Sweden is one of those spots that defies logic when it comes to wakeboarding. The actual riding season is short and even in the summer any Floridian would tell you that it’s cold. It’s not unbearable, but it approaches the point where your motivation drops a bit and you may second guess going for that new trick you wanted to learn.
When I arrived in Stockholm, I was picked up by my two friends, Marie and Johan, and quickly shuttled back to their home. The plan for the day was to hop into their boat and cruise around the city center. The Stockholm area is actually a massive archipelago and to get a true understanding of how the city is structured, you should really see it by boat.
For the next couple of hours, we toured the canals of this gorgeous city. The waterways were alive, but everything seemed busier on land. This probably had to do with the GLBT parade that was taking place that afternoon.
The next day we did a little more sightseeing, but finished off the day with a little sunset shred. We brought the boat back into this nice secluded area and took turns riding until it was dark.
So after playtime was over in Stockholm, it was time to get to the clinics. One of my other friends, Fredrik, organized a boat for us to use that was further inland, so we loaded up the car in the morning and made our way to this amazing body of water. This area promised perfect conditions. There were trees on every shoreline and every possible wind condition was covered. Even then it didn’t matter since there wasn’t any wind. Unfortunately, we had other elements to battle with...rain, and lots of it.
The cold weather and rain didn’t slow us down though. We all piled into the boat, put wetsuits on and did everything that we could think of to stay warm. I really wish that I had photos, but since it was raining the entire 6+ hours, I decided that the camera wasn’t coming out. Even though the weather was really working against us, we all had a great time riding. Everybody was determined to learn new moves and it turned out to be a really productive day.
After the clinic, Fredrik and I loaded up into the car and drove down to Gothenburg where we had organized another clinic. Everything started a little slow that morning since the winds were howling, but later that afternoon the river glassed off and gave us perfect conditions. It was another successful day of riding highlighted by Fredrik stomping his first heelside 5. It was big, clean and perfect.
We had one last thing planned for my time in Sweden and that was to check out "The Perfect Spot." We drove a little ways out of Gothenburg to get to this small private lake run by O’Brien rider Mattias Hoppe and his family. This wasn’t your normal private lake. This was more like a riding compound with a mini ramp, an in-ground trampoline and a System 2.0 running the length of the lake. There were boards scattered throughout the yard and riders lined up waiting their turn. We spent the entire day hanging out lakeside watching the guys charge the kickers.
When Mattias and his brother rode, they really stepped it up and showed us how The Perfect Spot was supposed to be ridden. They were hucking themselves all over the place with massive glides, 7's, 9's and different mobes. You name it and they were on it. They made me feel like my backside 5 was a beginner's trick. It was awesome to watch. Definitely keep an eye out for Mattias. I’ve got a feeling that we’ll be seeing more of him in the future.