Cold Water Souls by Chris NelsonCold Water Souls: In Search of Surfing’s Cold Water Pioneers

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson grew up surfing the frigid reefs of England’s northeast coast, where Arctic swells are groomed into reeling lefts and winter water temperatures regularly dip below 5 degrees.

Cold Water Souls is a personal journey from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island Hokkaido, Iceland, Scotland and beyond in search of those pioneering souls who call the world’s most frigid line ups ‘home’

Chris has travelled from inhospitable shores glazed in ice to beaches hidden beneath snowdrifts, breaking bread with biker gangs in Japan, talking story with nuclear engineers in Scotland, tracking down ‘plough in’ pioneers in Canada and sharing empty peaks with Nordic fishermen to tell the story of surfing’s final frontiers through its waveriding community.


Cold Water Souls is a book of our times offering stunning insight into the world’s most extreme surfing environments thorough fresh perspectives and awe inspiring imagery:

  • Exploring Iceland, Japan, Canada, USA, England, Scotland
  • An anthropological study of surfing’s final frontier
  • Blending culture, history, travel, memoir and characters
  • Unearthing never before heard tales of cold water surfing’s true pioneers


“Superb – a testament to the spirit of the surfers who are out there year after year, building the world’s frigid beauty into the stuff that fires the soul.” The Surfers Journal

“The best surfing book to ever come out of the UK, it easily stands shoulder to shoulder with the best pieces of surfing literature on a global level.” Wavelength

“I’ve been captivated by (Chris Nelson’s) untold stories of weathered pioneers. A unique mix of historical and contemporary non-fiction, I recommend this book to anybody looking for peelers on roads less traveled or interested in taking a trip back in time to contemporary surf cultures unaffected by surfing’s current commodification.”  Cyrus Sutton, Korduroy TV

“A rich and beautiful book…(Nelson) can rightfully claim to have unearthed a whole new subspecies in the surfing genus, the zero-degree specialists. Good reading and good looking – definitely one for the collection.” The Surfer’s Path

“If you want to be regaled with inspirational tales of those on the vanguard of surfing’s latest evolution, start reading.” SBC SURF 
Pick of the Literature

“A genuine masterpiece of surf publishing that will whet your appetite for something different.” Drift

”Nelson has produced a beautiful read…grab a copy of Cold Water Souls. This book is too plain cool.” ESM

“Chris Nelson’s excellent book Cold Water Souls, (is) an exploration of the way the sport of surfing has spread from its warm-water genesis points to more frigid corners of the world.” The Scotsman

“A book of frozen treasures… championing the maverick spirits and unexpected beauty of these harsh environments.” Cooler Magazine






Product Details

Published by: Footprint

Authors: Chris Nelson

Picture Editor: Demi Taylor