#COVERTHEATHLETE

I came across this video a couple of weeks ago and it still sticks with me. When these interview questions are portrayed like this it makes it so obvious how incredibly irrelevant they are! I thought I’d help this organization spread this message as I don’t think the reporters making those questions realized how ignorant they sound. Of course they want to come up with interesting questions that attract traffic to their magazine/tv-show etc and they might not think twice about asking someone to “Twirl” in front of them.

However, I urge reporters (especially in the wakeboarding industry) to consider this question whenever they are covering a piece of a female athlete:

“Would I ask this question to a male athlete”

If the answer is no, maybe you should skip that question? And also, I know I have made the misstake before of not acknowledging questions that are inappropriate for what they are. It’s partly our responsibility, the athletes, to make sure we reply “I don’t think that is relevant” to the questions we don’t agree with.

Just some thoughts I wanted to share with you! Let’s change the conversation, one step at a time! 🙂

ps. I’d love to hear what you think, comment below!

STOCKHOLM

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Being back HOME feels so good! After spending four months in the Philippines at CWC wake park it feels surreal to be back in Sweden. After stepping out in the cold spring air, the first thought that struck me was that I had traveled to the future. After being used to the infrastructure and technology of the Philippines being in Sweden felt like being in a sci-fi movie. What, I had a phone connection everywhere? What I can drive a car instead of a scooter? What everyone are living in big houses instead of sheds next to the streets? (Of course not everyone in the Philippines live in simple homes but the economy there is incomparable to the one in Sweden).

My first few weeks here have consisted of trying to get a lot computer work done. Since it’s soon to be May, it’s my favorite time here in Sweden (NOT) as our tax-reports for the year is due. Besides the many fun hours (NOT) spent sorting out receipts and looking through documents I’ve also been… wait for it… Sorting out more documents!! My interview for a US visa is around the corner and if everything goes well I’ll be able to return to the states as an “Internationally recognized Alien” for this years contest season.

Besides all this, I’m so happy to be home and spend some time with my family and enjoying the luxuries of vegetarian cafés and Swedish food (feels like I’ve been eating non stop since I got back)!

HAPPY 10 YEARS BETSAFE

Check out this rad video from Betsafe from the past decade of their projects! So rad to be representing such a crazy brand! 😉

SLINGSHOT INTERVIEW

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Head over to Slingshot’s website and check out my team profile! Got a little interview up here : LINK

MY GEAR

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Head over to the LifeProof Unleashed website to read more about my wakeboarding essentials! Link HERE

CARRO x SLINGSHOT

Excited to announce my new partnership with Slingshot! Check out this little video by JB O’Neill, can’t wait for more to come!

STUDYING

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Photo: Arlingtone Lane  Photography

Been having a few lazy days where I’ve been trying to catch up on my online studies in athlete psychology. It’s really interesting and I find myself thinking about it quite often when I’m doing other things. I’m finding the studies quite hard though as there are almost no facts in this area, only theories but it’s keeping me occupied while I’m resting my body from riding a lot. Yesterday Nicola went back to the US, I’m really disappointed that the World Cup in Australia isn’t happening this year. I’d love an excuse to go there! This photo was taken last year as we visited our friend Hayley Smith on the Gold Coast before the competition. Hopefully next year I’ll get to head back down under again. Also I can’t believe how quickly time has passed here an that Nicola already has spent her 6 weeks at CWC. I only have less than a month left and I’m actually really looking forwards to going home to Sweden, even though being here has been amazing.

