Matador Network
Matador Network is the web’s largest travel magazine. Our fast growing community includes independent travelers, as well as athletes, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, and writers we sponsor to produce original investigative works. Our mission is to empower, connect, and feature travelers promoting culture, conservation, and sustainability around the world.

Since 2008, Matador Ambassador Chris Burkard has been pioneering surf photography in the Arctic. Arctic Swell, a new film produced by Smugmug, documents Burkard’s latest mission to Unstad, a bay in the Norwegian archipelago of Lofoten just inside the Arctic circle.

Burkard’s crew, which included surfers Patrick Millen, Brett Barley, and Chadd Konig, had to take three flights, a ferry, and drive several hours to reach the surf. They traveled in early March, with temperatures hovering around five degrees, sometimes dipping below zero. Burkard notes, “Some people think I am crazy for wanting to go that time of year, but it’s when the northern lights are brightest and the surf gets epic!”

Besides showing how perfect conditions can be found and ridden in one of the harshest environments on earth, Arctic Swell is a look behind the lens at Chris Burkard, whose voiceover gives a lot of insight into his motivations as a photographer. “It’s not even the most beautiful images,” he says, “But the ones where you think, ‘I really gave something of myself to get that shot.’” image

From: Surfing the Arctic

Telling the story of conservation: Costa Rica

EDITOR’S NOTE: Filmmaker Eline Postma was one of three winners of the Storytellers: Costa Rica competition put on by Contiki, world leaders in youth travel, in association with Matador.

Eline and the other winners traveled to Costa Rica in early April to participate in Contiki’s Costa Rica Unplugged tour, during which they visited the Tortuguero Sea Turtle Conservancy, walked above the cloud forests of Monteverde, and connected with celebrated environmental activist Celine Cousteau. Together with Contiki Cares, these storytellers are spreading the message of conservation and respect for our planet, and Matador is proud to support them.

How to document your travels without looking like a narcissist

TO DOCUMENT HIS daily life and travels around the world, Michał Mikołaj Wojtunik took a single second of video every day for 10 months, and crammed them into this awesome film. You get a surprisingly good sense of what his life was like over the course of the ten months, and the video virtually never features Wojtunik himself (which is a refreshing change from many of the other travel videos floating out there on the internets). The second-a-day idea, incidentally, comes from Cesar Kuriyama’s excellent Ted Talk