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Artikel: Surfing Skandinavia


Surfing Skandinavia

Preparing myself for bad waves, frigid water temps and rain, I left my hometown, LA and California’s beautiful, but crowded beach scene to visit my friends and relatives and experience waves in Scandinavia for the second time in a year.

My trip from June to September last year resulted in crappy waves and an 8 week stay in hospital after getting driven over by a boat while I was out for a quiet paddle in the Lofoten islands, deep in the north of Norway.

While recovering from my injuries I decided, despite my boyfriends anti-surfing Scandinavia initiative, to give Norway and the rest of Scandinavia another shot. It was defiantly worth it! I was looking for a good time, an unforgettable experience and of course waves! Thanks to all the open hearted local people I had the time of my life, incredible times both in and out the water!

I arrived in Stavanger ( south-west Norway) on the second of January, I thought I was in store for 3 months of stormy, ice cold surf along Scandinavia’s vivid and varied coasts.

I stayed in Stavanger for 3 weeks and had a few surfs along Jaeren, the coast to the south. The best spot there was defiantly Reve, a rocky right-hand point break that works perfect in a northwest swell. The water was dark blue freezing, but the waves were almost 3 meters, and the weather nice, so I stayed in for 3 hours with a 5 mm wetsuit. What was shocking to me was the fact that the locals were wearing thicker suits! Coming from California, after 3 hours in this frigid foreign water I’m sure hypothermia set in, I stumbled back to the car with a blue face and feet feeling like rubber! Good that I’m a girl, otherwise my balls would be frozen like peanuts in ice!!

I was absolutely shocked by the fact that there were more than 5 people in the water the first day I surfed in Norway, to be honest I wasn’t expecting anyone. There is a select group of hardcore surfers up here but no such thing as a crowd! A million miles away from the situation in California. And when there were people in the water, all of them were men and shocked by the fact that I was a girl.
Travelling north, weaving around endless fjords I encountered a place called Stadt. Impossibly the water seemed even colder up there on the central part of the Norwegian coastline. A lack of swell meant I didn’t really get any good surf there, but according to some locals could the spot, during a solid swell, be one of the best in north Europe. Don’t know if I can believe them though.
Further north I arrived in the Lofoten islands and I was expecting big things to happen. I visited the place in the summer and the possibility of world-class waves was very high. It’s considered the jewel in the crown of Norwegian surf locations. I wont give away any wave or location but I had some of the best waves of my life. The scenery and the surf was indescribable, the closest word resembling the setting would be ‘Valhalla’, a Viking paradise! The next two weeks were filled with hours spent in the coldest but most stunning surf ever!

In the middle of nowhere I met a surfer from Canada, and together we had the most exhilarating experience in our lives. We were surfing with killer whales swimming right behind us, at first I got scared, but as I became used to their presence I loved it. It was mind-blowing, a once in a lifetime experience. The beaches were covered in snow, the sea was azure blue, deep and cold; we had killer whales swimming under us and snowy mountains above us. It was like a crazy dream, completely surreal and totally felt like we were on a different planet. I suppose the only thing missing was a polar bear on a longboard!

After 3 incredible weeks in Lofoten I flew to Copenhagen, and my Canadian friend travelled back to Stavanger. I spent 4 weeks in Denmark and got to know some very cool people.
The Danish are just like the Norwegians; really friendly and welcoming people, but the cool thing about the Danes is that they are so much more chilled than the Norwegians, I don’t know why but their laid back lifestyle is great.

What is so good about Scandinavia is the way people are treating each other in the water, with loads of respect whether the person is a beginner or an experienced surfer. (I think the rest of the surfing world has got something to learn from these northern people!) What I also find great is the way they all talk about surfing. They combine surfing with fun and a respect for the sea, other surfers and the environment. In the U.S surfing is all about who rips, who has got the sponsors and who can pull the hottest chick (well suppose the chick thing is the same everywhere though!), people have forgot all about what surfing really is about. But a trip to Scandinavia can wake up any corrupted, commercial surfer to understand the purity, freedom and love in the sport.

After spending a few days in Copenhagen, looking around and visiting the Christiania district where I found many like-minded, laid back personalities I soon got a lift up to a small town called Arhus. I spent a couple of nights there and then got a lift to Alborg, where I meet a Swedish surfer, who was going in my direction. My first surfing experience in Denmark was one of the best days in the water since I left California. A super little beach break (which according to some of the locals we spoke to was a point break?) again with no crowd, south wind and a perfect clean north swell. We had one of those sessions where your arms lock up from paddling too much and had stayed in for most of the day before dragging ourselves out of the water to refill with food. We stayed at this little guesthouse in a small town near by. The coolest place ever, really quaint and funny. We later went out to the local pub where I met some old drunken Danish guys, who were hanging out with (or at least sitting next to) some Danish surfers from Copenhagen, Aksel and Krister.

We had a few drinks together, which later turned into a few more etc etc! They taught me some Danish (stuff like JEG ELSKE DANSK DRENGE), and had a good time in what I would refer to as the middle of nowhere!

The day after we went to surf the same spot, but because of a changing swell direction and a dropping swell we ended up with driving further down the coast. We checked loads of beaches and had a really good tour of the area hanging out with the Danes who soon became good friends. In the dwindling swell it was hard to find waves so we drove back to Arhus and stayed there for a week. Then got a call from Krister, one of the guys from Copenhagen, who told us there was a solid swell arriving shortly. I packed my stuff and drove to a spot called Bxxxx ( from now on referred to as spot X)
We soon hooked up with the guys from Copenhagen and managed to get another epic sessions on a really fickle fun wave there. When we first got out there, it was a bit small, but as the tide rose, the swell was getting bigger and after a long session I called my friends back home and told them i had surfed the best wave i Scandinavia. They couldn’t believe it, good waves in Denmark of all places!
No mater what, i am coming back to surf that wave!

The next few days we spent at this spot, before we drove further down the coast to look for new spots. Found a few good ones, but none of them can ever be compared to spot X.

As the swell dropped again I arrived to Copenhagen with Aksel and Krister, and stayed there for a week, experiencing the fabled Copenhagen nightlife, loads of crazy drunken parties!

When I got sick of clubbing and drinking Aksel and I drove up to Sweden to look for new uncrowned waves and carry on with our little adventure. The results were disappointing, because of lack of spots, and of lack of swell. The sea was flat for a long time, but again with more time I’m sure it would be a great trip ??! So we ended up driving back to Norway, and Stavanger where my Norwegian friends revealed some of their precious secret spots along Jaeren, two days later there came a new swell and we got a perfect end to our trip.

I will defiantly come back soon; it was a trip full of fun, friends, and surfing what its meant to be…

Told by Anette white .
Written by Maren Eriksen .

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