PRINTS AND PALMTREES

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Photo by Nicola Butler,  wearing Aimn 

I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such talented people. Today I took some photos with my friend Nicola and every time she’s behind the lens I know they are going to come out amazing! I can’t believe I’ve been here in the Philippines for over two months already! Time really does fly when you’re having fun. I’ve started filming with JB for a new project so now I’m extra keen to ride and learn new things. Hopefully I can show you pretty soon 🙂

BTS – DEFYING ELEMENTS

If you haven’t seen it already, check out this Behind the Scenes video from our Lifeproof project. Great job Pontus, you killed it!! The only thing I’m missing is when you guys drove off the road in the ditch or my giant survival suit I got to cuddle up in after the rides 🙂

DAILY ROUTINE

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Life is pretty simple here in the Philippines:

6am Wake Up Coffee and breakfast -usually Chia pudding or cereal
7am Morning Yoga
7.30 Emails
8.30 Morning session on the cable
11.00 Second breakfast/lunch -Banana Pancakes or Omelette
12.30 Study – I’m currently taking Athlete psychology online.
14.00 Afternoon session
15.30 Snacking – usually fruit and a protein shake or some stir fried vegetables
17.00 Working out (running/bodyweight training) or just hanging out by the cable with my friends
19.00 Dinner – A lot of the time at my favorite restaurant “Green Earth”
21.00 Emails/looking through footage/playing cards with friends/ watching movies
22.30 BED

Repeat. It seems to be a successful recipe since I’ve never before felt my riding progress this much. Now there are so many inspiring people at the cable too, like my friends Anna Nikstad and Maxine Sapulette, that help me want to push my riding. I can’t wait to see what will come from female wakeboarders this year!

DEFYING ELEMENTS – IMAGES

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I have so many amazing pictures from our adventure in Åre for the Defying Elements project. Also, people say a picture says more than a thousand words so I thought I’d let them speak for themselves. I will say that it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!

WINDY

ALN_2638edit_After a well deserved rest day yesterday, we were back on the water this morning where I had the pleasure to try out some new boards! Hopefully I can tell you more about it soon but I had a big smile on my face going around the lake, even though this was the windiest day we’ve had yet. With whitecaps all over the lake, I spent most of my day on my computer with a huge coffee in my hand sorting out emails and paperwork. This photo really has nothing to do with my day but I found it in my inbox from a shoot I did with Airlington Lane in Byron bay. I’m so bummed that we wont have a world cup stop in Australia this year but I’m looking forwards to all the other places we’ll get to travel soon. I’ve also been trying to plan my season and decide what events and countries to go to. Let me know what comps I shouldn’t miss! Anyways just a quick update from a windy CWC 🙂

 

 

NEW BEGINNINGS

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“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or make you happy” Paulo Coelho

Sometimes life throws us a curved ball and what you thought was your reality get swung upside down. I know a lot of you have been picking up on some changes through my social media lately and I wanted to write a quick blog post about this. My past few weeks has been filled with unexpected decisions from two of the companies I’ve been representing which has resulted in two finished partnerships.

These series of events has taken me by surprise as both my team managers and myself have enjoyed working together and were looking forwards to continue that way for 2016 but sometimes things don’t play out the way we want them to. I wish these companies all the best and I’m thankful for the past years but I’m looking forwards to move on to new opportunities.

DEFY ELEMENTS

A crazy idea, a killer sponsor, a creative camera team, a positive board store, a couple of great friends and my idea of Defying Winter became reality.

You would not believe how hard it is for someone to try and wakeboard in a location where snowy mountains fill the backdrop. Growing up in Sweden, we were used to ride in all sort of conditions. With todays wetsuits and warm clothes its not really too difficult but when the temperature drops below freezing point, things get to another level of complicated.

I presented my idea to Lifeproof about trying to capture the contrast of becoming a pro Wakeboarder in the north and they immediately jumped on the idea. After talking to my pro surfer friend Tim Latte, I found the perfect camera crew in Max Larsson and his team and we were off!

The problem was: Finding somewhere with snow on the shoreline but where to lake was still open. We after deciding that we wanted to drive up to Sweden’s biggest snow resort we started calling friends and tourist offices to find a decent lake. After a few days of research we finally got it, Kallsjön. It’s Swedens third deepest lake with its over 300m depth so even thought most of the lakes surrounding it were already covered with Ice, Kallsjön was still open.

