Surfski paddling in Åland
A couple of weeks ago, Roland Ahinko from Åland gave me a call. He and local paddler Oskar Biskop, invited me and my family to a weekend filled with ocean surfski paddling – a perfect opportunity for me to find out if Åland could be the next location for a Scandinavian surfski camp, or even a race…
The weather forecast looked promising from a paddlers view, with strong winds at 10-16 m/s, but not so good for the rest of my family, mostly cloudy and 10-13C.
After 1,5h of driving up to Grisslehamn, and another 2h on the ferry to Eckerö, we finally arrived at Åland where Roland was waiting for us.
He had booked a small cabin for us, right on the beach at Degersand, some 10 km from the harbour at Berghamn.
Roland and Oskar are skilled sea kayakers, but they are new to surfski paddling. The day before I arrived they had bought two Zedtech Griffin’s, and they were eager to go out surfing.
Degersand is so beautiful. It’s a small camping site facing the Åland sea, it is really stunning.
At the local restaurant, the chef creates meals and pastries to nourish both heart & soul, and they use only ecologically and locally produced raw materials, and all pastries are home-made.
They also have a sauna right on the beach…
What about surfski paddling at Åland… Is it good or not?
I figured, as 23% of Åland’s electricity comes from wind power, this simply must be the ski paddlers wet dream.
And it was! I got to paddle my Fusion in 2,5m waves, and when the wind changed direction from S to N on Sunday, we just put our skis on the car and drove 20 minutes to another beach where we had the right conditions again.
By the way, there are only 27 000 persons living in Åland, and as many as 11 000 of them live in the only town, Mariehamn. Åland has a total of more than 6 500 island of which only 65 are inhabited. Amazing…
I will defenitely go back to Åland with my surfski, maybe in the end of August. If you want to come along, contact me asap!