Ingen stress, ingen hets - älska livet!

Ingen stress, ingen hets - älska livet!

Surfing är en värld dit alla är välkomna. Surfing handlar inte om att vara bäst i vattnet. Surfing är inte en tävling. Surfing är en känsla och vår passion. Det är en lek, en lek som alla kan vara med i. Det är leken i vågorna som betyder något, inte prestationen.
Och vem är förresten den bästa surfaren? Om någon kan sägas vara det så är det personen som har det största leendet, vare sig det är någon av alla de unga tjejer och killar som surfat med oss genom åren, eller den äldre gentlemannen som varit med oss på Hawaii, i Frankrike, Spanien och Costa Rica. Han kommer sällan upp ståendes på brädan, han studsar fram på magen med jordens största smile på läpparna. Då spelar prestationen ingen roll. Det är just däri som surfingens storhet ligger, för allt handlar i grunden om att ha kul tillsammans och att låta glädjen vara den starkaste drivkraften, oberoende av vurpor och blåmärken, framgångar och motgångar. Och vi har den bästa lekplatsen i världen till vårt förfogande, havet. Havet är vårt nöjesfält. En bräda, lite vågor och några vänner. Mer än så behövs inte.

Även om surfing kan vara en utmaning i början är det inte på något sätt omöjligt att lära sig – tvärtom! Med lite hjälp kan alla lära sig att gå på vatten: ung som gammal, vältränad som soffpotatis, kvinna som man. Oavsett ålder, kroppsstorlek eller social status. Surfing går över alla eventuella barriärer och sociala strukturer och så länge du bara kan ta dig ner till vattenbrynet på något sätt så väntar vågorna på dig. För oss har alltid det viktigaste varit att alla skall med, alla skall ha roligt! Faktum med att vi på Surfakademin har lärt över 3000 svenskar att vågsurfa. Alla som rest med oss har klarat det. Vi har inte guidat som stressade militärer, utan mer som mediterande munkar. Hela tiden utan hets, hela tiden fritt från konkurrens, med glädjen och positivt tänkande som drivkraft.

Vi surfar för att vi älskar det. När det är för andras skull, för att bedömas i en tävling - så faller det. Det är inte längre rent. Det är visselpipor och färgade rashguards. Det är tidtabeller och presterande. Helt plöstligt och snabbt har vi tagit död på vad det handlar om. Tävling är anti-tesen till surfing. Var ren, klä av dig naken och gå ut och surfa bland vattensköldpaddor och färgglada fiskar i turkost vatten. Men det behöver inte var perfekt. Ett vindpiskat hav med vännen och små stökiga vågor ger också energi. Men undvik visselpipor, klockor och prestation. Det finns det tillräckligt av i livet på andra platser.
Det handlar inte om att surfa den största vågen, att få den längsta nose-riden, eller längsta tuben.

Istället så vill vi sträva efter att inte sträva och bara njuta av vågorna, hitta glidet och le. Bara le och njut. Älska livet.

The Surfakademin story on TV4

Ride, the new show at TV4 focusing on skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing, visited Surfakademin down in Biarritz in the first few days of Fall. Jens & Peter reveal the story about Surfakademin and talk about their life-long passion for surfing.

 

European Surfing Championships

European Surfing Championships

”Three minutes until start, surfers may now paddle out and please keep away from surfers in the current heat.”

“Heat starts in five, four, three, two, one and go!” This is 20 minutes of surfing in the complete different context I’m used to. It is blood, sweet and tears, it is stressful, painful and it challenges my surfing abilities to the fullest. And somehow I like it, not because it is an arena to show off your skills but rather it forces me to think new and it is a way to improve what I love to do.

This is the Swedish national team of Surfing and our trip to the Azores for the European Championship of surfing 2013. Fifteen teams that surf, shread and slide for their nations pride and honour. Surfakademin is represented by me Anton Hoas Ströman, Freddie Meadows and Annika Walden.

So, how did it go? How’s Swedish surfing compared to the international level? Really good I’d say, considering Sweden being a young surfing nation without coast facing a proper ocean. It was evident that the battle for gold would be between Spain, France and Portugal. However Sweden had a great chance of becoming the best out of all northern European countries and succeeded in doing so.

Living a long happy life

Living a long happy life

Like the people in Sardinia and Okinawa, a person living on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has about twice the chance of reaching the age of 90 as a man living in the US.

Costa Rica as a country spends only a few percent of what an ordinary developed country does on health care, yet it's people appear to be living longer and seemingly having healthier lives than most countries.

But why so?

1) Smiling every day. The Costa Ricans are well known for their happy life style and big smiles. They call it Pura Vida.
2) Getting sleep
. Nicoyans sleep an average of 8 hours per day, prompted by a lack of electricity, which causes them to hit their bed early and wake with the sun.
3) Eating fresh fruits and fish. 
Ticos and ticas eat rich, colorful fruits and fresh tuna from the Pacific on a daily basis.
4) Laying in the sun. Sunny weather. Nicoyans enjoy healthy doses of daily sun, enriching their bodies with Vitamin D.

