Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester

Blog

Rapala Bay

Hey everyone, hope you’re all good and ready for winter to come around. I sure am, even though there’s not shortage of fun activities going on for the adventurous if you just open your front door. Sweden is gradually getting colder and stormier, which of course means one thing: surf, surf and more surf. This past weekend we got a big low pressure moving air from the south, building up a (by swedish standards) massive swell hitting the northern parts of the Baltic Sea. I got together with my good buddy Tim Latte (who happens to be a swedish pro surfer, check out his blog here), and we decided to get in the car and go on a Swedish surf exploration mission up north, here’s what happened:

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4:15 am, Stockholm. We decided we were going to chase this swell the night before, so we got up early to make the 5 hour drive to the surf. Gotta love these crazy last-minute adventures!

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Our first spot check was at this crazy righthander. Solid overhead waves would unload on barely covered rocks, so we decided to keep looking. Maybe on the right day, though… I love finding new spots.

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This lefthander looked promising but still not really what we were looking for.

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After driving around for another 3 or so hours looking for a surfable wave in the onshore junk that the ocean was sending our way, we finally decided on a pretty classic spot but with not a soul out we were up for a solo session. Tim was stoked to finally get in the wetsuit.

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Me with my board of choice, a 6’0 shiraz from Flanagan surfboards, with my custom blackmetal paintjob. Always a good day when you can surf a smaller, more responsive board in Swedish waters.

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Trespassing through someones backyard in search of the waves…

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And here’s what we found, empty, clean righthanders peeling down the point. Surf time!

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Fun floater section, don’t think I made it back around on this one though.

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Some of the waves this day had the most power I have ever felt in Sweden. Set waves like this one would come through every 5 minutes, barreling, peeling, and with just the two of us out.

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Setting up for the fast inside section before the wave closes out.

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Tim on his backhand.

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Outer island monster wave looking interesting. Tow-in session maybe? It’s hard to tell how big this is, but this is heavily cropped from a 7D with 200mm on, and I counted several seconds before the lip hit the water. It is heavy.

IMG_0408           One last wave with Tim bottomturning in front of a heavy looking lip.

After the session we headed home to our good friend William Nylén who shot our surf photos above (thanks William!), for some food and a sauna, as well as looking through the photos and talking about all the waves we had seen. We will come back up there for sure, Sweden has so much surf potential and we didn’t even see any other surfers out there on any of the spots we checked. The morning after we got back in the car and drove back home to Stockholm for some more surf at our local spot. It’s still pumping out there and as I am hitting the post button on here I am getting ready to drive back down and surf some more. I love fall!

Jacob

Oil & Water – Full movie

So Armada Skis just dropped their 13/14 full team movie, called Oil & Water! Since I was busy with Unfiltered I didn’t have much time shooting for this one, but I managed to get a couple of park shots in it at least. Hornbeck, Kim, Dollo, Riley and B-dog all have full parts, go check this one out!

Jacob

Autumn surf

Hi everyone, as you can imagine nothing much is going on right now, spending some time back home in Stockholm trying to make some plans for the coming winter. Eating well and getting my body back in shape is also on the schedule. Since I got home from England there’s also been some surf, here’s a couple frames shot by Håkan Nyberg:

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Being home in Stockholm also means going to concerts whenever I get the chance. Last week we got to see The Antlers, and Det Stora Monstret, two equally amazing bands, I recommend them both if you’re into good atmosphere and beautiful arrangements:

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Det Stora Monstret

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The Antlers

Now I’m off to my second home, the gym!

Jacob

On death and its randomness – remembering Andreas and JP

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For some, death will come invisible, only revealing itself when it’s far too late. Maybe in the shape of a malign tumor, an invisible virus, or a flaw deeply embedded in the genetic code. It will, of course, gladly show up when invited; a fact all risk-takers, be it cigarette smokers, wing-suit base jumpers, or formula 1 drivers have, or at least should, take into account. But sometimes it will come when least expected, in the case of a driver failing to pay attention for a brief moment on the way home from work, a brick dropped from a construction site, or any other seemingly random accident leading to the ultimate tragedy. Circumstances align, in numbers impossible to grasp, leading to highly unlikely but inevitable coincidences. They leave us questioning the world, make us assume a higher position, protesting the unfairness of our existence. It is easy to say humanity has always suffered from delusions of grandeur, refusing to accept that we are but a somewhat intelligent and self-aware species on an isolated piece of rock in a universe infinitely more vast than anything we could ever comprehend. Faced with, and frightened by our apparent meaninglessness, we resort to ignoring rationale, inventing answers and finding comfort in dreaming of a higher purpose. The ones lost will never come back, but believing they will be waiting for the rest of us, somewhere beyond our physical realms, provides us with solace, and for some even becomes a reason not to fear death. The human mind is a powerful one, and there is no manual, no method, and no teacher, that could help us process the thoughts we are faced with when the ones close to us cease to exist. While we simply have to find what works for each and everyone of us, we must never forget them, because the only place we could ever truly prove they are still around, is in our own minds.

