Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester
Jacob Wester

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West Australia part III

Hello from Bali, where every day looks the same and isn’t too blog worthy (you know what happens here by now anyways). Been surfing, eating, partying, the usual schedule. Right now we are staying at my good friends at Xtravel‘s beautiful surf camp, Surf Lodge Limasan. More from this little oasis will come soon!

In the mean time, here’s the third and final installment of mine and Sofia’s Australia roadtrip! Towards the end of the trip we camped out at the coast for a few days where I finally had the chance to get some surf. I’ve always wanted to surf Australia, especially after reading about all the famous pointbreaks up the northwest coast. We stayed at the absolutely stunning Red Bluff, literally in the middle of nowhere, far from wifi, cell service and even the most basic amenities. Alone with a campfire, beers, and the marine wildlife including turtles, sharks and humpback whales, it felt like time stood still. I have to go back here soon, easily one of the most beautiful corners of the earth I have visited so far!

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Can’t really think of a better setup than this; you pull up at the beach far out in the middle of nowhere, and a perfect lefthander is reeling down the point, with very few people on it.

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The view from our camping spot. I could get used to waking up to this.

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There’s a story behind every sign. Supposedly, really big waves come out of nowhere here sometimes, and one time one cleaned up an entire parking lot of cars and people. Better not park too close to the water.

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Pretty crazy sharing the line-up with some of nature’s biggest creatures. Humpback whales playing outside the surf.

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The surf itself was pretty all-time during our 4 days at Red Bluff. Fun sized lefts, pumping all day, and always an offshore wind.

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A little cover-up in the afternoon sun.

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Pretty beautiful spot for a hairwash!

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The Blowhole close to Quobba station.

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The sky we slept under, every single night.

That’s it for the West Australia trip! Next post will be about our second home, Bali!

Jacob

 

West Australia part II

Alright, we are back in mellow Bali enjoying a few days in a hotel bed and surfing some small but clean beach breaks out west. Not much swell in the water at the moment so surf shots will come later I suppose. Good for the blog however, since I still have so much to post from WA!

Here’s installment two in the WA photo blog series, from a big day out in Karijini National Park, where we went hiking through some amazing canyons and swimming in the lush, perfectly temperatured pools along the way. Enjoy!

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Looks inviting, doesn’t it!

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Sofia walking

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Sofia walking again

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Sofia standing

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Trying out new looks.

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Circular pool, Dale’s Gorge, and some strange man meditating.

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Had to find something to jump off of!

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Sofia swimming in Hamersley Gorge

Part 3 coming soon!

Jacob

West Australia part 1

Hey everyone, and WOW – it’s good to be back on the internet! I love taking a few days off the grid, but 17 days is definitely pushing it! For those of you following me on Instagram, you have seen some updates from Sofia’s OZ data plan, but other than that (which only gets service in towns spread out by 100s of highway kilometers), we have been completely in the dark. Now we’re back in Perth, going through over 100 GB’s of photos from our second big camping trip, a means of travelling I am becoming more and more obsessed by. Just something about throwing all your gear in a rental van, driving for hours upon end with no real plan, seeing towns and people you wouldn’t normally see, sleeping where you want to under an open night sky, and with no hotel reservations telling you how long you are staying.

To properly cover this trip I will need to do this post in several parts, but here’s a little something to get started – the first 3 days of driving north from Perth, towards the great national park of Karijini – a place that deserves its own post later. Enjoy!

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So excited to finally meet back up with Sofia after 4 months of her going to school in Perth. I think she felt the same!

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Our ride, camped somewhere in the wilderness outside Karijini national park.

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Cooking up some thai tofu curry, we had a pretty solid kitchen so the food was on point!

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Driving into yet another sunset.

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Sofia checking the waves at Flat Rock beach just south of Geraldton.

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This is the day that the biggest swell of the last decade hit Australia’s west coast, and a day later, Bali. Even though it felt like bad timing missing it in Indo, watching it (from a safe distance) in WA was nothing short of breath-taking. I’ve never seen waves this big before, and it’s hard to judge it in this photo, but it’s definitely much bigger than it looks!

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Desert camping

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Sofia making coffee and Tim-Tam Slams (google it!) in the morning.

