wave is the best feeling in the world. Letting go completely, setting your mind free, and letting your muscles join forces with the power of the waves You just get completely in the zone. It’s the best feeling in the world, totally fantastic,’ the 25-year-old keenly concludes.

For Jake, surfing is therapy, and when the wind conditions are right, his long dark hair rarely gets time to dry.

‘Wading out with my board under my arm, then paddling out towards the horizon and looking for the perfect wave, feels so cathartic. No matter how bad a mood you’ve been in, everything’s forgotten once you get the wind and sea spray in your face. It’s about joy. About being at one with the ocean, with nature.

Surfing is like therapy!|© Fjord Norway

Surfing is physically demanding. It’s not an easy sport, and you have to challenge your comfort zone in order to learn.

‘It takes time and you have to keep learning from the mistakes you make. But after all your battles with the water, as you gradually get the hang of it, when you can read the dynamics, master the basic techniques, and finally find yourself riding a wave, energy flows through you that makes for an absolutely unique experience.’

© Fjord Norway

New life 

Jake grew up in the industrial city of Manchester in north-west England.

‘Scandinavia’s magnificent scenery has always held a particular fascination for me, but it was pure chance that brought me to Stadlandet.I Googled ‘surfing in Scandinavia’ and really liked Stad Surfing’s website, and on top of that they were looking for surfing instructors. I arrived in February 2019.’

‘Whatever your age, whether you’re an experienced surfer or just a beginner, you’ll find a course that's right for you, no matter what time of year it is,’ says the instructor, plugging the company.’

Whatever your age, experienced or just a beginner, you’ll find a course that's right for you.|© Fjord Norway

The closest village to Hoddevik is Leikanger, a 15-minute drive away. It has a grocery shop and a small pub where locals and visitors can quench their thirst.

‘The atmosphere is really relaxing. Everyone who comes here comments on its magical energy. You really get a sense of peace and harmony at Stadlandet,’ Jake proclaims.

It’s also worth visiting Vestkapp, known as the westernmost mountain plateau in Norway, rising 497 metres above the notorious Stadhavet sea. Vestkapp restaurant is situated at the top, and its large windows allow you to enjoy your food while admiring the spectacular views.

Vestkapp (Cape West)|© Vestkapp

The different charms of the seasons 

The long Hoddeviksanden beach is considered one of the finest beaches in Norway, and the fact that it faces west towards the open sea makes it one of the country's best surfing beaches. If you’re not a beginner, the nearby surfing spot Ervik is a great place to surf. Further south on the Nordfjord coast is Vetvika bay – a little known surfing gem. One of the things that makes Vetvika so unique is its location. There are no roads to this sandy beach so it needs to be accessed on foot or by taking a boat over the open sea.

‘The quality of the waves in Stadlandet is incredible, but the conditions change from day to day, and even from hour to hour. On some days, you can surf one perfect wave after another. On other days the sea can be less cooperative and you have to work hard to get up onto the waves. After you’ve been surfing for a while, you really start to appreciate conditions that are a bit more demanding.'

Beautiful Vetvika|© Vetvika

Jake doesn’t agree that the rough weather this part of the coast sometimes sees is a drawback.

‘Bad weather can of course make things difficult, but there’s nothing better than sitting at home in front of the fire when storms are lashing the coast, massive waves are crashing against the shore and cliffs, and hurricane-force winds are battering your house. Even between winter storms, the ocean can surprise you with enticing surfing conditions.’

Quality of life is best outside of the summer season

Jake says that early spring and late autumn are the best times to go surfing. When the white crests of the waves are crashing onto the shore, turning the white sand wet and grey, it warms the cockles of a surfer’s heart.

‘That’s when experienced surfers can find the right height of waves,’ says Jake.

For Jake, surfing is not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.

‘My life here isn’t governed by the clock but is dictated by the movement of the tides and the breakers. There’s a beauty in that which you don’t get in most other sports. Having to wait, sitting there on the beach waiting for the right conditions, is just as much part of the experience as the time you actually spend on the surfboard.’

You can surf all year-round!

Come and visit, but show respect 

This green gem beside the ocean, which attracts nature lovers and keen surfers from all over the world, has been described as ‘paradise on earth’. Until recently, Hoddevik was a small little known gem in Western Norway that only the locals knew about, but that’s all changing. In fact, so many people come here to camp in summer that the County Governor has had to ban wild camping. Tourists and visitors are now asked to erect their tents at the campsite, if they’re not lucky enough to get a room at Stad Surfing.

The best option for visitors is to stay at a hotel or apartment in the village of Leikanger and take the bus to Hoddevik. It’s a good and sustainable alternative that lets you share your experience with the locals and prevents the road from being blocked by visitors who bring their own car.

Hoddevik - ‘paradise on earth’. Come and visit, but show respect.|© Fjord Norway

‘The summer and tourist season can be rather hectic and chaotic. I have kind of mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I would like to invite everyone who wants to visit: “Come! Come and surf! Breathe! Find peace and tranquillity!”’

On the other hand, there's a proviso.

‘Show respect. Don’t let your visit have a negative impact on those who live and work here,’ Jake asks.

‘Look after nature, and don’t leave anything behind like rubbish or anything else,’ he urges.

The surfer, who is well acquainted with the area, promises that anyone who appreciates nature will never get bored at Stadlandet.

‘There are so many things to do here in Stadlandet, so many small bays and inlets, caves and cliffs to explore, both from the land and from the sea.

When the sea is calm and flat, you can go kayaking, spearfishing or go freediving in the crystal-clear water.

The surrounding mountains are great for hikes and offer panoramic views, whether you reach the summit or not. Mosekleivhornet is particularly worth visiting and has fantastic views of the ocean, white sandy beaches and the beautiful coastal landscape. Afterwards, you can take an evening dip in the sea to recover from your exertion, while the setting sun casts a warm glow over the landscape and birds effortlessly glide above you.


In the right place 

Jake has travelled a lot during his life, has visited a lot of countries and seen the world. His verdict on Stadlandet is clear:

‘Sure, it can feel a bit quiet and desolate, and the weather isn’t always great, to put it mildly, but then you get days, moments, when everything is just perfect. Then there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather be.’

More accommodations

  • Stad Hotel – A Restaurant with good experiences on the table, and in the glass. Get your food served by the sea without getting wet on your feet - with a view that few restaurants can offer.
  • Fru Inga Apartments – Fru Inga Apartments offer rental of four holiday apartments in a newly renovated house on the waterfront in Stadlandet.
  • Elcampervan – Rent an Electric Mini Camper Van in Bergen and visit western part of Norway. Start from Bergen, city and municipality in Vestland County, and visit Fjord, Mountain and Coast.

We have passion for the ocean

The ocean has a magical way of capturing our attention and Fjord Norway’s coast is no exception. Experience our sandy beaches, go surfing, try kayaking among a myriad of islands and reefs or just be present in the moment. Meet welcoming locals, taste fantastic seafood and share our passion for the ocean!

Find out more

Related articles