Somehow my breakfast looked so good this morning that I now can classify myself as one of those people who take pictures of their food. (My apologies) Mornings are my favorite time of the day, it’s when I feel most productive and I always start with a huge breakfast. Today it was home made granola and oat-yoghurt, avocado toast and a huge cup of coffee.
Right now I’m looking out at the snow falling outside my window (it’s soon to be May!) and getting ready to go to the gym. Hopefully the weather will figure out that it’s spring soon so that the cables open again!!
I get a lot of email (mostly from girls) about how to start wakeboarding. I thought I’d make a post about it for you, since the season is about to kick off!
You’ve seen all the pictures and video’s on your friends social media and it does look like a lot of fun, but you don’t know where to start.
- First of all, ask your friends! Most people in this industry love new riding buddies and a lot of us have spare equipment lying around. Even if you’ve only met those people that one time at a Christmas party, it’s a great way to get away from your computer screen and get a “real” social network! Worst case, they say no, and then just proceed anyways to step number two.
- Step number two, locate your closest opportunity to ride, weather it’s your local cable park/boat club or wakeboard camp. There’s an excellent way to do this, it is called Google. Make sure it is OPEN (sometimes bad weather can effect the opening times so check their social media or website for the latest updates).
- Number three, rock up to this park/camp/club and tell the staff at the front desk that you are a complete beginner and that you are excited to learn! They will (most likely) get excited too and help you out with all your basic tips and equipment. (Although it is a good idea to bring your own swimmers, towel, sunscreen etc). If you’re at a cable park introduce yourself to the operator when you get down to the doc and ask him if he/she could help you get started.
- Number Four – and this is the point a lot of people get wrong – Be kind to yourself! Since this might be the first time you ever have had your feet strapped down onto a piece of wood/fiberglass you’re not going to be throwing any triple flips straight away. No-one in the line thinks you look stupid if you fall in the start – only you. Everyone standing on that dock were once beginners and now they are all too concerned about their own riding to care about yours (well unless you actually do throw a triple flip your first try). Try and have fun, either way you are learning something new, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and gaining life experience. I think no matter if it’s wakeboarding, fishing or learning how to feed chickens, new experiences are what makes us grow, and you should be proud that you took the initiative to try one!
There you go, that’s how easy it is! Once you are at your local spot maybe you’ll make some new friends that are beginners too. Maybe you guys can push each other, laugh with each other at the crashes you will do and hopefully have a ton of fun!
EDIT: Of Course always wear a life vest! I sometimes don’t but every time I ride and want to try something new, or even just ride “for real” I wear both my helmet and O’Neill Slasher vest. Not only because it’s safe but also because it gives me the confidence to push my riding and ride to a 100%. The photos I have without a vest are usually the ones like these, where I am just riding along or throwing tricks I can do in my sleep (Don’t forget I have been wakeboarding for over 10 years). ALWAYS WEAR A LIFEJACKET/HELMET WHEN YOU’RE STARTING OUT!
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!
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)!
Check out this rad video from Betsafe from the past decade of their projects! So rad to be representing such a crazy brand! 😉
Head over to Slingshot’s website and check out my team profile! Got a little interview up here : LINK
Head over to the LifeProof Unleashed website to read more about my wakeboarding essentials! Link HERE
Excited to announce my new partnership with Slingshot! Check out this little video by JB O’Neill, can’t wait for more to come!
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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
Life is pretty simple here in the Philippines:
6am Wake Up Coffee and breakfast -usually Chia pudding or cereal
7am Morning Yoga
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
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!
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!
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 🙂
“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.
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”.