Catching the Cold
Swedish surfer Freddie Meadows takes on the numbing cold waves of the Baltic Sea. Surfer versus nature, set in a magical winter wonderland.
”Coastlines are often the most magical and beautiful parts of a country. Being a surfer, you get to see remote areas of your country that the average person may never get to see. Especially during times you should be inside due to harsh weather. It's a beautiful thing surfing world-class waves in a winter wonderland.
I always get so excited and eager when I know waves are coming, especially at home... The important part is staying on top of all the different factors: the weather and the swell, but also time and daylight play a big role in winter surfing. Staying hydrated and eating as much and as healthily as possible prior to and during is what keeps your body going without seizing up. Energy and warmth. A good wetsuit is key to keeping warm.
When off the grid one has to accept that wetsuits don’t dry – that’s when a fire and a kettle come in handy. Getting changed by the fire is a luxury, and pouring hot water in your boots makes it easier for your feet to retain heat.
Getting your body ready for action is really important – almost to the point that you enter the water with a light sweat. When the water is really cold, five degrees Celsius or less, getting waves on the head can be torture. Holding your breath becomes a little harder... You just want to come up. But you can't conquer the cold; so I try to enjoy it.
Nature is a really good happiness tool. When living without electricity or running water, the body adjusts and one can get really in tune. So in my eyes, I guess that’s the best part of the adventure. But I wouldn't be there if it weren't for the waves. It's a really cool experience seeing the Baltic Sea turn on.”
THREE WAYS TO BE A BETTER SURFER, BY FREDDIE MEADOWS
1. Even if it sounds cliché, it's true – you really need to surf whenever possible. Preferably with people of a higher level than yourself.
2. Stay in surf shape. Do as many surf related exercises as possible so when you do surf, you can actually improve instead of not catching waves because you're unfit.
3. Don't rush to a shortboard. Surfing bigger boards and longboards really helps your line and technique, and speeds up the learning process.
Freddie Meadows is Sweden’s first-ever professional surfer. Follow @freddiemeadows on Instagram.