Kitesurfing the Swedish summer – Feelgood Camp 2019

In summer 2011 three university friends, all living in different places, decide to meet up in Malmö, Sweden for a week of kitesurfing and good times. The Facebook event that was created to organise the trip was named Feelgood Camp. In hindsight I can’t think of a better name for this annual tradition.

Old Facebook post about Feelgood camp.

The memories from past years start to blur. For me this is a trademark of the very best traditions. The ones you remember more like a feeling, with memories of isolated events as icing on the cake.

For the 7th installation I jumped on an early flight from Pisa, Tuscany and headed for Copenhagen, Denmark. The forecast was looking good, and as I crossed the bridge to Sweden I could see the wind turbines out at sea spinning away at a satisfying pace.

Jonas and Bjorn standing by the water, overlooking a grey sky at Skanor.

Arriving at a storm

Jonas and Björn picked me up at Malmö central station and we went straight to the beach. With the Swedish summer you’re never guaranteed wind, but in the past we’d normally walk away with a decent 50% – 75% days on water stats.

This week wasn’t looking too sunny but it seems that we picked one of the windiest weeks of the summer. I was excited after weeks of not riding, and I had brought two new toys to try and review; the 9m Nitro 7 and 12m Krypto from Switch.

We arrived at Habo-Ljung Camping and set up our kites with barely no-one else around. This is one of the busiest spots in the region due to its flat water, school presence and being only 20 minutes drive from Malmö. Ten kites on the water on a windy day is both a surprise and a luxury.

Jonas was the first to go out on his 10m Catalyst. He came in quick enough when a squall passed over us and brought heavy rain and 30 knots wind. As soon as the squall had passed Bjorn and I jumped out. The squalls came and went and gave me plenty of opportunities to push the boost abilities of both the Nitro and Bjorn’s new Element.

After a few hours I was freezing cold. I’d only brought a shorty from Italy, and thick clouds was hiding the sun. Changing into dry clothes and succumb to the temptation of junk food was almost as satisfying as sweeping across the water after weeks of absence.

Lomma kite beach.
Is Lomma never busy these days?
Man carrying his kite at Lomma kite beach.
Malmo city makes a nice backdrop when you ride at Lomma.
Bjorn reading at home.
A moment of relaxing with a good read…
Jonas enjoying the calm at home.
Or, a good grappa.

Lomma surf

On our second day the wind had shown no sign of calming down and we went out for a walk in the morning. In the afternoon we were hoping for slightly less intense conditions and maybe even a bit of blue sky.

Jonas and Bjorn walking in the woods at Hittarp, Sweden.
Feelgood Camp is as much as catching up with friends as it is about kitesurfing.
Afternoon session at Lomma.
On the second day the clouds were less persistent and made for a nice afternoon session.

We went back to Habo-Ljung and enjoyed another day of good wind and only a few kites to share the spot with. Lomma, as this spot is also called, offers both flat water close to the beach, and small but fairly clean waves a bit farther out. On a NW you can actually catch the small surf and ride it nicely. Don’t expect barrels, but still a lot of fun. The Nitro has never been a wave kite, but the 7th generation drifts quite ok I must say.

Cooking potatoes at home.
Riding, living and cooking together. Not a bad lifestyle.
Bjorn and Jonas relaxing at home.
Our agenda allowed for a lot of time to just exist together.

Across the meadow

Having a plan is key, but planning is a waste of time. I got reminded of this on day three when we were on our way down to Skanör. On the motorway we spotted a kite floating across the water in the distance.

Someone was kiting at JP, South of Karlskrona, and we remembered how nice this spot can be. Our plan, in the end, was to have a good session of kitesurfing, so we decided to save some time and opted for JP instead of Skanör.

JP is a very scenic spot surrounded by meadows and offering flat, shallow water for miles. It can almost be too shallow for pulling your craziest tricks, but for cruising and scenery it’s hard to beat.

Jonas and Bjorn walking across the meadow towards JP.
Who would think there’s a kitesurf spot only a few hundreds meters down that path?
JP kite spot on a clear day
Very scenic. Very flat. JP is one of our fave spots.
Bjorn and Jonas at JP.
Shit kiteboarders say – JP edition.

Again we were almost alone on the water, and this time the sun was out and I was wearing a full sleeve suit. We couldn’t ask for better conditions.