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Resting up at lake Nallan, somewhere in the outback. I love how easy it is to find good, free camping spots all over Australia. Not at all like our US trip last year where we had to search for spots to hide out from rangers or property owners constantly.

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The dusks in WA trip me out completely. The two above photos are both taken at the same time in the day, just after sunset, looking opposite directions. We had probably 16 out of 17 sunsets like this on our trip…

Check back soon for more photos! We are off to the island of gods, Bali!
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Goodbye Sumatra – Hello again, Bali

Back in Bali again after almost three weeks away from civilisation! Feels both good and bad, the best part being western food, AC rooms and good roads, the slightly worse parts include frantic traffic, huge crowds and cold water! Yes, the water temperature difference is huge, mornings being really chilly unless you wear a wetsuit top or vest. In Sumatra, getting into the water feels like entering a bathtub.

It’s going to be a few slow, mellow days here at SurfLodge Limasan, before once again packing my bags, flying a few hours south to Perth, WA, where I will finally meet back up with Sofia, after 4 long months of exchange school! So excited to see her again, and experiencing a new side of our planet!

Some photos from the last few days in Sumatra:

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I never surfed this wave, but watched it break outside the hotel almost every day. Some big big barrels were tempting, but the shutdown section on almost dry reef at the end made me think twice about paddling out. Maybe next time I’ll bring a wetsuit…


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Another angle of the same spot

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This is the spot I spent the most time at, fittingly named “the peak”. A behind the peak take-off, quick little backdoor barrel, and kick-out before the end section goes dry. Here’s one of the heavier ones with a bodyboarder getting the wave of the day.

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A more approachable set wave rolling through.

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Gopro angles

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A nearby lefthander dubbed “leftovers”, popular with the bodyboard crowd.

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The sunset on our last day was something special…

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Just one more…

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I leave Sumatra with moments like this one engrained in my mind forever. Flawless barrels in glassy, warm water…I will come back soon!

One last surf in Bali tomorrow morning before I’m off to OZ. Stay tuned!

Jacob

Jungle living

Life out here in the jungle is easy, though keeping up a blog is more difficult. The wifi works sometimes, good enough for an instagram, but not enough to post high-res photos on a daily basis. Anyways, sat through it a few hours today and managed to upload a few, in an attempt to document our days out here! I’ve now spent a week here and I have no plans of returning to civilisation anytime soon. Here’s a batch of photos from yesterday when we decided to pay the neighbouring island a visit:

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Freddie and Jonas, two good friends and total legends, waiting for the boat to show up in the morning. Behind is a fun lefthander we’ve been surfing in between the more serious sessions.

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Local girl crew taking a morning dip. The locals here are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever met.

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Freddie Meadows, swedish freesurfer and life hacker. So grateful to share a line-up with this dude.

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Jonas, an Indo legend who moved to Bali in the eighties, built a life for himself where he still gets to surf almost every day. One of the smoothest styles out there.

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Freddie tending to some cuts he got from an unfriendly reef the day before.

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Crazy morning sky on the boat ride across the bay

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Freddie and Jonas on the barrel hunt, our aussie friend Steve on the bow.

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Sumatran wilderness at it’s finest. Who knows what’s hiding up there.

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First sight greeting us on the island was this classic indonesian right hander, reeling down a sharp coral reef onto a sandy beach. Pinching our arms as we cruised into the harbor.

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The crew, and captain Bobby, getting off the boat after the 45 minute crossing.

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This local dog is called Hey Dude and hung out with us for most of the day.

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No shortage of goats around this island.

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Local kid making his best photo face.

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Ready to get in the water!

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Upon closer inspection, the righthander looked a little more intimidating, big sections shutting down on very shallow reef, but Steve and I decided to have a paddle while Jonas and Freddie took some manana on the beach. (they made the right call)

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Steve setting up for a hairy section. Didn’t make it out of this one though.

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Beauty barrel on the inside

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I had a tough time getting into the bigger ones but here’s a fun little wave.

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Jonas checking out the local architecture.

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A concrete path through the jungle revealed a solitary lefthander on the other side of the island, although the winds were on it, but maybe for another day.

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Freddie, hanging out with Yeah Dude.

