Defying the laws of weather: Swedish Surf Tour #1

It shouldn't even have been possible. Throwing a surfing competition on the brink of summer? That's insane!
But two brave young men decided to challenge the conventions, staying firm in the belief that decent swells would soon be rolling in on our favorite Pebble Beach, even though the calendar wasn't screaming November.

With permission from the weather gods, the help from a few sponsors and a gargantuan amount of work, it happened. Yes, it actually did happen. The guys crazy and sensible enough to take this from start to finish were Axel Cooper-Williams and Love Berggren. They also did it with flying colors.
No less than 35 surfers had signed up for the event. Timing wasn't all favorable, as we had seen a slight drain of talent with good friends escaping to Portugal and Bali only days prior to the event. Nevertheless, it was apparent that this was not to become just a family matter, as surfers arrived from all corners of the country, even from the obscure west coast of Sweden.
Others (well, that would be you, KP) were so dedicated that they (he) managed to drive down to Torö to film the first heat, then suit up, surf and qualify for the semi. There, he was lucky enough to get knocked out of the comp, rushing straight to Arlanda to fly to Portugal. Becoming a finalist wouldn't exactly have made his day.
There was also Tim Latte, consuming buckets of energy drinks to stay awake, as he had flown in from Bali not too many hours earlier. One can only speculate how he felt suddenly surfing a comp wrapped up in rubber.
A few more good men were on site, quite a few of them with podium potential, but even more notable was the number of female surfers showing up. ”This is so utterly, utterly cool”, said Sandra Jo, ”Two full qualifying heats with only women! I doubt that this has previously happened in Sweden!”
Creating some of the loudest oohs and aahs of the day were the longboarders, who walked the plank in style and really tore the Torö swell apart in the classiest way possible. Can't personally remember when I saw battleships maneuvering like this in Swedish waters.
But at the end of the day, it was Joel Den-Besten who taught us all a lesson in how to catch more waves than anyone else. Large or tiny, he used and abused them to his advantage in typical aggresive Joel-y style.
”Damn... how is he able to pull those off with such ease?” said one of the Torö legends (I promise that you shall remain nameless this time, Arvid) as we were watching Joel's first heat. Says Joel: ”Everything just came together on this day. I mean, Torö bathing in sun with those waves reminding me of an onshore summer session back at home. What more could you ask for? Today, the big difference between here and Macmasters was wearing 5 mm of rubber.”
At the prize ceremony, many acknowledged the efforts of the organizers. Thank you again, Axel and Love for being crazy enough. You guys deserve every bit of cred for this.
Hopefully this Sunday competition was a forecast of things to come. Maybe summer in Sweden isn't such a bad idea after all...?

Swedish Surf Tour leg #1, Torö – results:

Open

1. Joel Den-Besten
2. Tim Latte

3. William Backman
4. Mats Mjöberg

Dam

1. Linn Birnbo

2. Sandra Johansson
3. Linnéa Birnbo

4. Ingrid Esser

Longboard

1. Roger Barros

2. Stéfan Estassy
3. Johan Cargelius
4. Gavin Hamblin

Words and pics: Hakan Nyberg
Intraweb: www.hakannyberg.com
Insta-thing: @hknnyberg

You may have noticed that the word 'stoke' was not used even a single time in the text above. 

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