Stab Magazine | North Korea... There's surf there?
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North Korea… There’s surf there?

Story by Jake Howard Are there better places to go walkabout than North Korea? No doubt. As surf trips go, the shadow state doesn’t have much going for it. But empty lineups and bragging rights are a tempting tonic. In a land where gulags are more prevalent than Starbucks, Uri Tours, a New Jersey-based travel […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Story by Jake Howard

Are there better places to go walkabout than North Korea? No doubt. As surf trips go, the shadow state doesn’t have much going for it. But empty lineups and bragging rights are a tempting tonic. In a land where gulags are more prevalent than Starbucks, Uri Tours, a New Jersey-based travel company, has announced a surf expedition to “the pristine beaches and rocky outcrops of the Hamhung and Sijung area.”

NORTH KOREA BEACH

Pristine shoreline of the North Korean coast.

Hamhung and Sijung in the fall? Are you kidding me? Can you say gorgeous? Or not. Magic Seaweed hasn’t exactly been allowed to put up any surf cams in the area. Part of Uri’s new initiative is to see what kind of setups the DPRK is holding. The expedition, which is slated for Sept. 13-20, will be led by Uri Tours Founder and CEO Andrea Lee and Nik Zanella. Nik is an Italian surfer that’s purportedly spent the last five years mapping the North Korean coast and is the current coach of the Chinese National Surf Team. Among the stated goals of the expedition is to continue more detailed mapping and the analyzation of potential spots.

“The DPRK has all of the ingredients for an excellent surf adventure,” says Zanella. “Great surf bathymetry, good exposure and pristine beaches.” Yeah, excellent surf adventure. Good call, Zanella… An excellent surf adventure is paying off federales, passing out in the sun and sending it at the local nightclub…not becoming an enemy of the state. Note, Kim Jong Un’s favorite execution methods include the use of flamethrowers, machine guns and mortars. Let me reiterate, mortars! Enough said.

NORTH KOREA LINES

Could be some fun ones, if you’re game.

The presser from Uri also describes North Korea as a land free from pesky crowds. And they do have a point. The local scene isn’t exactly thriving. That may have something to do with more pressing issues like years of famine, violent civil rights abuses and the tyrannical rule of an evil dictator. Where’s the stoke Kim Jong?

Of course, Pyongyang does sound like a city on the up and up, just ask Dennis Rodman.“It’s nothing like you’ve seen over here. Not even close,” ranted the former NBA all-star in an interview with DuJour.com. “It’s funny, because when I first went there it was so…Communist. Dry and dreary and like, I don’t know. Everything is so dead, like The Walking Dead. But the third time I went there, wow. [Pyongyang] changed a lot. New buildings were popping up and [Kim] is building all these new condos and hotels. He built the largest water park in the world, a ski resort and this big bowling alley. He’s doing everything for these people. You could go bowl for a quarter all day or go swimming all day for like 50 cents.

NORTH KOREA SUNSET

This sunset presented by Kim Jong Un.

Swimming for 50 cents a day, what a bargain!? The world’s biggest water park, a ski resort, bowling, and now surfing? That chubby-cheeked Kim Jong’s straight extreme. Forget about radical Islam, radical Dear Leader is all the rage.

If you’re keen, the deadline to get your deposit in is Aug 28. It’ll set you back $2,400…mind you, it’ll only run $3,000 to stay at Tavarua during the same time.

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