Swedish Surfski Training Camp

Monday, 19 April 2010 07:45 | Written by  Peter Ekström
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Ekon Surfski Camp 2010 Ekon Surfski Camp 2010 Credits: Credits

[Editor: Peter Ekström, webmaster of www.globalsurfski.se, recently hosted a surfski training camp at Ekon, Sweden.  Clearly Swedish paddlers are keen (and tough) - the sea ice melted the day before the camp started...]

Team Photo - Ekon Surfski Camp 2010

We are a little crazy over here - or are we just a bunch of very enthusiastic paddling freaks? Hm, I dont know, but one thing I know for sure is that surfski paddling is here to stay!

Over-subscribed

This year’s camp invitation went "public" at the end of January and 1 month later I had 45 people signed up...And during the last 2 weeks I had to turn people down, and tell them "sorry, but the camp is already closed, because there are only 52 beds available"... Insane...

Ekon-snow

The scene at the camp venue a couple of weeks ago

You should have seen how long and cold our winter was this year, one of the worst in 100 years actually. And, this is the absolute truth, the last pieces of ice went away the same day as the camp started... The day before, the ice was still covering the first 10 meters of the shore line. But I believed in faith, and I was right...

Training Groups

The participants were devided in 3 groups, Elite, Intermediate and beginners. The Elite group (10 paddlers) was run by Tommy Karls, and he was in charge of when and how far out on the ocean they should go. Other paddlers in his group was for example Paul Rosenquist, André Santos, Jonas Fager, Ola Ström and sprint kayaker Pär Fredin)

Surfski Camp

Theory...

The Intermediate group was run by Jennie Blixt, a former sprint kayaker. Her group of approx. 15 paddlers went out paddling some 15 minutes after the elite group, and they took the same course as the elite group.

The beginner group was run by me. I had a lot of help from Mikael Berger, former sprint kayaker and also World Champion from 1985 in the K2 10000m event, and from Fredrik Lindström of Nordic Kayaks, as well as Leif Danielsson from Aterra.

Surfski Camp

...and practice!

I had to do it this way because I wanted everybody to feel safe and secure. And I think it worked out really well, at least nobody complained! You know how cold the water was... then imagine in front of you how it looks when the group of some 20 beginners are out there in the freeezing icemelt doing more then 35 re-entrys. This amazing group of people are so addicted, so enthusiastic and they want to learn how to do this NOW - no matter how cold it is...

Surfski Camp

Equipped for cold-water paddling (and swimming...)

During the camp I had 2 sessions where people could test paddle whatever boat they wanted, and test wing paddles etc. That was a success. I think everybody tried at least 1 ski, and 95% of them tried at least 5 skis...

Nordic Kayaks Fusion

The latest Nordic Kayaks Fusion (note the cockpit hood)

Nelo Surfski

Trying the Nelo Surfski

I had 20 test skis at the camp from Epic, Zedtech, Think, Nordic Kayaks, Nelo, Fenn, Ocean Kayaks, Honcho and Red7. And everybody who brought their own ski to the camp gladly let other people test them. That is so great, and you get to hear from the athletes directly why they use this or that ski, paddle etc.

Paul Rosenquist

Paul "pop my shoulder" Rosenquist

On Saturday evening, after dinner, Tommy Karls told everybody why and how he started with surfski paddling, he told us about his Molokai adventure and the joy he feels doing this.  André Santos told us why Nelo has gone in to the surfski business, and how they want surfski to grow in Europe etc. André is such a great guy and he knows how to inspire people... Finally Paul Rosenquist told us about his adventure on Mauritius and the "killer-waves" he had to deal with, and how to ride those waves.


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