Af Jacob Gaston, Riders.dk
De sidste par år har det svenske firma Surfakademin afholdt skandinaviske surfcamps rundt omkring i verden. Om sommeren er basen i franske Biarritz, men flere destinationer kommer til og Surfakademin håber at flere danskere vil komme og besøge deres surfcamps.
Vi har fået et interview med en af de to stiftere af Surfakademin, Peter Sahlberg, som forleden blev svensk mester i longboard – kæmpe stort tillykke herfra! Surfakademin ser ikke surfing som en sport, men en livsstil. En livsstil som alle har fortjent stifte kendskab med.
Surfingen i Sverige har udviklet sig meget inden for de sidste par år, og Surfakademin har helt sikkert haft en finger med I denne udvikling. Hvis du kunne tænke dig en fantastisk uge eller længere tid I bølgen blå kig nærmere her: http://www.surfakademin.com og læs interviewet med Peter herunder.
I bedste surfakademin ånd: LEV – ELSK – SURF
Interview med Peter Sahlberg
1. Here at Riders.dk we have noticed how surfing has developed in Sweden over the last years. How do you see this development? What started this?
Jens and I, left for Hawaii in the mid-90ies to learn how to surf, we rented a beach house on the Northshore of Oahu and stayed for four years. We loved it. When we came back to Sweden, there were a bunch of Swedish surfers – guys coming back from school overseas and travels around the world. It was still a pretty closely knit group of people. When we a few years later founded Surfakademin in 2005/2006 the number of Swedish surfers had grown. A lot of guys learning how to surf but predominately doing it on a ´CT-quiver, in other words way to thin and short boards – like the pros… The shortboard trap. Surfakademin is all about heritage and celebrating the 60-ies and 70-ies, and also the Hawaiian notion that everybody can surf – longboards, small waves and pure joy – far away from the mainstream competitive format. We have pushed longboards and other “retro” boards heavily both in media, for our customers and other channels – due to the fact that people just have more fun on boards with more volume. We have since 2006 learned about 3,000 Scandinavians how to surf on our surfcamps in Biarritz in France, Galicia in Spain, Costa Rica and California. Swedes are very outdorsy people, curios, world travellers and also very trend conscious – and surfing has just popped up as being something a lot of people want to try. The majority of surfers are still mostly surfing on trips but the number of surfers back home is growing quite progressively. Due to improved wetsuits and more diverse and surfer friendly surfboards – it’s easier and more accessible.
2. It seems like your company started at just the right time.. Was it pure luck or did you see surfing develop even before the swedish people did?
It was for sure a good timing, but more of lucky coincidence that any planned grand strategy. We just wanted to travel the world surfing and spread the aloha and stoke that we got out of surfing to Scandinavians.
3. How did you come across the idea of creating a surf traveling company? What is the story behind the project?
Jens and I have ever since that first wave we got at Waikiki on Hawaii kind of given up our life to surfing. We just love surfing and get so much positive energy from travelling and our background is in advertising and marketing so we kind of just put everything together.
4.What is your own surfing background? Did you start to surf in Sweden?
Both Jens and I moved to Hawaii to learn how to surf in 1997 – so 15 years ago – time flies. But just as fun, well no, actually is more fun than ever!
5. The surfscene has developed in Denmark over the past few years as well and it probably will continue to develop. How do you see surfakademin’s role in the future development of surfing in Denmark?
When I lived in Göteborg we surfed quite a lot in Klittmöller. Love that place! We are super stoked to get Danes on our trips. It will be so much fun. Always great with a mix of people. I hope that Surfakademin can contribute with our perspective on surfing – that surfing is for every one – it’s all about the stoke. 6 or 60, dude or lady, super fit or pizza-junkie…
6. Tell us about your concept and which destinations you have now?
Surfakademin is today one of Europe´s leading surf travel companies. We run surf camps on four of the world’s hottest surfing destinations – Biarritz, France from April – October, Galicia, Spain in July and August, California in November and Costa Rica from December through March. So Summer never ends with Surfakademin.
The entire Surfakademin team is internationally certified lifeguards and surf instructors, trained, educated and examined by the International Surfing Association. We also have extensive experience in teaching both beginners and surfers on a intermediate level. Swedish champ and ‘QS surfer Freddie Meadows is our high performance instructor.
We have put together state of the art surf packages to all our destinations and surf camps. Our packages includes accommodation: hotel in the center of Biarritz, a beautiful villa in Galicia, a house over looking the Pacific in California and a beachfront ranch in Costa Rica. All transport on the destination, we are a mobile surf camp in both Biarritz and Galicia – cruising with our surf vans along the coast looking for the best waves of the day. The Surf lessons are conducted in small groups and we have a wide range of new surfboards. Evolution is the name of the game. We use visual media in our feedback sessions in order for our customers to progress their surfing. To avoid learning surf etiquette the hard way, we carefully go through how you should respond in different situations, general water safety and surf theory – that is definitely much more fun than it sounds. The only thing that is not included is airfare.