COLD WATER SURFING IN SWEDEN
By Karl Roos - May 22, 2019
Sweden – One of the world’s more unusual surfing spots. In this blog article we’re travelling closer to our home and exploring the surfing spots in Skåne, Sweden.
Skåne is Sweden’s most southern state and provides pretty exciting surfing opportunities since it has coast lines facing both west, east and south.
From the Suntribe offices in Lund, we have about an hour drive to all the prime spots in Skåne. Some popular spots are Vik/Knäbäckshusen in the east, Kåseberga in the south and Mölle in the west. In this article you can see videos and pictures from both Mölle and Vik. Below is a video of a Suntribe surfing adventure in the famous east coast spot Mölle.
What it Means to Go Surfing in Sweden
Most people that surf in Sweden learned elsewhere, and got back into the hobby once they came back home. However not everyone! During our travels we’ve met Swedish surfers that both learned and became good surfers in the cold and windy conditions on offer.
One thing is for sure: Surfing in Sweden develops character. You find yourself standing naked in 0 degrees and strong winds, fumbling with the wetsuit. You get brain freezes before you’ve even reached the line-up. You get freezing water rushing through your wetsuit at every wipeout. And still, on a good day, you’re definitely not surfing alone.
As the video clearly shows, surfing in Sweden is not the picture-perfect paradise that is usually associated with the surfing sport. It’s rough and windy, and usually the best place to change into your wetsuit is crouched down behind the door of the car.
Good waves are created from wind far out at sea. The greater the distance between the origin of the waves and the coast, the better the waves usually are. This is called fetch. Sweden has very little fetch, and thus when the waves arrive to our shores the wind is in 99% of the cases still going very strong. That means that for surfing in Sweden, it’s almost always a good idea to wear a thick wetsuit, gloves, shoes and a hoodie.
The surfing community in Sweden is an interesting bunch. There’s the classic middle-aged viking surfers, rolling up in their old model Volvos, carrying anything from fun hybrid boards to classical longboards. Often with a bit of a beard full of icicles and a sly smile.
There’s the classic grommets. Younger surfers jumping around on the parking lot, almost always with small performance thruster boards. Then there’s the international crew. These surfers often look suspiciously at the harsh conditions, before realising there are no alternatives if you want a wave. Finally they get changed on the freezing parking lot.
When you learn surfing in Southern Europe, Australia, America – or really anywhere with proper surf conditions – the Swedish surf is a daunting prospect at first. However, most of these guys ultimately end up loving the experience, because it really is unique.
Surfing during Swedish Summer
Even though the waves are more consistent and generally better in the autumn and winter time, surfing in Sweden is not all icy winds and freezing waters. In the summer, you could arrive at a Swedish beach and completely loose your sense of time. The air temperature can be around 25-30 degrees Celsius, the water temperature around 20 degrees, and the sun is up until after midnight.
Last summer we had trips where we first surfed during the morning, then had a full day outside, and then around 8pm we prepared ourselves for the last session of the day. Came in the water at around 9pm and could surf in an endless sunset for another 2-3 hours before we got too tired to keep going. Then we ended it all with a fire on the beach and sleeping in tents.
In Sweden anyone can pitch a tent anywhere, so the surfing lifestyle gets another dimension and you can commonly see surfers camping out along the spots when the forecasts are talking about potential good waves.
To finish off here’s a video of our summer adventures in Southern Sweden, on this trip we went to Knäbäckshusen on the East Coast. It was the only surf that year where we saw people surfing without wetsuits. Enjoy!
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