Erik Hakman is one of the most popular Swedish freestyle windsurfers. The skinny 29 year-old Nordic loves to spin and pop around at Fiskeback, his favourite home spot near Gothenburg. He loves freestyle windsurfing at this beautiful spot, which is surrounded by huge rocks and little islands off the coast. Erik also loves to teach and motivated a lot of windsurfers from his area to try out new things and raised their skill levels on board.
Watch Erik’s latest clip with some of his best summer action. In addition we caught up with Erik for an interview.
Great freestyle windsurfing action at Fiskebäck by Erik Hakmann
Continentseven: What’s the best time to visit Sweden for windsurfing and what’s the warmest air and water temperature you can get?
Erik Hakman: Anywhere between early June and late August. The big storms come through in the fall, but to score conditions like in the video without having to bring your winter gear summer is your best option. Air temps usually go up to about 20°-30° degrees Celsius while water temps stay in the 16°-20° degree range.
“Fiskebäck is a real west coast classic. On a good day there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather sail.”
Continentseven: What’s special about your home spot Fiskebäck? Is it the best freestyle spot in Sweden?
Erik Hakman: Fiskebäck is a real west coast classic. On a good day there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather sail. We’ve got fun features for freestyle all over the place and the different wind directions will let you ride the spot in a totally unique way. That being said, it’s an acquired taste; depending on the day it could be either very good, or the exact opposite. I’ve had sessions here that top my best days at some of the best spots in the world. I’ve also had countless days with shifty, gusty winds and chop coming at you from all angles. If you can stick your tricks over here on any given day I’d say you’re pretty solid.
Continentseven: Did you start with freestyle windsurfing at Fiskeback?
Erik Hakman: Sure I did. Nothing but freestyle since day one, 10 years and still running.
Continentseven: How many good days do you get in a full season and what gear do you use most of time?
Erik Hakman: That varies from year to year, nowadays it’s not windy as often as it used to be. I remember scoring at least three 30 knots days per week in the summer a number of seasons ago. A quick estimate of the total amount of days over the course of a full season would be in the range of 50-100, give or take.
My preferred setup is the Starboard Flare 93 and the Avanti Echo 4.4m, that’s also what I’m riding in the video, but if the wind is on the lighter side I throw on the Echo 4.8m for some extra juice.
Continentseven: You are teaching freestyle a lot at your home spot. Did your activities grow freestyle at your spot over the last years?
Erik Hakman: Yeah, since I started running clinics and camps through my coaching business straight outta Fiskeback™ I’ve noticed that lots of people want to get into freestyle, but really don’t know where to start. To me it all comes down to the light wind work – building a strong foundation in non-planing conditions.
I started offering weekly group coaching sessions for juniors back in 2013, which got a lot of kids and young adults started. Today the Junior Freestyle Team is ripping it up with loops, switch moves and wild gecko combos. Since 2016 I’m also coaching adults based on the same concept, weekly group training sessions – Freestyle Fridays – and I can for a fact say that age is just a number; I’ve got people in their 30’s to their 60’s who’ve struggled with jibes and tacks for years on end that now fly around the bay ducking, spinning and jumping just like the juniors.
Continentseven: Are there any new windsurfers, especially kids interested in the fantastic activity? The spot is located close to the city of Gothenburg, which count more than 570.000 inhabitants?
Erik Hakman: Fiskeback is an old fishing harbour and a coastal province of Gothenburg, located just 15 minutes from the city, so there sure is a lot of potential. Mainstream sports still have the upper hand, but I feel like the interest in water sports is steadily growing. With this current steady stream of new, young and talented windsurfers on the come up right now I’d say that there’s a bright future ahead for Swedish windsurfing.
Continentseven: Where do you windsurf when it’s getting too chilly in Sweden?
Erik Hakman: Bonaire is the place to be in the winter. I always have the best time with my good friends Kiri and Taty and the rest of the crew over there. Shout outs to all the homies. For some early summer preseason action and visiting my Greek friends Stam and Anastasia Laguna Beach Park on Naxos is another favorite.
I feel like I have to throw my secret spot Lyrön into the mix even though that’s in still Sweden. Sick open ocean conditions! I’ve got another video production with material filmed exclusively at that spot in the pipeline right now. Keep a lookout, it’s set to release late September 2018.