Meet Pontus Johansson and Linus Eliasson. Although these two swedish surfers may not be connected by direct bloodline, given the time they have spent in the surfline together they are most certainly connected by water.
Whoever said blood was thicker than water…?
From: Halmstad, SwedenFavourite surfing destination: Indonesia
Favourite surf spot: Killers
Quiver: Divine surfboards (P. Rodriguez / Ericeira). My favourite shape at the moment here in Costa Rica is a 6.2 x 18.37 x 2.37 (for fast waves ) and a bubble 5.10 x 19.75 x 2.40 (for slow, fat waves).
Music track I am listening to right now:
Chilled out tunes to ease the tension in between the sessions.
“My name is Linus Eliasson, and I’m a 23 year old ”boy” that simply loves to surf. I’m from a town in Sweden called Halmstad. I started to surf in Halmstad when I was 15 years old, but I didn’t really figure out what surfing was before i started to travel about 1-2 years later.. but from then on I was completely hooked.”
Music track I am listening to right now: Awolnation – Sail
“Hello hello, my name is Pontus johansson, I am 23 years old as well. In about four weeks I am emigrating to Australia to score some really big waves. My passion for surfing first developed when I lived in Los Angeles in the year of 2008, this year simply thought me how to live my life to the fullest and showed me what to focus on onwards.”
How did you two first start surfing, and how did you meet?
Linus: I met Pontus for the first time about 10 years ago, but it took some years until we figured out we had the same passion for surfing. We started to work together when we were 17 years old in a restaurant in Halmstad; we were doing the dishes at that time… and not to brag or anything… we are probably the best at it… in the world.
How many days a year do you reckon youspend in the surf? And how do you get the chance to live out your wet dream?
Linus: I’ve almost spent my 5 last years travelling and the last 3 years I’ve been surfing a lot. I reckon a little bit over 300 days a year and atleast two sessions a day, which has been a dream come true. Lapoint Camps helps me out a lot in terms of making me have the chance to live it. Working as a camp manager/surf instructior is fun, and I truly get to cheerish the time I spend it the water… it is truly worth its weight in gold to me. This is in many ways my life long dream, and I am living it.
In amongst seasons with Lapoint (Portugal, Morocco, Costa Rica ++) I like to travel to other places as well surfing there or even at home with my dear friends and family.
What are your favourite surfing destinations? Favourite surfing spots?
Linus: Tough question as there’s so many! Morrocco and Taghazout is one of my favourite places. There are so many waves and the people are friendly… a genuinely nice atmosphere. Killers is forever going t be one of my favourite waves. Indonesia is one of my favourite surf areas as well. I’ve spent about a year in total amongst different waves down there. And I can’t forget about Costa Rica and all those beachbreaks filled with waves made out of the uttermost perfection.
But a good day at home in Halmstad… with 15 m/s wind blowing onshore (or sideshore… or both if you’re lucky) and a lot of frends around, nothing can beat that..
Your best surfing experience(s)?
Linus: Me and Pontus had a great day at Jojo’s on Sumbawa, Indo, when we traveled around between islands there. One early morning we were sitting outside the break, totally alone, no one out yet… it was quiet… too quiet. Then suddenly a big set charged and Pontus found himself in the best position. He dropped in and had the barrel of his life! I just heard a cheeful ”wiiiihooooo” and I was thinking ” Shit shit shit for missing that one!” but I was very happy for him though… haha.
We surfed the biggest waves on Killers for sure, the swell was pumping last season. It was actually what was deemed ’unsurfable’ as one of those big December swells mixed with a lot of wind; but Pontus and me got into the car on the hunt for glory… and fun.
We first drove straight past Killers, as it looked onshore and not too good, but then as we had just passed it I had a proper ’lightbulb’ moment of enlightenment, and I just knew that Killers would be worth check out.
When we came back, we both went: ”Shiiiiieeet!” The waves were massive, and the wind had dropped off quite a bit. Pontus was the first one in, and the currently quickly grabbed him, making him go fast in the wrong direction, all the way towards Mystery before he could come back to the line up. Seeing this, I decided to jump from the cliffs instead, and I came out really fast inbetween 2 sets, saving me loads of energy for a day filled with the biggest, glassiest waves of our lives. We were merely 4 lucky guys out that day; Pontus, Luca Guichard, a peruvian guy and myself.
