Sami, this video project truly stands out! Can you explain what Into the Atlantic Islands is about and what you set out to achieve with it?
“Into the Atlantic Islands is a project born from art, sports, and travel. Me, Sergio Villalba, and Christian Rosillo get together to create not just films but art pieces by documenting it all in analog photography and creating a different point of view from each of those adventure episodes.
We want to change the way people explore with the combination of sports, cultures, and landscapes in each location“
How long did it take to plan video projects like this, and what was involved?
“If I’m honest, we had an absolutely different plan before! We were meant to go to another island, but work and opportunity made us go to Iceland, which is probably now on trend. We weren’t even thinking of including it. Still, we thought, it’s on the Atlantic, it’s rough, it’s absolutely different than Madeira, so why not?!
Prior to the trip, planning was nearly impossible. We were so dependent on swell and weather that I had mapped out locations, surf spots, accommodation, and food stops from 3 different parts of Iceland; North, South and the Westfjords (west-north side of Iceland).”
When planning Into the Atlantic Islands, what objectives did you start with, and did you meet them all?
“That’s a very good question. We had objectives and goals to ride and surf. For riding, there was no problem; I could go anywhere, but for surfing, that was a harder one. Our idea was to ride to one spot where we knew we could catch some waves, then ride to the other and continue… Unfortunately, not everything went as planned; this time, they didn’t, and we had to cope with it. There was only one surfing spot, and the swell didn’t come in.”
“Even if this sounds crazy, the weather was a lot better than I thought!”– Sami Sauri
The rain and cold looked severe at some points. Was the weather better or worse than you anticipated?
“Even if this sounds crazy, the weather was a lot better than I thought! Okay, I got soaked for 6 hours on the bike, but have you seen videos of Icelandic weather being “angry” is like… you cannot even get out of home for a week. So I have to say, we were lucky.”
What were the biggest challenges that you and your team had to overcome?
“I guess filming in the rain and having to keep going and going that day before the night came. But also, when we didn’t have enough pretty waves to create that dreamy film we expected. I went really deep into thinking that I put myself into a failing project, and we failed, and it was our fault. But to be honest, it was nobody’s fault; it was just what it was, and we had to overcome that together. They are my best friends, they’ve supported me in all the good and bad moments, so it was nobody’s fault, and I love them.”
It’s more than mental focus and motivation that keep you going on these adventure rides, though. What were your favourite snacks on the trip, and did you have any comforts to get you through the tough times?
“I always love a good bakery stop, and we did stop in one where the mix of stuff was epic, so from a doughnut with hot chocolate to a pizza, all in! When I’m riding, I can eat anything. There is always music on my rides, even in the 6-hour rain! I love it; it gets me rolling, especially on the road, and makes me not be so monotone and overthink any stuff.”
So now you’re back in the French Alps; I’m sure you’ve already got your next adventures planned out. What else is to come this year?