I am not going to pretend what JP Auclair and Andreas Fransson were undertaking in Patagonia two weeks ago wasn’t involving threats to their well-being. They were wandering far past the edge of civilisation, where few humans have ever set foot, in some of the most inhospitable mountain ranges on earth. Ascending giant peaks, pushing the limits of extreme skiing, and living their lives to the fullest, they were well aware of the inherent risks of their lifestyle, but what caused their passing was nothing either of them could have forecasted, and this brings light to just how random death seems to be.

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Andreas was the most meticulously prepared and lucid person I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend time with in the mountains. Even though he lived his life climbing and skiing on the very edge of what humans are capable of, he did it with a careful eye for details, every parameter taken into account, and with no ego involved. If the tiniest, seemingly most insignificant thing threw him off, he would without any hesitation abort mission and retreat, using the lesson learned to prepare him for the next time. Not afraid to dive deep into his own psyche, exploring his inner world and not rejecting what he would find, he would spend hours meditating and sharing his thoughts with those around him. I have long seen him as the exemplary steep-skier, someone acknowledging that while on the mountain we are in nature’s power, and that we have to humbly follow nature’s rules. In Chamonix, standing on top of an exposed, convex +45° face, he would tell me with a grin that “If you fall here, you will die. But you won’t, because you know how to ski. You won’t fall off the sidewalk and get run over by a car, because you know how to walk. The run in front of you is that sidewalk, just walk it.”  I knew what he was saying was true, and I think I got a rare glimpse into his head that day, the way he would approach danger, not ignoring it, but understanding it for exactly what it was, without letting fear take over. The run we skied turned out to be relatively mellow, and as a Chamonix virgin I remember thinking it really wasn’t as exposed as he had made it seem to be. There were plenty of places I could have made a mistake and handled it. He later explained to me that he always exaggerated the risks involved, especially if he didn’t know the skill level of his company. “It’s always better to keep people on their toes, otherwise they will focus on the wrong things”, he said. Such was the nature of Andreas, always on the safe side, no matter how perilous the situation.

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Any attempt to put words on the impact JP Auclair has had on my life as a skier has seemed like an impossible task these last two weeks, and still I find myself pausing mid-sentence, my mind wandering off, trying to stay occupied with something less unfathomable. Searching for words that could somehow do him justice. JP played a monumental part in making me the skier I am today. I remember watching his first video segments in a time when skiers were banned from terrain parks, spell-bound by the VHS tapes I rewound so many times they were soon unwatchable. My young impressionable mind was opened up to a new reality, one that I realised I could be a part of creating, and I still to this day thank JP and the rest of the New Canadian Air Force for reinventing skiing and making it available to me. Over the years I eventually got to know him personally and he grew from an idol to a friend and inspiration, not only to my skiing, but to the way I looked at life. We shared a deep interest in philosophy and embarking on a conversation over a bottle of wine with JP could very well mean not getting any sleep that night. On the mountain he seemed eternally young, constantly blowing minds with new ideas, never stagnant and always thinking of other ways to do things. Releasing a ground-breaking urban ski video part at the age of 34 seemed perfectly normal to JP, and in typical fashion he would never settle with mediocre results. His humor was beyond absurd – JP was one of the rare breed that could make any boring dinner on the road absolutely hilarious, just by opening his mouth and let some random joke he just made up slip through, and before you knew it the table would explode with laughter, followed by more jokes for what seemed like hours. A true inspiration and role model to us all, JP will be dearly missed, but I am forever grateful for getting to know such a real human being. Thank you for everything JP, you will never be forgotten.

