In June 2015, I met Thor Frantzen while researching a story on Arctic Norway’s beautiful Lofoten archipelago, with art director Rickard Westin and photographer River Thompson.
On a sunny summer’s day in the Arctic, Thor Frantzen is in his happy place: with a black coffee and a roll-up cigarette, looking out over Unstad, the beautiful little surf bay on Lofoten’s north coast where he founded a surf camp in 2003.
Thor’s Hawaiian shirt suggests a certain loucheness, and his sonorous voice is perfect for his deep well of stories. By far his best, and most well-worn, is that he was the first person to surf in Norway, along with his old friend Hans Egil Krane, at Unstad back in 1963.
“We were teenagers at the time, working on the ships to make money,” he says. “Hans Egil had been to Australia on a ship and got to know some…
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