Sweden is a hidden gem of a place for Extreme Sports, perhaps it's the colder climate but all we know for sure is there is some true beauty in the landscapes, the conditions and the community there. Supported by She Flies with some yummy goodies, our affiliate Anna Faber with Sofia Hilton ran a brilliant camp by Öland Kiteskola with the Kiteboard Centre Sweden for Women this September with not one, but two World Class strapless riders Jalou Langeree and Johanna Catarina Edin, to inspire and encourage the 12 guests that joined the camp.
Anna gave us an awesome write up of how the weekend went, which you can read all about it here.
The camp was hosted by Anna and Sofie for Öland Kiteskola with the Kiteboard Centre Sweden support on the beautiful Island of Öland. And whilst it was due to start in the afternoon on the Thursday, the ladies saw the epic forecast due from 7am and by 8am, we already had these super early birds on the water at Köpingsvik, hitting up the nice little kickers the mother nature delivered.
We stayed in Strandnära (here) for the weekend and it was absolutely amazing. Everyone felt like at home from the moment they arrived, the ladies were taken care of so well, the rooms were super cozy and the food was just incredibly good; all organic, locally grown and vegetarian. Jalou, the foodie, felt like she was in heaven!
We gave the ladies some time to check in before we gathered on the front porch for some bubbles and to really start to get to know each other. We introduced ourselves, who we are, where we come from - with a hugely diverse group of all nationalities and ages - and sharing our level and ambitions with kitesurfing.
It's always a perfect start to a camp, and with dinner followed by the infamous 118ft of freedom movie by Jalou and Cat, we kicked off the camp with true inspiration already.
Of course, we always have to react and rely on the wind so this day, the forecast looked amazing for Grönhögen (a new spot) from lunchtime onwards, so we started off with an early morning yoga session outside in nature with the morning sun in our faces followed by a beautiful breakfast by Strandnara again, we're sure everyone will still be thinking about months after the camp…
The beach was awesome, for our first official session of the camp, Jalou and Cat were giving tips and coaching to all the girls. It made such a huge difference to the ambition in the womens riding and you could see the progression in just one day! Women having sessions with Women, being supported and coached by inspriational women, it makes a difference, truly.
The team were tired after a full on afternoon and another beautiful dinner, some cozy conversation with a cup of tea and it wasn't long before we were off to bed.
Today we had to play with a no wind day, so we treated ourselves with a little lie in followed by another beautiful yoga session in the morning sun and that delicious breakfast we had grown to anticipate.
No wind days can be frustrating at times but this one was no were near, we talked down to the beach and focused on some safety, it's such an important aspect of Kitesurfing and something we often forget from our first official lessons. We learnt about self-rescue, self-launch and landing, packing down the kite, and Jalou and Cat were sharing their personal stories about how important it is to know the safety procedure and to check your own gear and feel safe with it. It just goes to show the importance and it was inspiring to hear from these experienced professionals.
Of course, no wind doesn't mean relaxation as after a quick packed lunch, we popped to the next village for a Swedish FIKA Bike Ride! The beautiful country side and a community of women made it an awesome way to spend the afternoon.
The ladies might have thought the day ended there but we had a surprise activity up our sleeves for the early evening, a Bowls tournament no less! Ok, it's not so sporty but it was such a great way to build ourselves as a team, together. We followed it with a really great dinner at the local restaurant, this was where we saw the group really bond.
The final day and sadly some of the guests left early but the rest of us started the last day right with another Surf Session. It was light wind and whilst not quite enough for a crazy power, it was a good light wind technique tester!
We did so much in just four days and the women were stoked with the support, the progression and the people around them. We had such a wonderful group to hang out with on this Women's Adventure weekend. We laughed a lot and shared a lot. We have no doubt that everyone will look back on it with fond memories, Sofia and I are still boosting with energy with makes all of the hard work so worth it.