Any dodgy experiences while travelling around the globe?
Linus: I had one sketchy wipeout at Anchor Point in Morocco, where I took off a little bit to deep and nose dived and rolled down the face of the wave. When I emerged to the surface I was just 10 m from the rocks, and the waves kept rolling in. Not funny there and then, but I live to tell the tale.
Pontus: I was photographing a friend (Yassine) while he was doing some mean aerials one day. Later that night while I was editing the pictures I suddenly noticed a fin in the background, 200 meters outside the break… dodgy, and after looking it up we realized that it had been a killer whale we had been surfing with.
«When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”
Mark Wengler – Danish photographer and waterman. The time when I have spoken to a man more passionate about the ocean and the waves eludes me – his drive perhaps only rivaled by one of his Danish brethren, Christoffer “super stoked” Hartkopp.
I exchanged words with him about life, about how his relationship with the ocean changed in a split second – and of course, about his phenomenal photos.
Hi there Mark! Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
MW: Well, how does one normally start these sort of things? I’m 54 – and live in Hellerup, north of Copenhagen, Denmark, together with my daughter, Marie, and our little dog, Inez.
I used to be a VERY passionate windsurfer, but a serious traffic accident changed my life. I got a very bad neck injury in a split second… While sitting in my car waiting for a red light to change, I was suddenly hit by a big truck who rammed violently into me from behind, which consequently launched my car out in to the crossroad section, where a bus came from the left side and hit my car AGAIN.
From that moment on, surfing was removed from my life for ever. After that I had a really difficult time mentally and I’m still suffering from monster headaches – but I could have ended up in a wheelchair.. or even died!! Luckilly, I’m still alive – the rest is just a matter of trying to stay positive and enjoy every moment… because we never know what tomorrow brings.
Wow, that sounds like quite a crazy accident – we are glad you are still here with us! You have an amazing talent when it comes to photography – when did your passion for taking photos kick in?
MW: Thank you. After spending 4-5 years struggling with the fact that I couldn’t enjoy the ocean like I used to, I slowly began to develop an interest for fly fishing, it gave me a whole new outdoor approach in a very “dark period” of my life.
Suddenly I was able to enjoy the outdoor life again, and it was through fly fishing my photographic interest slowly developed. One day an old windsurfing friend of mine asked me why I didn’t shoot some action photos of surfing. At first, I simply couldn’t handle it… having been torn from my passion of windsurfing and all.. but then he more or less “tricked” me (That f**king bastard!!! Haha, just kidding – really love him for it today!). We got in the car and “somehow” we ended up at the North Coast on a windy day. A day perfect for windsurfing.
I felt “reborn“, it was pure medicine for my sad soul, and I really enjoyed every single moment of that day. Meeting old friends, the light reflecting in the ocean, the powerful wind chiming in my ears. I closed my eyes for a second, and could suddenly hear them thundering upon the beach… the waves. O’ how I had missed them.
The waves changed everything. It suddenly struck me how much I had missed them. Missed the simplest of actions, just looking at the waves – admiring them. Forever changing, never the same shape. Their dynamic flow – how they build up, the joy of spotting them further out, finding the peak of every wave. You know, it’s all about the motion of the ocean. Can’t live without it!
Your passion for the ocean is moving, Mark. Really makes one think. You hang out a lot with the top danish surfers – what is it like, and do you have any words of praise for them?
MW: I generally really enjoy the company of all kinds of surfers worldwide, as most of them have a really free and positive spirit. Always tuned into the weather forecast, always in search for the perfect swell…
… ” But… of course I feel very much at home in my natural habitat amongst the Danish windsurfers, since that is where I first set my surfing roots. Lately I have followed Chris Hartkopp and his brother, Oliver. The company of these two brothers is such an immensely positive experience. ” …
They are just pure ocean spirits, with a constant “red alert” energy level. Chris is joining the european tour this year, and from what I saw of him in Portugal, he has a really good chance of positioning himself amongst the top in the european surf scene. Really got my fingers crossed for his success. Oliver is also a HUGE talent and he has developed a lot the last year after he moved to Klitmøller – he is much stronger and solid in his approach. An aura of confidence about him. It’s going to be really interesting to follow these two brothers the next couple of years.