Our next problem was: how do we get a boat there? I am lucky enough to be working together with Froggy Vattensport, one of Swedens biggest watersport stores and also an importer of Wakeboard boats. Since we were heading towards december most logical people in Sweden had already started preserving their boats for the winter to make sure the engine doesnt freeze so our only option if we wanted a boat made for wakeboarding was one of Froggy’s. Luckily they were all over the idea and after changing to winter tires on the trailer, to make sure they could last for driving on snow and ice we were good to go. My insane friend Oscar got in the car to drive the boat 14 HOURS by himself up north towards the mountains.

Meanwhile the rest of our team had already gotten in our Jeeps to get up to Åre a few days early and check the location. Again we were incredibly lucky to get in touch with Erik, a local who’s family has been living on Kallsjön for generations. With his help we scouted the lake to make sure we wouldn’t hit any unexpected rocks but after he told us about the depth of the lake, we felt pretty safe.

When Oscar finally came up with the boat, we quickly discovered that the boat ramp was covered in ice and that we were going to have a huge problem dropping the boat in. Thankfully Erik solved this problem for us by rocking up in a huge tractor, helping us get the boat in.

At this point, I was getting a bit nervous as the air was being a brisk -5 degrees and I was looking out at the ice blocks floating in the water. O’Neill has sent me a 3/4mm Psycho wetsuit along with 3mm neoprene gloves and socks. I also had a 1mm thermo shirt under my wetsuit along with my hood so I was feeling pretty confident going in the water.

When I jumped in the first time, I didn’t immediately feel the cold. A big smile hit my face (which was all squished together from my hood) as I saw the boat take of the first time. The water was perfect, the snowy mountain was in the background and everything was strangely quiet as I couldn’t hear the normal gush of wind blowing because of my hood. I looked over my head and saw that the film crew had just started chasing me with the drone. The whole feeling felt like out of a video game or a Christmas saga and I remember thinking “I can’t believe I’m actually doing this”. In the next moment I watched the drone fly unnaturally close to the forest and I remember thinking “that’s odd” before CRASH, it collided with a big pine tree. Our boat stopped and I sank down in the water and this time, I could feel the water hovering around freezing point starting to hit my body.

After getting back up in the boat and waited for 20 minutes while the film guys were playing a their version of the Hunger Games in the forest trying to find the drone I could feel my fingers start loosing their feel and a slight shivering had started all over my body. Luckily I’d asked my friend Tim how he copes with cold water surfing so I had brought a couple of bottles filled with hot water that I could pour in my wetsuit and my gloves to regain some movement. After this short break we were ready to go again, this time filming from a chase boat. Riding in cold conditions like these turned out to be much more challenging than I had anticipated. My muscles were seizing up by the cold, I quickly lost feeling in my fingers and toes so it got very hard to keep track of what my body was doing. After around 20 minutes and two more breaks of hot water in my gloves  we decided to head back to the house.

As soon as we got to shore, one of the film crew guys were waiting with a warm car for me ready to take me back to the house where I got a hot shower and warm clothes. After some lunch where we discussed what had gone wrong we decided to head back out to do another run to get some drone footage. In the meanwhile we had to go and start the boat a couple of times to keep the engine from freezing and getting damaged. We repeated the procedure and after another successful session we headed back in when the sun set at 3pm. Being this far north we only had a couple of hours of daylight so we had to make the most of it.

After another hot shower and getting the boat out of the water with the tractor again, Oscar immediately started running glycol through the engine to keep it from freezing. I can honestly say that by now I was the most exhausted I’ve ever been in my life and I fell asleep both on the couch at Erik’s and in the car on our way back to the house.

I had no idea if my plan of riding in this lake was going to work, how my riding was going to be and if the boat would hold up but thanks to a great group of people and a little luck, we made it!! Looking back, its easily one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had. Like photographer Chris Burkard says “Anything that is worth pursuing require us to suffer, just a little bit”. 

 

CAMSUR WATERSPORT COMPLEX

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We made it!! I am so thrilled to be back on my board in one of my favorite cable parks in the world! I’ve now been here at CWC for two weeks and I’m feeling better than ever on my board. Sure my body was pretty sore after my three month break but thanks to Britta at The Swedish National Sports complex my ankle feels amazing.

