Words by Hannah Bailey
We bumped into Erika Lindberg when she was over in London this summer for Rekorderlig’s Midsummer House. Stealing someone’s skateboard so she could cruise to the park, she makes the most of any opportunity to get on board! The Swedish beauty inspired us with her tales of adventure; she’d just got back from Bali and spends most of her time in Hawaii. She is the dictionary definition of a free spirit and we love that! The Roxy sponsored kite surfer is also an avid snowboarder, skater, free diver, surfer…you name, she’s does it! Read on to be inspired…
You always look as though you are all over the place, having fun in the sun. So where in the world are you right now and what have you been up to?
I try to follow the summer and the wave season around the world. I spent last winter in Hawaii, then caught the end of the winter swell season on Barbados. From there I went to Indonesia for the beginning of the summer swell, then to England for the Rekordelig Cider Midsummer celebration. Now I am back in Hawaii training for the kite wave World Cup in December on Maui, and training for riding big waves this winter both kiting and surfing. This year has been very exciting!
When did you first get into boardsports?
My first board experience was with a snowboard, and the first time I got to ride powder snow, I fell in love with the “board experience”…. that floaty feeling was more amazing on the snowboard than on the skis. Once I rode a snowboard I was immediately in love with the surfing feeling and I started to dream about surfing, figuring it must be a similar feeling.
Do remember your very very first board experience?
I was 15 years old and at a ski competition with my parents, I had been competing in alpine skiing since I was 8, and asked my dad to buy a second hand snowboard at a sale. It took a lot of begging and convincing, since they thought I should be focusing on my skiing career. The year after I found my older brother’s skateboard in the garage and got obsessed, I started riding it from my house to school, about 8 kilometres away.
So then how did kitesurfing come about?
I continued to compete in alpine skiing and was accepted to the most prestigious high school for training to become an Olympic skier. In my second year – I was 17 – I heard about snow-kiting from my cousin… how you could go back country skiing and let a kite pull you up the mountain. I was of course amazed by the thought so I got a second hand kite with a videotape and taught myself. This was in 2001, after that I spent a couple of years doing much surfing and windsurfing, then five years later, I learned how to kitesurf on water when I was living in Tarifa, in the south of Spain.
What’s the girls kitesurf scene like globally and your home surf spot?
In Europe in general the level is very high. In Tarifa where I lived for thee years you will find the highest level of girl kitesurfers in the world, you are always riding with two or three girls that are so good they would beat the best guys we have in Sweden! The best girls in the world are really, really good- and really awesome and cool girls.
What other boardsports do you take part in?
Surfing, skateboarding, and windsurfing
You’ve competed in all sorts of boardsports. What attracts or fuels you to do these sorts of adrenaline activities, especially kitesurfing?
What I loved that very first time riding in powder on my snowboard, is the same thing that makes me happy everyday, the feeling of being one with your board – when you are moving in perfect harmony turning on a wave or on concrete with your skateboard, it takes complete focus and really keeps you living in the moment, it is such an amazing feeling.
Do you kitesurf for a living or do you do other things too?
I am a sponsored kitesurfer, and the extreme sports world is where I make my living. In addition to competing, I do sports modelling ,photo and video shoots, right now I am working with Rekorderlig Cider for their marketing campaign. I also host and take part in sports empowerment and executive events, which are centred on my lifestyle as an extreme sports athlete. I also write for magazines, I did a collaboration writing and filming for Red Bull, and I am a photographer.
And how did you get sponsored by Roxy?
I really liked the clothes, wetsuits, bikinis and contacted them in Sweden, we were a good match so I got picked up in their team. We have done events together and it always great fun!
You were recently involved in Rekorderlig’s campaign, ‘The Collective’, how did that come about?
I was invited as one of four people in the collective, each of whom are well known public figures that represent Swedish lifestyle, a snowboarder, fashion blogger and photographer, they are very inspiring.
And what did you get up to for it?
We were working together on a film for Rekordelig’s new ad campaign, in which I am featured kitesurfing, surfing and skateboarding. Also I came to England for the Midsummer House Party, which was a really cool re-creation of a Swedish summer party in London, everything was set up traditional Swedish. It was a nice taste of home away from home. Met some great people there , DC skate team , Cooler mag 🙂 if you get the chance check it out next year.
Do you have any future projects coming up outside of being on a board?
Producing a video blog where you will be able to follow me, and designing a bikini collection!
And on a board?
In December I will be competing in the World Cup in kite wave riding in Hawaii. And I’m currently training to kitesurf Jaws, one of the most powerful big waves in the world. This next year I am focusing on exploring new training techniques for big wave riding. I have been free-diving a lot lately learning to hold my breath for a long time in case I get pulled under for a while. Right now I am holding my breath for 3 minutes and can swim down around 75 feet deep.
Where in the world is your favourite place to be?
Hawaii, I love the people, they have so much love for nature and are very warm people if you show respect for them and there home. I also love the fresh fruit and vegetables, it is easy to eat local farmed foods and I have always loved the strong community feeling of the Hawaiian islands.
And a perfect day for you?
Spending time with my loved ones, getting in the ocean, being kind to people and making them smile, eating local fresh vegetarian food from the farmers market, volunteering at the local dog shelter, skateboarding down to the beach!
What was the last picture you took?
When I finished a diving course here on Maui last weekend I found a couch on the beach, facing the ocean. It was a funny sight, and it came out as a beautiful picture with the turquoise Maui ocean in the background.
Instagram, twitter or facebook?
I love all social media, it offers so many possibilities for individuals to share and express themselves. I probably like Facebook and Instagram the most because I am a photographer… but I also Twitter.
Check me out http://www.facebook.com/ErikaLindbergOfficialPage
What other things do you enjoy doing aside from board sports?
I love hanging out with dogs – I always try to go to the local dog shelters to help out when I am travelling in different countries. I think it’s really important we all take time to help out with animals, they don’t have much say in the world, and it is up to us to look out for their well being, a little help can go along way – check with your local shelter to volunteer! I also enjoy making jewellery, taking photos, singing and different forms of art.
Finally, who are your sponsors?
Volkswagen, Roxy, Flexifoil, Xtravel
Erika is a member of the Rekorderlig collective