Shooting so many photos it must be hard to decide which one is your best photo EVER. Still, do you have a favorite surf photo, and if so, can you tell us the story behind it?
MW: Ohh yes, so true – with 14 frames / photos shot per second I have to be very selective, otherwise my hard-drive will quickly freak out and send out smoke signals for help…
Over time, I have more or less experienced that out of approximately 1000 shots, only a few will really “stand out”. So, it’s a matter of being selective.
I love black and white (BW) shots, my daughter who is also a photo artist (www.mariewengler.com) taught me how to enjoy the raw power of BW. Answering your question, I have one picture in mind and there is a fun story behind it… A couple of years ago we arrived for an “early bird surf session” in Sweden, at one of my absolute favorite spots over there in our “Brother Nation”. The light conditions were not the best yet, but nice waves were rolling in constantly. I stressed into the right position and somehow I didn’t get the camera adjusted quite right, but somehow it gave this shoot a bit of a magic touch. Worst thing was I almost deleted it, but then my daughter luckily caught a glimpse of it and showed me some of the BW editing possibilities which made it one of my favorite shoots ever.
Your surf photos from Portugal looked amazing! Are you off for any other exciting photoshoots in the near future?
MW: Yes, I’m planing to go back to Portugal in october for sure, to shoot some nice photos and watch the ASP PRO series down there. Portugal really stole my heart. Ericeria, where I stayed, is a very unique little town, with so much charm and atmosphere. Cliche, but it was love at first sight. Putting that aside.. there are a bunch of interesting events I want to follow. The Copenhagen Pro Skate event in end July is a must! Most of the pros are showing up and it’s a really calm and relaxed event – with such a unique atmosphere.
Where can superstoked readers see more of your work?
Rocking out with Joana Rocha in the Chill in Ericeira Surfhouse.
The Portuguese surf beauty, Joana Rocha, Jo amongst friends, is perhaps best known for being a professional surfer and athlete – ranked 10th in the ASP Europe rankings in 2012 – but only recently she has added another grand title to her CV – surf lodge owner!
The Chill in Ericeira surfhouse was officially opened in april/may 2013, and has already become a great success amongst its visitors. The main crew behind the idea of creating the lodge is Daniela Machado, Joana Rocha and Edoardo Cavarretta – and they also have the most friendly, lovely staff.
Hi Joana! Congratulations with the opening of the Chill in Ericeira surfhouse! How good does it feel to see it in all its beauty?
J: It is so amazing to see the happiness on their faces! Pure joy! All the guests say that the Surfhouse looks much better in real life contra the photos, so everyone should come and have a look for themselves. 😉
The Chill in Ericeira Surfhouse offers an amazing view over Ericeira.
How did the idea behind the Chill in Ericeira surfhouse start?
J: I stopped to compete on ASP Women’s Star Events this year… so, I wanted to work on something nice which involved surfing. Turned out I was in luck as two of my friends, Daniela Machado and Edoardo Cavarrettta also wanted to work within this area. We decided to start up a business doing a surfhouse but made sure that it was different and unique to the ones that already exist in Portugal. The result; Chill in Ericeira surfhouse!
We really love the design and interior of the surfhouse. Can you tell us a little bit about the surfhouse? What facilities do you have at site?
J: First of all, the Surfhouse has an amazing view. From the windows of the rooms you can see the surf spots and even the most western point in Europe – “Cabo da Roca”. The decoration is really different, we focused on vibrant colors, original furniture, cozy atmosphere and a general feeling of well-being.
Chill In Ericeira have vacancy for 30 people – with a variety of rooms, including Twin Rooms, Double Rooms and Shared Rooms. We also have a terrace with the most beautiful view of the village, BBQ area, games room, Wi-fi in all areas of the Surfhouse (rooms included), night life guiding, surf lessons, a lot of activities and the most important thing… a lot of FUN!!! 😀
What is the one thing you love most about Ericeira?
J: It is the best place to live if you surf! 😉
Where can the Superstoked readers learn more about your surfhouse?
