Ben Weiland - Arctic Surf

Where did you grow up and learn to surf?
I grew up in Germany and started surfing when I moved to San Diego and got my driver's license. Only recently did I hear about surfers who live in Germany, and that there's actually a German surf magazine. The magazine, 'Surfers', recently featured the story from our Kamchatka trip.

What do you love about surfing?
Being outdoors, being in the water, the challenge and adventure and camaraderie.

What was your most memorable wave?
A wave I caught in the Arctic Circle in Norway last year. The place was surrounded by massive, snow-covered mountains. The water was crystal clear, the wave was perfect.

Who inspires you?
I'm inspired by many writers, designers, and musicians. For example, I really like Micah Lindberg's illustrations

Of all the places you have travelled to, what place in particular stands out?
Kamchatka, Russia. I looked at it on a map for a long time, and it seemed like such a mysterious place. It's so remote, rugged, beautiful, and dangerous. There is a lot to be explored there.

What sort of education have you had?
I have a degree in Graphic Design.

What was your very first job?
I worked in a local print shop, helping with their website and print jobs.

What is your current job?
I also just launched an online store for my site, Arctic Surf. And I'm working freelance on stories for surf publications such as Surfer Magazine. I also occasionally work on logos, illustrations, websites, and branding.

What do you do on a day to day basis for your work?
It usually involves working on whatever project is most important for that day. My day-to-day is always different, which I really enjoy. It can involve writing, working on design, or planning ahead for a trip.

How did you get into the position you are today?
It definitely wasn't something I was looking for, and I am very thankful for how it has come together. I started Arctic Surf in 2009, and not long after, Chris Burkard, the staff photographer at Surfer Magazine, called me and asked if I wanted to plan trips to some the cold, remote places I had researched and written about. He had a similar interest in these places.

Do you have any mentors?
There are many people who have supported me along the way, including my parents, friends, and mentors who I've come in contact with through projects. They have been very helpful in sharing insights into work and business.

What do you like most about your job?
I like being creative, pursuing new projects and working with friends on new ideas.

What are you most proud of?
I'm thankful for the chances I've had to travel to far away places and surf waves that I had only imagined before. While we were in Kamchatka, we had the opportunity to take a helicopter to a wave I had seen on Google Earth a few years back. No other surfers had been there before, and to land on that beach was pretty surreal.

Where can we find you online? 

Instagram: arctic_surf

Posted by: Troy Roennfeldt, on May 31, 2013
Categories: Interviews