Surfing in Russia
Russia is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and North Asia. It’s the largest country in the world spanning 12,5% of the Earth's inhabited land area. The motherland may not be the first place you think about when someone mentions surfing but Russia has got a thriving surf community and some impressive good but cold waves. It's been just over a decade since surfing took off in Russia, but now the country has a few surf schools that help locals and travelers to understand what it takes to be a surfer in Russia. The most famous surf spots are located in the exotic Kamchatka Peninsula that is bathed by the Sea of Okhotsk, the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. The area is surrounded by active volcanos and the water temperature never goes above 10°C. Don’t let the cold water scare you, russian surfers swear that if you sip a small shot of vodka before you paddle out you will be just fine. Surfing in Russia is definitely an adventure and if you accept this challenge you will be stepping into a unique surfing experience full of amazing natural scenes, flawless waves, uncrowded peaks and black sand beaches.
Climate in Russia
Because of its size there are different types of climate in Russia, but in general most areas of the country have freezing cold winters and moderate humid summers. The only part of Russia with a mild climate, protected from the winter frost, is the southern coast of the Black Sea. In this area the climate is almost Mediterranean, with mild and wet winters and warm summers. The best time to surf in Russia is during fall when swells are consistent and temperatures are not extremely cold. For beginners the optimal time is during summer when the swells are smaller and the weather is relatively warm. The water temperature is always cold normally in between 5 to 10°C so bring a proper wetsuit plus gloves, hoodie and booties.
Best surf spots in Russia
The best surf spots in Russia are found in Sochi, Kamchatka Peninsula and in Vladivostok.
These areas offer a variety of unusual surf spots that inevitably break on cold water. This are the best surf spots in the country: Halaktirskiy Beach, Khalaktyrskiy Plyazh, Ashe, Dzhemete, Hosta Rica, Radostniy, Shirokaya Balka, Southern Cape (Anapa), Flotskiy, Teriberka And Zelenogradsk.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $4 USD. Mid-range meals start at $10 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $40-100 USD
You should bring your own gear.
Prepaid SIM cards
MTS is a good choice.
SIM cards can be purchased from any MTS store around the country.
Prepaid packages start at $7 USD.
Public transport systems in most Russian cities work fairly well and usually combine buses, trollies and trams, but they require the ability to decipher some Cyrillic to use.
There is a metro system available in 7 Russian cities, it is an easy and affordable way to explore the city.
Download Gett and Yandex Taxi phone apps, and you won’t have to worry about getting a taxi in over a hundred Russian cities
Driving in Russia will definitely require learning the Cyrillic alphabet, so think about that beforehand.
Uber is available in many places in Russia.
$0.59 USD a liter.
Types of risks
How to prepare
Citizens from 53 countries, including those in the EU, can apply for an eVisa. Allowing you to stay 30 days. Citizens for the US, Australia and UK will need to apply for a visa before they travel.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella.
Things to know
Language & Currency
Russian is the official language. You’ll find some English speakers, but English is not widely spoken.
The currency is the Russian rouble.
Best time to go
In the fall when swells are consistent and temperatures are not extremely cold.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Check surf pictures of Russia at #surfingrussia.