“Helisurfing in Alaska.” Taste that combination of words. Pretty amazing isn’t it? Forget about heliskiing. All the cool kids are swirling around up there in helicopters, clutching on to their surfboards as they gaze across the arctic surf scenery which is the cold unforgiving Alaska.
It looks hella cool.
What?! I didn’t even know one cold surf in Alaska!
Well, you can. It is the stuff that dreams are made of essentially. Crispy, cold dreams that will melt like a fudgsicle right there in your mind’s eye. Chilling, but absolutely beautiful. It combines three things that are not often associated with each other; helicopters, arctic climate and surfing. Thrown in to the brewing pot, they have resulted in a new phenomenon: helisurfing. The helicopter will get the surfers to absolutely desolated areas with magnificent surf, no one in the line-up and pure arctic bliss.
Helisurfing in Alaska – practical information.
If this article has triggered your interest enough to actually go out there and try this, then there are a few things you should know. First of all, it is a big con – the price. Renting someone to fly you around in a helicopter doesn’t come cheap, no matter where you are or who you are. In Alaska, US, you should estimate about 2000 dollars / hour. Which is not a price the average surfer would be comfortable with, but if you are seeking out something new for your bucket list – then this should definitely be on it, no matter what. Another factor to bring in to the equation is the cold – it can be difficult to apprehend just how ghastly minus 15 degrees and a bit of wind can be. A pre-trip preparation to Norway or similar cold climate is recommended to adjust: VisitNorway.com – you will have to go in wintertime though, as that is the only time that the polar bears roam the streets of Oslo.
They are spectacular…
Scott Dickerson Photography
The photography in this article is brought to you by Scott Dickerson, an incredibly talented photographer that we in Superstoked absolutely love. We are hoping to catch some words with him in an interview / photo montàge. If he is up for that.
Get on the latest trend: Helisurfing. All the cool kids are doing it…
What are your thoughts on helisurfing? You up, up, up for it?
Meet the Badfish Booty Girls – the fantastic trio behind the up and coming Badfish Booty design and jewelry, which is taking Hollywood by storm.
It was the fantastically whimsical summer of 2000 that planted the seed for the incredible Badfish Booty journey that was to unveil…and still is. The air was ripe with anticipation and endless possibilities. The anthem was Sublime CD’s on repeat until we had to buy new ones due to overuse. It was the feeling that these groovy tunes belonged in our bones, in our souls and we were not quite sure how life existed before the lyrics “summertime and the livin’s easy”. This undeniable chemistry of feeling one with something is the identical magic that brought our friendship closer than Bradley and Lou Dog during this plunge into our teen years. When the three of us would get together, we called ourselves “badfish”, and together we represented the essence of this nickname with pride. We belonged in the water and took full advantage of the curiosity and exploration this new decade was promising.
We are Kate Hooven, Rachel Rife, and Rebekah Rife; a trio of soul sisters bitten by the travel bug who have been trotting California, the United States, and the world together since we can remember. It was long careers as synchronized swimmers that catapulted our friendship, but our vibrant imaginations, love for all things beach and a co-owned jewelry and clothing company called ‘Badfish Booty’ that have kept the bond very tight. Our hopes and dreams are to explore every inch of the world to better understand the diverse and mysterious places so many call home. We feel honored to be able to share with you our journeys, tales and adventures of the destinations that have kept our vagabonding spirits alive and thirsty. We hope that perhaps you feel inspired to check out a Badfish Booty Blog hotspot in the near future.
