Aqua Bound Ambassador Reidar Sether grew up on the island of Hitra, along the central Norwegian coast. Come along as he shares his favorite things about this sea kayaker's paradise near Trondheim.
Aqua Bound Ambassador Reidar Sether
Trondheim is Norway’s third largest city and is also one of its oldest cities. It was founded by a Viking king more than 1,000 years ago. Today it's known as a university town and technology center.
It’s located halfway up Norway’s west coast, just inland, a six-hour drive straight north of Oslo. It sits inside Trondheim Fjord, with access to untold kilometers of fantastic paddling.
Reidar loves to share his passion for sea kayaking. So we asked him some questions about his home seas there in the Trondheim area—specifically the archipelago surrounding the islands of Hitra and Frøya.
AQUA BOUND: Tell us about the area where you grew up:
REIDAR: The two municipalities Hitra and Frøya are located in the center of Norway, just outside Trondheim Fjord. The area is about a 2-hour drive from Trondheim.
The archipelago Hitra and Frøya covers about 1,000 square kilometers of land and has about 10,000 inhabitants. The largest island, Hitra, is connected to the mainland via an underwater tunnel—the deepest point is 264 meters below sea level. The rest of the inhabited islands are connected via tunnel, bridges, ferry or boat.
With this map, you get an idea of the vast number of islands in this area!
The main occupations of the people living at Hitra and Frøya have been fisheries and farming for many hundreds of years. You can still visit the old fishing villages. In the last decades, the focus has changed to aquaculture. The region now produces 280 million kilos of salmon each year.
AB: Why is this archipelago so wonderful for sea kayakers?
REIDAR: In the Hitra and Frøya area you will find close to 9,000 islands, ranging from the largest, Hitra (568 km2), down to small skerries and rocks.
From a kayaker's point of view, this is a paradise that will provide good paddling spots for all types of kayaking. You will find well-protected bays and sounds for that perfect scenic paddle. You will find exposed areas for rock-hopping and ocean play. And you will find almost everything in between.
There are numerous places to launch and when it’s time for a break you can have your lunch on a naked rock looking out on the Atlantic Ocean. Or you can find a nice restaurant where you can land your kayak nearby.
All these small and large islands also provide good cover for wind and waves. You can almost always find a place to paddle even in quite windy conditions.
And last but not least, I have to mention the wildlife. While paddling this stunning nature you will often come close to otters, seals, porpoises and even whales. On land, you can spot the deer and sea eagles watching you paddle by.
AB: Do you have some favorite routes?
REIDAR: There are a lot of nice spots and routes, but my two favorites are:
Ulvøya is where I was born and raised, a quite small island on the northeast side of Hitra. The island has several smaller islands nearby and a long narrow sound on the south side that separates it from the larger island of Fjellværsøya.
On the north side, you are exposed to the ocean. A circumnavigation of the island will be from 15-20 km long depending on how many of the smaller islands you include.
Kayaking at Ulvøya, where Reidar was born and raised
This is a very scenic route where you will have everything from exposed ocean to well-protected areas. This is also an area where you can play in breaking waves.
Titran and Slettringen Lighthouse
Titran is located on the west side of Frøya. This is an old fishing village in a very exposed area of the island, surrounded by the open ocean. There is usually always some swell coming in from the west and north. On windy days the conditions can get quite extreme here.
When launching your kayak on Titran you can either go directly out and play in the swell and breaking waves or you can explore all the small islands and miniature fjords in the area.
In a few hours of paddling, you can experience a lot of small islands and narrow passages in protected areas or you can go out and find more exposed locations. Here you may observe big breaking waves from a safe distance or you can find good spots to play in the waves.
From Titran you will see Slettringen Lighthouse to the west. This is the tallest lighthouse in Norway, 45 meters high. From the launch, it’s just a short paddle out to the lighthouse—a good spot for a lunch break.
AB: Is there any kayak camping in the area?
REIDAR: In Norway, you are allowed to camp for one or two nights almost anywhere as long as you stay more than 150 meters from houses and you are not on cropland. You also have to stay clear of wildlife-protected areas. If you ask permission or camp in distant areas you may stay in the same place for more than two nights.
This right allows you to camp in a lot of places on Hitra and Frøya. When kayaking it is easy to find good camping spots where no one will disturb you.
AB: What about kayaking into the fjord closer to Trondheim?
REIDAR: In Trondheim there are a lot of kayakers. The local kayaking club has a lot of members. From May to October the club hosts several sessions and trips from the base in the city center. The fjord is pretty open and the shore quite populated, but it’s still much used for “every day” paddling.
There are some local tourism companies both in Trondheim and out on Hitra and Frøya where you can rent kayaks and gear.
A panoramic view of Frøya, its archipelago and the sea
AB: What’s your favorite Aqua Bound paddle?
REIDAR: My favorite would be the Whiskey with fiberglass blades and bent carbon shaft. This is a light and robust paddle that fits me perfectly. This is the paddle I use for the most playful parts of paddling—my go-to paddle for rock-hopping, surfing and playing in the waves.
I also like the Tango Carbon a lot, which is the one I use for touring.
AB: What other gear do you always have with you?
REIDAR: Being kind of a nerd when it comes to gear I usually bring a lot of it. It depends on the type of trip, what group I’m a part of, and also the weather and time of year.
I will always take these on any trip—short or long, summer or winter:
- PFD and an Astral Green Jacket
- Dry suit. I rarely go without a dry suit—I’m not a big fan of cold water :)
- Neoprene sprayskirt.
- Short tow line in the PFD side pocket.
- Waterproof phone in the PFD front pocket.
- Repair and emergency kit in a waterproof box in the day hatch.
- A dry bag with a set of dry clothes.
- Camera gear. I tend to bring a few cameras on most trips.
- Two Aqua Bound paddles.
Reidar enjoys playing in the waves
A big thanks to Reidar for sharing with us today. See more of his Norway sea kayaking photos on Instagram.
All photos courtesy of Reidar Sether.
Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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