It’s hard to be a surfer in Sweden…real hard. It’s often cold…surf days are scarce…sessions usually give you a real tease of what a proper surf in true saltwater would be like, there is seaweed, small spaces, rocks, did I say cold? And there is there is the unaccustomedness to the surf lifestyle.
Yeah, the surf lifestyle looks great from a distance for sure, happy sandals, longhair, blonde, backlit smiling free and groovy, camp fires on the beach, but it doesn’t look great in every day rigid daily life. Like when you meet your client with bloodshot eyes after they took a beating from a few hours of direct wind, saltwater and bits and pieces of seaweed so that he/she thinks you just puffed something all snoop style before your meeting. Or like saying yes than no to some birthday party that was booked back in week 2….god I hate that.
Or when you are going to have dinner with your in-laws and after the second course you are on your way out the door. Well, that happened last night. Big stormy clouds were blasting thunder and lightning, there wasn’t wind where these big clouds were, but I was eyeing my iphone weather apps while politely nodding in agreement to the conversation topics. I figured that the wind must be on, just south of the clouds. So I burned out of there.
I did feel a bit rude about it, but then again, as someone who surfs in a wave starved place where I get the equivalent of a cracker per surf sesh, I had to. And if for some reason, golf were to transform to something like surfing…where suddenly golf’s up and people would drop what they were doing to play a round…I’d have total understanding….true story bro.
Anyways, I got down to the surf, and I was right. There was waves. It would be my 12th swedish surf this year…so yeah…still starving.
Waves were of decent height but the period was a little tight, making them not really break off the outside bar and dump and close out on the inside. I had about an hour until dark and then hypothetically an hour from sun down. It was crazy, the thunderstorms were about 500m to a kilometre north the whole time, but we had sunshine and wind right where we were surfing.
Was a weird surf, I saw a small group of people and figured it was people I knew. But when I made it out to the lineup, I recognised a face or two in the water but most people I hadn’t seen before. Nobody was really talking either. Oh well, i went for some waves, most weren’t great, but I got an ok section here and there. Was on a BakedPotato 5’3, but I had my Super 5’8 prepped and ready if it started to pick up at all. It didn’t. I surfed until the lightning got a little too close for comfort and glad I did.
I got out, threw a towelie poncho sort of thing on and took off my wetsuit, jumped into my car topless and shoeless and drove to the gas station. I filled up my tank shirtless and shoeless while thunder and lightning was booming all around me. Normal attire for where I am from…in sweden…varberg…at ten o’clock on a sunday night…not so normal…not even for surf city of sweden.
When I went inside to pay…still shirtless and shoeless, the woman looked scared to death of me like I was some vagrant (hey, i had even shaved earlier for my dinner!)…must have been the bloodshot eyes.
I intiated small talk and tried to enunciate through my american on swedish accent while I went to the coffee machine, told her i just got out of the surf thanks to the thunderstorm….now it all made sense to her…a surfer. She relaxed, asked some questions about surfing which I answered politely and told me to be careful and have a good evening.
I drove home, hung up my suit, put my boards in the garage and sat in front of my computer. Pulled up the calendar to check the week’s schedule…then went to wind guru to see the long range forecast. Nothing clashing….so far.