ST. JOHN ~ USVI ~ CARIBBEAN WONDERLAND ~ LOVE CITY
The United States is blessed to call the US Virgin Islands (USVI’s) their own paradise located in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The USVI’s consist of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. All of these islands are surrounded by many other British Virgin Islands, some so close that it is possible to dive in the water and take a nice swim over to the other side…that is if you brought your passport in a Ziploc. While they are each unique and different the small mysterious gem of St. John has stolen our hearts and we can’t go back enough. Covered in 2/3 Virgin Island National Park, this paradise is rich with life and history. As you cruise on the short ferry ride from St. Thomas to St. John you are immediately greeted with rum shots and friendly locals. The first things one might notice is the diverse eclectic mix of people and that rum that is cheaper than orange juice or milk at the local market. On an island where most things are shipped in, why not stick to the real local product…RUM….and the drink of the island… called Pain Killers! Many parts rum, with a splash of cream of coconut, orange juice, pineapple juice, shaken aggressively and fresh grated nutmeg on top. This drink embodies the cruisy delicious vibrations of the island and with just one sip you may find no reason to leave your hammock or sea foam green Adirondack chair for the rest of the warm humid afternoon. Choosing a beach is easy to do, you can’t find a bad one. There is beautiful Trunk Bay, popular for sunset weddings and its underwater trail. Cinnamon is right around the corner and picks up a decent swell every once and awhile. On Sundays you can catch locals fishing out of volleyball nets from the bushes or teenage boys running skim boarding contests. Really any beach you choose is a fantastic option, just don’t forget your cooler and to clean up after yourself.
On this island a rental car is a must, and with the hilly rugged terrain the best thing to do is rent a Jeep Wrangler. While hitchhiking isn’t frowned upon, it may not be the most reliable mode of transportation. The busier side of the island where visitors are dropped off hosts the biggest city on St. John called Cruz Bay. Here there is a stimulating multitude of bars, amazing seafood restaurants and souvenir shops where everything is walking distance. At nighttime this city comes alive with reggae and other soulful rhythms. Our favorite bar here might have to be Quiet Mon where rasta meets Irish littered with photos of all the good times. The best jewelry store to pick up the local hook ring or bracelet at fair prices is Free Birds and local grub spot is Cactus in the Blue owned by an amazing couple that ditched mainland for the Caribbean dream.
Hitching a ride across the island (8 tuff miles to be exact), you end up at a more colorful local side, Coral Bay. But this journey is no walk in the park. While concentrating on keeping left, passing idyllic mansions of Kenny Chesney or a cluster of Eco-tents, one must also dodge donkeys, goats, hikers, one very large pig and not to mention the Bus that gets the “most creative” award with the middle line. And for the poor soul that gets stuck behind a cement truck on a steep hill…better have the extra insurance! Coral Bay is a destination of gentle souls, pirates, salty dogs, musicians, artists (Annie Caswell and Sloop Jones), philanthropists, professional drinkers and a pretty mellow bunch. The harbor is filled with sailboats, some as homes others as cruisers. Silver Cloud, a 110-year-old Tall Ship, is undoubtedly the landmark of the harbor. This timeless piece built in 1899 and used as a rum runner during the Prohibition, endured sinking in Michigan, being rescued by missionaries and finally being brought to St. John by Elliot Cook Hooper in 1987 (a true descendant of Captain Cook). Upon arrival into Coral Bay, one notices the harbor ahead and fork in road boasting clusters of signs, known as “The Triangle”.
Choosing to go left, you pass a field dominated by either a herd of 50 whining goats or a roaming family of donkeys and on some Tuesdays a battle with the local ultimate Frisbee teams for field space. On your left you have the historical Monrovian Church (constructed in 1750) and an opening to the Johnny Horn Trail, a beautiful jungle-type hike connecting Coral Bay to the “other side”. Here you will also see one of our favorite marina front spots to hang out, Skinny Legs, deemed “A pretty OK place”. Inside you may find yourself bonding with friends over a game of horseshoes and a mouthwatering burger or a Greek salad. The crowd is a colorful bunch ranging from multimillion-air yachters to wayward tourists to your local pot dealer. Once you have had your share of rum drinks you can mosey on out through a couple shops for some local threads. Jolly Dog is home to rasta piratey swag with a kick of Vermont humor. Continuing on past Skinny’s, you venture into the unknown of the East End, the most desolate unpopulated side of the island. With rolling hills filled with hippies and naturalists this slice of the island may be the most pristine, untouched and magical; definitely worth the trek.