Jacob

Sumatra

After waking up at 4:30, ordering an Uber that never showed up, loading 3 surfboards and a huge backpack on a motorbike and rushing to the airport, I managed to get on my first flight to Jakarta, sweating and with a huge headache. Love traveling in Indonesia! After that it was another short flight from Jakarta to Lampung on Sumatra, where my new friend Harry met me amidst the arrival hall chaos that’s so typical of this country. Everyone wants to carry the confused westerner’s surfboard, offering rides and other services and it can be pretty over-whelming if it’s your first time. Luckily I’ve been through it a few times, and know how to politely shake my head and smilingly saying “tidak terima kasih”, on repeat.

As I’m writing this I am washing down dinner with a cold Bintang enjoying the sound of waves hitting the reefs out the back. It’s been a long day of traveling, and I am about to settle down in this quaint little camp, somewhere on the southwestern coast of Sumatra, for 12 days, hoping to score some waves. By the looks of it I’ve come to the right place…

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Driving for 6 hours after the flights, through dense rainforests as far as the eye can see in all directions, it’s hard to imagine how little is left of this precious resource. This part of Sumatra is protected, let’s hope it stays that way.

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Harry and I, cruising through potholes that could swallow the whole truck. 250 kilometres took us 6 hours by the way, so you get an idea of the road quality!

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The destination. And no, I didn’t steal this from Google. This is literally my backyard for the next two weeks.

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Fun lefthander just outside.

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Bigger than it looks on this A-frame further up the reef. No takers.

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Another empty one rolling through under the setting sun. I watched this place go off for 30 minutes, too tired to unpack my boardbag, with not a single person in the line-up. There’s always tomorrow…

Time to go to bed, waking up early for some exploration!

Jacob

Bali

Day 4 in Bali! I’ve had a few mellow days here after my huge travel day where I managed to catch a nasty airplane cold, which left me sneezing and sweating, feeling weak and tired for the first two days, definitely not the ideal way to start your vacation! Now I finally feel like I’m back on track, surfing every day and trying to get into the surf mode again after a long winter in the snow. In the beginning it’s always so damn frustrating, paddling around for hours, not catching waves, messing up take-offs, and other kook moves when you know you’re much better than that. It’s hard to complain on this amazing island, so I’m going to leave it at that. Having a great time staying at my friend’s at Xtravel’s place Surf Lodge Limasan, just north of the tourist hubs Kuta and Seminyak, close to most of my favorite surf spots and all the good restaurants. I can really recommend it, if you want a relaxing atmosphere and great local knowledge of all the spots.

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Leaving a beautiful spring evening Stockholm airport, before a 40 hour door-to-door travel day… I was being cheap and got the budget ticket, but I don’t know if it was worth it as I ended up missing my last flight from Singapore and got to Bali almost two full days after I left. Oh well…

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I’ve been coming here for the last 8 years, and I still get butterflies in my stomach while approaching this coastline. All the anticipation built up during the winter, all the waves waiting to be surfed, memories to be made, new faces to meet, sunburns to be created while spending too many hours on the water…it goes on and on. It definitely feels like a second home, and I think I will keep coming back here many many years.

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Classic surf spot Airport Right’s, not quite showing its true self, but when it’s on here, it’s one of the best righthanders I know.


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This is the face of the excitement I just mentioned. Jet-lagged, caffeine-overdosed, ultra hyped Jacob.

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Can’t say I have missed the traffic, however. Can’t have the sweet without the sour…

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Motorbike selfie in the rice paddies of Canggu, a few minutes from our house. This is my favorite part of Bali, where the hustle of Kuta hasn’t reached, but there’s still a solid community of surfers, good restaurants and some nightlife. Also some of the best morning surf spots on the island!

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Bali sunsets…

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Down south is where the “real surf” is. Classic line-up of Uluwatu, looking extra amazing during the Uluwatu Boardrider Challenge that went off this weekend in perfect SSW 8ft swell. Almost worth the 100 dollars entrance fee to share this with 3 others, but I definitely don’t have the paddling arms for these waves just yet.

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Just down the beach, the surf spot “Impossibles”, reeling off in the afternoon sun. I took this photo after a 4 hour session in perfect surf with only a handful of friendly guys out, completely exhausted and sunburnt.

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Just out front of the cafes, the most picturesque wave in the world (in my opinion), Bingin, showing off some deep barrels for the stoked but heavy crowd. Also one of my favorite waves but I need a few more days before I’m ready for this shallow wave machine.