Jacob

Season Reel

Last winter was my most productive one ever as far as media production went. Almost every day on skis I had some kind of camera pointed at me, which I don’t mind because that’s when I ski the best. Making the Unfiltered series was a great challenge and I truly enjoyed every second of it, even though there’s a lot of work behind planning everything yourself. A huge thank you to everyone who followed it through the winter, the feedback has been fantastic and we have had almost 300.000 viewers on the videos so I could not be happier!

To get the new winter started, and hopefully bring some excitement to you all to get out there and do your thing, I decided to put a little something together with all of my favorite jumps, lines and tricks from the year, it was hard to keep this one under 5 minutes but that’s always a good thing! Here is my 13/14 Season Reel, presented by Unfiltered Skiing:

Jacob

Armada Skis UK tour!

Hey everyone, it’s day 5 of the Armada Skis Oil & Water UK tour! Hornbeck, Kim, Corey and I just woke up in our London flat after pretty much touring the whole country, finishing off with the UK premiere of the movie here at IF3 London last night. We’ve lived on a farm, skied indoors, skied outdoors on dryslope, signed hundreds of posters and hung out with some seriously stoked kids. It’s good to see the ski scene is alive and well here on this snow-deprived island in the atlantic ocean!

 photos by David Wren/RWND photography:Bobby diptych Hanging out with Bobby the dawg at our yorkshire farm.

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Evening tea with Mike and Corey

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Signing posters at the Castleford SnoZone.

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GTS’ing with Corey.

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First time skiing an indoor snowpark. I love that these kids are able to ski 365 days a year, no wonder they get good on rails!

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Bearsden ski club dryslope, Glasgow, Scotland. Speaking of new experiences, this was something else. No snow definitely won’t stop us!

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Mike and Corey having a blast sessioning with the locals.

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The IF3 London venue, Clapham Grand.

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Presenting the video for an excited audience. Great turn-up, thanks for coming out!

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Poster signing and partying.

Thanks for checking the blog and stay tuned for more. Today we are heading to Milton-Keynes for one last Snowdome session. If youre in the area, swing by and have a chat and a shred!

Also, some last words about JP and Andreas. I have not forgotten them and will write something official on here in time, it’s hard to find the words right now. Forgive me, and keep their families in your thoughts. Take care out there.

Jacob

 

South Yorkshire

First day in England. Woke up on a farm from 1654 with Corey Stanton from Armada, Mike Hornbeck, Kim Boberg, our english local friends and media wizards, and we are about to embark on an epic journey throughout the country’s indoor skiing venues, all culminating in London IF3 on the weekend. This is going to be crazy.

Yesterday afternoon:

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Skate session at south bank, London, right after flying in from Geneva.

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Mike, Corey, Kim

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Proper english breakfast.

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Our local crew + dutch friend Mees.

Went outside this morning for some photographic exploration:

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Time to go skiing indoors!

Jacob

 

Annecy

It’s film premiere time again, and this past weekend I have been back in the quaint town of Annecy, France, to watch ski movies, sign posters, and hang out with good friends after a long summer! Always a good time of the year to relink with people, talk about last season, and making new plans for the coming year. Over the years IF3 has been putting on the festival, but this year it was “High Five Festival”, although it was merely a name change as everything else was the same successful formula as past years – epic ski films, beautiful weather, and good parties! I wish I had seen some more movies but the weather made us spend a lot more time outside. I did catch a few films however, like the Armada Skis video “Oil and Water”, where I have a couple of shots, as well as Henrik’s, B-dog’s, the new PBP and 4Bi9. I also had the pleasure of presenting my Unfiltered Skiing season edit, make sure to stay tuned as I will announce a drop date for the web soon! Can’t wait to show last year’s highlights video, it was an insane season!

At Geneva airport now waiting to catch a morning flight to the UK for another week of the same ingredients, IF3 London coming up!

 

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View over Mont Blanc on the way into Geneva. Can’t wait for the winter, when I will be spending a lot of time in this region. I will fill you all in on it soon!

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With Corey Stanton from Armada, enjoying an afternoon walk in the sun.

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Geezers

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Sofia came down and made my weekend that much better.

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If you’re in Annecy, make sure to rent paddleboards and check out the lake. Best in-between movies activity in town!

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New Oakley signing poster turned out sick thanks to Daniel’s photo skills!

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Mike Hornbeck and I trying our hardest to decipher these french kids’ names. Thanks to the Annecy crowd for coming out in huge numbers!

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Kim, Corey, Hornbeck and I presenting Oil And Water.

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Myself presenting the Unfiltered screening.