This is what Feelgood Camp is all about. Good riding, good friends, good times. And nothing beats packing down your kite on soft grass while the afternoon sun is still shining its warm light over you.

Nitro lying on the grass of JP
Land on grass, dry your kite and roll it up with no sand in sight.
Kiteboard on grass, with the water in the background.
That JP post-sesh feeling.

An empty playground. And kite spaghetti.

Skanör is an old favourite of ours. We felt that the week wouldn’t be complete without a session there, even if it was with sore abs that we jumped into the car.

A grey sky and the sea at Skanor.
Nice strong wind, and no kites to be seen.

The most picturesque little beach huts you can imagine welcome you when you walk across the sand dunes. You reach the beach and can choose to ride in the waves or in the shallow flats.

The flats close to shore looked suspiciously flat even though the wind was smooth and strong and the waves outside were of decent size.

Bjorn was first out this time. Short after going out he drops his kite in the water and we realise what’s about to happen.

Beach huts in Skanor.
They are pretty indeed. Beach huts at Skanör.
Setting up a kite at a grey Skanor.
Setting up for the shortest session of his life.

Poor Bjorn. He’d landed his kite in a soup of seaweed that the wind had brought in. As soon as his lines hit the water he was doomed. The seaweed is merciless and attaches itself to the lines as if they were two magnets. Bjorn had no other option than to come in and start the tedious task of untangling lines and removing weed.

Alright. With a mantra of ‘Don’t drop the kite. Don’t drop the kite’ I went out on my 9m and had the whole spot for myself. I fooled around in the waves and the butter flat, seaweed covered flats for a good hour until I spotted a very dark cloud quickly approaching. Ride it out and come in later or land and pack down in a haste before the rain hits us?

The flats have a price. Drop the kite and your session is over.

Beat the rain

Five years ago I would’ve stayed out and logged some more time on the water. In 2019 I’m a feel-good mothafuckah and opted for a clean packdown and an early lunch.

My big brother taught me to leave at the peak of an event, when you’re having the most fun. This way you’ll remember the event with fond memories. So that’s what I did, even if the rain cloud only hit us marginally and was far from as intense as I had feared.

Skanor marina
I guess the fish is that way.
Jonas eating herring in Skanor.
Herring is the thing here. I took the opportunity to enjoy it with a pilsner.

We had lunch at the fish monger in the marina and went in to Malmö to pick up Bjorn’s girlfriend. After a game of Scrabble and some excellent Plantation rum I ended the day while Bjorn were still sorting lines on the terrace.

A game of Scrabble.
Oh the suspense. But Bjorn, don’t you have unfinished business elsewhere?
Bjorn untangling kite lines on the balcony.
Ah yes, there were still some lines to untangle.

Soul Surf & Sunshine

Friday was our final day together and initially we didn’t think we’d get any wind. The weather had turned and sunshine and blue skies replaced the wind and clouds.

We checked the forecast in the morning and realised that with a bit of luck and big kites we would still be able to catch the last hour of wind in Skanör.

Skanor on a sunny day.
What a different Skanör we were welcomed by.
Kitesurfer's on the beach at Skanor, Sweden
Enough wind? Let’s pump the kites and go!
Martin Sandstrom kiting in Skanor, Sweden
I took my new Switch Krypto for a spin.
Anna being sheltered from the wind by a kite.
Anna enjoying a more traditional type of beach activity.
Skanor and kitesurfer on a sunny day.
Feelgood at Skanör.

Light wind, riding my new Krypto and enjoying the sunshine turned out to be the final item on this year’s menu. The seaweed had drifted downwind and even the local school was out teaching. The sun had brought more beach-goers with it and all in all it was a perfect day to hang out on the beach and in the marina.

Friends enjoying the sun on a wood deck at Skanor marina.
Skanör post-kite session in the sun. All you can ask for.
Enjoying a coffee on a sunny day in Skanor marina.
The coffee in the marina is great.

When I locked and alarmed the house, closing the book on this years Feelgood Camp I did it with a  big smile on my face. It was going to be nice to go back home and see my loved one. And even if Italy is amazing, Sweden can be a very special place in the summer.

Beach huts at Skanor
Can you ever get tired of this view?
Wetsuits drying on a hand rail.
Until next time.
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