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Back home at the lodge, our housecats Ghostface Killa and King Diamond taking a nap by the pool. So fun having these little friends around, they’re constant entertainment.

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This is the newest addition to the family – Rambo, who my buddy Tim saved from the streets a while ago. Turns out he’s a she, so maybe a new name is in order. Any suggestions?

Tomorrow morning I’m off to surf a classic big wave spot on the south part of the island, and the forecast looks promising. I have missed waking up at 5 for early missions, it truly is one of my favorite things in the world! It’s going to be a good warm-up for an upcoming exploring trip to a remote island on wednesday for a couple of weeks. I’ll tell you all more about it when I’m off…it’s going to be good!

Stay tuned

Jacob

 

 

 

 

 

Indo bound

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My current state, it’s 4am Sweden time and I’m in Singapore struggling to stay awake and buzzing with excitement to go surfing!

 

So it’s time for some summer activities! After spending a few well needed days in Stockholm, repacking bags, sorting receipts and connecting with friends, I waved goodbye to winter and last night, or two nights ago, I am losing track of time, I boarded my flight from Stockholm to Bali. Well, actually it’s not that straight forward, it ended up being Stockholm – Doha – Hong Kong – Singapore – Bali…It’s always funny to me how 4 flights can be cheaper than 2. Of course I missed my final flight this morning and currently I am sitting in the Singapore airport food court, high on caffeine and delirious from jetlag, waiting for my afternoon flight to Bali. Not much else to say, except that I am really really excited for some surfing. Well, you all know that by now :)

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crazy itinerary.

Bali is looking very promising, in typical high-season fashion swell after swell is lining up and it looks like it’s going to be a good start of the trip!

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Time for me to go grab some noodles and another coffee, see you in Bali!

Jacob

Heliskiing photos!

And I’m back to civilisation! After three weeks in Riksgränsen on shaky 4G internet (the winds have to be just right for my phone to work I think), Daniel and I made the drive back to Luleå, Daniel’s hometown, from where I caught a flight to Stockholm yesterday. Still having a hard time sleeping from the midnight sun, as it’s way past midnight and I’m not even close to tired. The arctic circle plays some crazy tricks on you.

This trip marks the end of yet another ski season in this crazy life of mine, and I survived, again. So was it a good one? Obviously it wasn’t the best winter of my “career”, since I did manage to break some bones and had to take two months completely off skiing, and another one basically just making turns. Even still, I feel like it was a good one! I think finishing off with a fun park trip, and a trip up north to what I consider to be the most beautiful place on earth, made the winter come together in a way that at least made it feel like I had a great year. I didn’t get as much footage together as I would have hoped for, but at least I am back skiing at the top of my game, something I had a very hard time believing earlier this spring. I also got to ski some big, exposed terrain, learning more steepskiing skills, and I definitely feel like I grew as a skier. As soon as I got injured I decided the rest of the winter was going to be all about recovering, and then skiing as much as possible, not worrying about filming or competing, just getting back into the groove. These last few weeks we set out to collect some video material, and despite battling some weird weather (slush one day, solid ice the next, lots of rain and hard-to-find powder), we did get some great footage together, which I am more than excited to show you all later this year…been putting all the clips together over the last few days and I don’t think I’ve ever been this stoked on the Swedish mountains. They may seem small at first, but up close they are absolutely breathtaking.

Oh well, time for me to shut my rambling, sleep-deprived mind, and show you some photos. As some of you know, my buddy Alric Ljunghager joined the Riksgränsen trip to shoot video for Unfiltered. In between rec-ing, he also took some amazing photos, in his trademark, arty style. Go check out his webpage, www.alric.se and get lost in some out of this world imagery. Enjoy the photos!

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Reflection of the bird.

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The majestic Pyramid mountain. Unfortunately the wind got to these couloirs before we got to ski them. Next year…

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Some amazing snow formations on Sweden’s tallest peak Kebnekaise. Upon further inspection it turned out this was a lot bigger than it looked from the heli. Biggest crash of the year for Jacob, although no broken bones this time.

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Scoping lines with Olympic mogul skier Per Spett

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The light!

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Daniel and Corey getting ready to get the shot from the heli.

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Amazing landscapes around these parts.

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I love the way this double exposure turned out. We drove into Norway with nothing special in mind, and this was the result of a portrait shot in a parking garage, and some waterfalls. I look covered in spider webs!