Now if you chose to go right at the triangle, you will pass what some call the “Star Wars Bar”, Island Blues. A great place to listen to live music, but on most nights you’ll find some strange looking characters with little to no teeth, generally resembling something out of “The Empire Strikes Back”. A couple trees down, lays Cocolooba shopping center, home to Aqua Bistro and friendly boutiques. Aqua Bistro is famous for its Boston native Chef MJ, the spectacular ponzu tuna he whips up and their great happy hour. In the artsy spirit of Coral Bay, you will find live entertainment on any night of the week. Whether it is the smooth duo of Lauren and Bo (our favorites), the soulful Luba, local Inner Visions, or funky Ish, you will not leave without your ears being serenaded. Continuing on, leaving Coral Bay you will stumble upon a cluster of cars gathered at Salt Pond, an exquisite bay hosting crystal clear water full of fish and Caribbean lobster. Adjacent to the Bay is a huge salt pond where locals treat themselves to a very “organic” smelling mud bath. The mud, heavy in salt crystals, exfoliates and tones your skin leaving it feeling baby butt smooth. Once the spa treatments are done, you can throw on some hiking shoes and head up Ramshead. Mostly popular for its spiritual vibrations on full moon nights, this hike is more like an unchartered treasure map with no clear path directing you up. As the story goes, the slaves led a revolt and were pushed back to Ramshead. They had the option of going back to slavery or jumping the shear cliffs to a rocky, watery freedom. The majority didn’t think there was an option, and they bravely jumped off the rocks freeing themselves from their oppression. With this history, the presence of these souls still echo through the wind and waves.
In addition to Ramshead, the Reef Bay Trail is one you definitely don’t want to miss. Starting off the main road in the middle of the island, it twists through Sugar Mill ruins and jungle, one of the lone St. John beaches with a surf break, Reef Bay, and spits you out at Lameshur Bay, a serene hideaway. One of the finger trails off the main path will bring you to a mysterious freshwater pond. During the right time of year, this pond turns into a cascading waterfall donned with wild orchids and petroglpyhs carved onto the rocks. The origins of these carvings are unknown but some say they were created by the Taino Indians, while others say these markings are closely related to African heritage, meaning, “Plunge in to cleanse and dissolve away impurity and trouble; this is water for ritual ablution before devotions”. Either way, the energy embodied in this water and atmosphere is most definitely positive.
Chartering a sailboat on St. John is a must. The day trip that is vitalin our opinion is a nice sail over to Jost Van Dyke, a close British Virgin Island. The mind-baffling thing is that this island has even more clear vibrant blue water due to very little population and pollution. Here the customary thing to do is an all day pub-crawl of the beach-lined bars. Yes this day gets intense but the only way to prepare is to stick a couple twenty-dollar bills in your bathers, jump off the boat and start swimming to One Love Bar. Here get the local fix of fresh blended Bushwackers and enjoy the decor of shipwreck and the kindest family running the joint with no shame in a modest top off of extra rum. Next a light stroll will land you at the infamous Soggy Dollar Bar that boast the original Pain Killer. Maybe it’s their ever so secret proportions or the satisfaction that you get to keep the awesome cups these delicious beverages are poured in, but Soggy Dollar Bar does not disappoint. As you contemplate leaving for the next stop on the beach bar crawl, they leave you thinking, “We are going to come back before our soggy dollar swim back to the boat, right?”
A light swim will land you at the next mind-blowing establishment called Ivan’s Stress Free Bar. The name says it all. Not one employee, just a fully stocked bar, you as the bartender and an honor box to throw in some bucks of what you think you owe. Groovy or groovy? The walls are tagged with writings from all the visitors, and if you plan ahead you can stay at the hostel in the back or bring your own tent to pitch. Perfection. Our best advice for this unforgettable day is to stay hydrated, soak in the simplicity, have a good lounge under the magical trees and plan your sail back home with the glistening sunset. On your way home, stopping at Sandy Spit is a requirement. Ever see those Corona commercials, on pure white sandy beaches with nothing but turquoise water and not a soul around? Well, this is that place. A small little spit of perfection right smack in the middle of the US and British Virgin Islands. Just a couple stops over rests Norman Island. Within its harbors lies an old pirate ship by the name of Willy T. Tie your vessel up to this rowdy sight and let the fun begin. Enjoy some amazing pirate food, but make sure you behave or they will make you walk the plank…for real! And as the rumor has it, there are T-shirts to be won for the ladies that jump off the plank commando…but you didn’t hear that from us! The weather is here, wish you were, beautiful!