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The video looked great on the big screen despite the last minute re-edit after the HD crashed last week. Such a load off my shoulders to watch it play smoothly! Thanks for watching!

See you all in London!

Jacob

Bali + Lombok

Hey everyone, and thanks for checking back on the blog! There’s a few reasons nothing has been happening on here lately, the number one being that right after boarding my flight out of Sydney, the unthinkable happened – my macbook decided to freeze up, and after restarting it I got this terrible screen:

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This was even more terrifying since I was hard at work on my season edit, with a deadline for the High Five festival in Annecy. I was literally just about to finish up the last touches and hit export when it happened. The footage was all backed up on hard drives, but the Premiere project file was not…

Anyways, I made it to Bali and decided to not worry about it for a few days. Besides, I was headed to the neighbouring island of Lombok where they definitely not have an apple support worthy of its name. As soon as I got back to Bali, I had a tech look at the problem, and yes, my SSD was gone, and with it my project. Oh well. So the past week has been all about working 24/7 to get a new edit together, except for when I’ve been surfing. It’s all back to normal now, and the video has been submitted, so I can finally relax again. Just got back from Bali this morning, and I was greeted by a rainy and cold Stockholm. Off to France tomorrow, excited to show the video and to see all the other films!

Anyways, enough of that, here’s a bunch of photos from my phone and some from my camera. Not having Sofia in Bali definitely makes my blogging life harder!

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I love surf lineup photos from the air. Above is a secret Bali reef pass, and the bottom shot is of Desert Point, Lombok.

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“Impossibles”, southern Bali. Looks good from land, but is impossibly fast and will race past you after a while. Can be a fun ride though.

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Spent a few days down at Bingin tucking into perfect little lefthanders like this one.

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Fresh fish just off the beach!

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This is Surf Lodge Limasan, built by a good friend of mine from Sweden. Had the pleasure of staying here during my time in Bali, it’s an amazing place close to most spots. Check it out on www.surflodgelimasan.com

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Loving the open living room. I need a place down there, one day…

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King Diamond, one of two house cats.

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Motorbike drive by shot.

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Big and scary Mawi on Lombok.

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Lombok sunrise.

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Kuta, Lombok. My friend Okar and I surfed the outer reef lefthander to the right in this photo alone for 2 hours…pretty special to find empty waves in 2014!

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Water angle of the left.

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A very confusing bus graphic.

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Checking out local bands at Deus, the newest trendiest (slightly hipster) bar, restaurant and shop in Bali :) . Good place to hang out with friends on a sunday night.

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Empty waves from my last day on the island. Got a few hours on these before heading to the airport. I wish I had a photographer on the beach as it was pumping, with the biggest sets pushing near triple overhead. It’s typical that on a day I find un-crowded surf in Bali, it’s huge and no one is out… can’t complain though!

Alright, time to unpack my bags and re-pack them, off to France tomorrow for High Five! I promise to be a little better on the blogging side of things!

Jacob

OZ, mate!

Hey everyone and sorry for slacking on the blog department! Been posted up in the little town of Jindabyne, Australia for the last week together with the Armada Skis team. We have been shooting a bunch of next years gear so I can’t show too much unfortunately. The weather has been awesome and the park at Perisher mountain is really something else. Easily the best southern hemisphere setup I’ve skied.

Anyways, going to keep it short and just post a bunch of photos from the last couple of days!

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iPhone photo from the flight into Sydney. Australia looks amazing from above!

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Chris O’Connell getting the wombat photo.

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Welcome to OZ, mate!

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Kangaroo skulls just outside our hotel.

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Kangs.

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The best way to get around.

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Sleeping quarters.

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Henrik taking a 5er.

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Henrik

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Torin

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Our beautiful hip that Perisher mountain built for us. Such a fun feature.

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Pretty big for the first thing I hit after a long summer!

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   Corey and Chris, covering all the angles.

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Parrots everywhere. I can’t get enough of this place.

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Emu spotting.

Yesterday we took a day off and drove to the coast. After being on snow everyday it was nice to finally see the ocean. The countryside here is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. I could definitely see myself spending some more time here.

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Waves were good but we didn’t have any board with us. I mindsurfed this righthander for a while.

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Short Point, Merimbula.

Tomorrow we’re off to Sydney for some city hanging, and saturday morning i’m getting on a flight to Bali. The swell looks really good, can’t wait!

Jacob