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The men behind the lenses, Alric and Corey.

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Corey taking cover.

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An excited Jacob after the final ski day of the winter. Summer time!

Well, what about the skiing? I don’t want to reveal too much, but of course I’ll give you a little sneaky peek of some raw footy. Been shooting with my hacked 5D mkIII (Magic Lantern), and I must say I am absolutely blown away by how good footage this little guy can capture if you know what you’re doing. I haven’t had much time to work with these files yet so they’re a bit inconsistent color-wise, but you get the idea. The shots look on par with some much, much more expensive cameras:

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fun air into a fun line

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further down the line

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amazing snow on may 16th

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huck time

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scenery

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Oscar and I getting dropped off.

So right now I have a few more days in Stockholm before wrapping up the ski season completely (still some stuff left to manage, paying bills and organizing receipts), before I am off to my summer home – you guessed it – Indonesia. Going to spend a month down there solo, before meeting up with Sofia in Perth. It’s been 3 months since I saw the girl and I can’t wait to get up to some crazy adventures with her this summer! Make sure to follow us around here, on instagram, and on her blog, www.sofiasjoeberg.com!

Stay tuned

Jacob

Riksgränsen part 2

It’s day 10 in Riksgränsen! Feels like we’ve been up here for weeks already, but I think that’s because of the 20+ hours of light that really messes with your head. So the last few days we (me, Alric the filmer, Daniel, Josh Bishop and Corey Stanton from Armada, Kim Boberg and Flage) have been staying in a cabin a few kilometres east of Riks, in the neighbouring ski resort of Björkliden. It’s a nice break from all the partying that inevitably happens over in Riksgränsen, especially during the big mountain contest, Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships, that is going down right now. Today we watched the semifinals and I was blown away by the level, as almost a hundred skiers and snowboarders threw down huge airs, 360s, backies and straight-up wild lines in some punchy spring conditions. Pretty sure I’ll never join that party, since I value my life too much…good show though!

So what’s going on? Well, to be honest, this trip hasn’t been a repeat of our success from last year. High winds and warm temperatures have messed up the conditions and the sun hasn’t been coming out much, making for some pretty grey scenery. We have been getting in the heli a few nights and some footage for Unfiltered is being captured, but I really wish we could have just one more refill of powder. The end of this week is looking like our best option, and it’s also when we are wrapping up the shoot, so let’s hold our thumbs and pray for better luck!

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Getting back in the heli has been pretty awesome. It’s been way too long and there’s really nothing in the world like heliskiing. Especially at 9:30pm. Scoping lines behind our amazing heli pilot Mats, with Mountain Guide Travel. Make sure to hit them up if you visit Riksgränsen!

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Daniel and I buzzing to shred some lines.

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After stepping out of the helicopter and everything goes silent, you realise how tiny you are and how big the face below you really is.

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Golden hour

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Tricky entrance to this massive couloir that went all the way down into the dark. Insane how you can ski solid 1000 meters of vert in Sweden!

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Letting go on the big face, fast but rippable snow.

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Seconds before I overshot a 50 foot cliff and tumbled down a good portion of Sweden’s highest peak Kebnekaise. Happy to have made it out of this one in one piece! Check my instagram feed for the whole video!

On our downdays I have been working a little on my photo skills, as I have realised it sucks trying to stay on top of your photography, creating content for the blog etc, when all the media is created by people around you. Having Daniel, Alric, Josh and Corey around is amazing since it allows me to focus on my skiing, but at the same time I find myself trying to post a blog and I don’t have anything to post. Here’s a few photos by me the last few days:

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The iconic Lapporten, or in english, Door to Laplandia. This is literally just outside of our house.

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Norway scenery, Rombaksfjorden. Even on a grey day there’s so much color here.

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Big waterfall

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Close-up of the waterfall

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Even closer (not the same waterfall however, I can’t afford a lens that big…)

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Double exposure fun with Alric. Really fun technique that I am just getting into!

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Photos by Josh Bishop

Tonight my brother Oscar arrives for a few days of slushy resort shredding and hopefully a couple of heli hours (fingers crossed). It’s going to be his first time in a heli so it’s all very exciting!

Stay tuned for more, I promise the wait will be shorter :)

Jacob