I’m also so excited to be back with my boy again and we’ve been spending our days mostly wakeboarding until we literally are too tired to hold on to the handle (well until I’M too tired anyways). There are so many amazing people here from all over the world that I feel like I’ve known for years and everyone are so focused on progressing their riding, its contagious.

We celebrated new years yesterday with the whole park and after having a few beers, a bit of dancing and watched the fireworks on the beach JB and I went for an early night at 12.30. Today I’m letting my body rest for a day before attacking the massive list of trick goals I’ve set up for the next 3 months. Hopefully I’ll get better at updating my website along the way 🙂

THE NEED TO TALK PEOPLE DOWN

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Photo: Nicola Butler

In Sweden we have this expression called ”Jante-lagen”, it’s an unwritten law about that you never should stand out too much. Obviously not many people wanna show their worst sides to the world but also, In Sweden it is frowned upon if you come across to cocky or successful. Today with everyone posting their proudest moments online before they call and tell their mothers this expression isn’t used as much anymore. One thing growing up with this unwritten law meant was that if someone ever did stand out, did claim something he/she was proud of or did talk themselves up, a lot of my friends (and myself) felt the urge to immediately talk that person down. For the record, let me just add that this was around the time where I used to ride my yellow bike to school and my biggest concerns was how I was gonna get the whole collection of N-sync bubble-gum stickers. I am hoping that both myself and my friends has grown up and gotten a bit further in our personal development since then.

Anyways, today when I look at the direction wakeboarding is taking, I can’t help but to be right back on the school-ground. I don’t know why it is that lately there has been so much negativity blowing up within the wakeboard community. I don’t know if it’s because it makes us feel better about our own riding to talk other riders down when they are doing things differently than us? Maybe it’s the newest ”trend” within wake to call out everything we don’t like and it’s a phase that will pass. Maybe we’re trying to impress the ”cool kids on the block” by hating the same things that they hate? Whatever it is, I believe it is bringing wakeboarding down.

Let me clarify:

Yes, I am in full respect of the whole ”wake-zeach” and I thought it was hilarious when it first came out. Calling pro riders out on things that they can improve in a jokingly matter was a great way to push those riders to progress and focus more on style. These pro riders all know each other, they have enough self-esteem to shrug their shoulders and get on with their day and most of them personally know the people behind the Wakezeach pages. What struck me was the first time I found an amateur rider on that page. I think the problem is when we take it too far and start banning anyone from making misstakes. Most riders aren’t professional and most of them wakeboard because of the pure fun of it! A lot of the new riders are kids, looking at the pro’s for how to behave and when the cool thing to do is to scream “zeaaaaach” to the new kid on the block,  you take the fun and creativity out of it for a lot of people. Now, I’m pretty sure that none of the riders writing negative anonymous comments on Alliancewake.com has the intention of bringing beginner riders down but by always focusing on the negative we transfer that mind-set to the younger community.
I guess the internet gives us the opportunity to be worse people than we really are. I doubt half of the negativity people hint online would be told face to face in a live conversations. To write something on the internet you don’t have to encounter the awkward silence when your words sink in, you don’t have to see the smile fade from someone’s face and you don’t have to risk a fist thrown in your own. In this sense the internet dulls us of emotion and suddenly it’s okay to break someone’s heart because, well, everyone else is doing it and you’ll never see any consequences.
Maybe next time we’re about to post something negative or speak badly of someone we should pause and think  ”Would I say this to this persons face, could this possibly hurt this persons feelings” but also ”Why do I have he urge to write this, what is it going to do for me?”. Something that you might not really care about, about someone that you don’t even know can take up their thoughts for hours maybe even days. I’m all for calling out your friends when they do something wacky but I’d like to believe that I’ve become a better person since my days of jealousy over my friend Erika’s new heelies. Hopefully, the future generations will never know about ”Jante-lagen” and they will be encouraged to grow, play and ride just the way they feel like.