Last but not least. The surf - clear, warm water and perfect waves. Life is beautiful all day every day.

The super talented Italian photographer Mario Rubbino accompanied us on an early morning session last winter outside the ranch in Santa Teresa. 

Redefining the stereotype

Redefining the stereotype

I have a step motherly relationship to surfing contests. Progress is key in evolution. But the contest scene is for every year that passes more and more transforming into a jocked-out NHL-event with sponsor logos everywhere, Hollywood envied web-casts and the competitors on spinning bikes between their heats.

The contemporary god father of logging - Joel Tudor - surfed traditional longboard contests until the longboard scene got schizofrenic in the early new millennium.

A few years back Joel Tudor launched the epic contest format - The Duct Tape Invitational - inviting the hottest loggers in the world with a few stops around the globe, like Cote des Basque, Malibu and Noosa. Joel wanted to bring back the playfulness and the naive stoke - creating something that was on the other side of the hustling strategy spectrum of things - just exhibiting amazing and innovative surfing where the emphasis always is on style! It has been a success.

The Duct Tape-format inspired this year´s Salinas Invitational taking place the last weekend of July. Europe´s most stylish loggers as well as the master himself the Californian-bred Robbie Kegel travelled to Northern Spain to have fun and share waves. There was also a very small fish in a huge ocean, myself. Literally - they surfed my trunks off. Extremely inspiring. And a good tale or two for the nephews.

California dreaming

California dreaming

With the ambition to capture the nostalgic gleam that emerges when the California sun enlightens these sacred grounds, I leave my telephone at rest, and with the film camera around my neck I depict these historical surroundings. Sentimentality conquers common sense, and the winded ways of working with film all pays off when it comes to documenting this Metropolis of surf, thriving with tradition.

In these times of wear, tear and quick fixes, the urge for immediate access and direct feedback grows stronger with every Instagram-update. The use of film cameras and their slow, primitive features could therefore, with a rational mindset, easily be discarded as superfluous. Our relationship to Southern California however, is all other than rational.

Southern California - the breeding ground for everything style. As much as it still leads the way of contemporary surfing into the future, the incredibly dense heritage is what primarily lures us here. Traces from the past blend with boiling hot evolution, creating a new path - the shape of surf to come.

With butterflies in our tummies and way too big drip coffees in the mug holders of our pickup truck, we roam the coastline in search for the perfect peelers - the most precious morning glass offered for the day. We do not have to search for long. Churches - the spot with the almost ironically suiting name - flourishes with California gold. We paddle out on out knees and share lineup with all kinds of cats and dogs. The pioneers, the legends, the Average Joes. Everyone shares the same waves - the same love. Yet again we experience the perfect cocktail of nostalgia and new. Yet again the California dream comes true.

Surfing in style

Surfing in style

In the season's last - if Vogue magazine would be a radio programme - Swedish Radio's station's P1 Style - dedicates a full hour to discuss surfing's evolution and progression from the ancient Hawaiians to the 50-ies boom to the commersialisation in the 80-ies to the ever-growing Swedish surf scene which is today more flourising than ever. 

Sit back, listen and enjoy!

Will you keep our secret?

Will you keep our secret?

We all have our sacred places. One of the most pristine which shores we reached, is the Keltic hills filled with eucalyptic trees and dolphin infested sheltered bays. A beauty second to none. Pretty much the last untouched part of Europe - sitting on the tip of the Iberian peninsula - Galicia.

It has been our Summer home for the last few years and tomorrow we will set sails and begin our journey to where the waves make Californians blush of envy and loggers from around the world question themselves - is this for real?

Last year our good friend and surf photographer Mikael Pilstrand tagged along for a few epic days - in his images he reveales some of the magic which is still for most people yet to be experienced.

Surf trunks for cool cats

Surfakademin teamed up with our good buddies at the most awesome Swedish clothing brand - Uniforms for the Dedicated - and together, through R&D around the globe the last 12 months - we have now come up with the magic formula for the ultimate surf trunk - or rather a range of eco-friendly trunks to be worn in the ocean and on land.

Uniforms for the Dedicated shares Surfakademin's devotion to explore life’s opportunities, sharing amazing experiences, self-discovery and breaking new ground - important components in order for a colab to be on fire.

The Duke surf trunk has a retro fit inspired by the sundrenched beaches in southern California in the late 60's, early 70's - blending beach and city hang out, in a durable quick-dry fabric. 

 

Back in Biarritz

Back in Biarritz

From a country in brown and gray to a burst in green and blue with a salty tweak. With the surf vans we left the rugged Nordics in early May for Biarritz and our summer dream. As we crossed one country after another we got to experience spring time in a rapid pace.

Finally we reach our croissant and seaweed smelling place we have named our second home.

When you’ve been away from a beloved a long time there is this urge to explore the full body and mind. What is new? What has changed? Can you still find those spaces that define your mutual love? So we drive around, visit our favorite restaurants, say ’Salut’ to the locals and walk the dear old streets to recap memories. But most important is the almost ceremonial beach checks to see how the waves are. How has winter treated our beloved? It turns out she is all good!

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