Northern Exposure

Where many would normally head for warmer climes and limited neoprene interference, Vayu team rider Steffi Wahl joined her teammates for a couple of photoshoots in the higher northern latitudes. Turns out, it has plenty of charms of its own…

Words: Steffi Wahl
Photos: Bulgenslag

In these times, everything seems to be a little bit different. Being part of a new wing brand is something fresh for me and the guys behind it are absolutely on fire with their ideas. Living and developing almost everything in the north of Germany was a big challenge, but we are used to long and cold winter nights and I guess many good ideas develop out of those…

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When it came to putting together a photoshoot, we just hopped into the Baltic Sea, as we always do. Here we love to surf in the wintertime. Sometimes you just need to change your perspective a little bit, and for me there is absolutely no reason to not create some great photos in our region, even in winter. 

The first pictures of our wings on the water were taken at the beginning of February, when a nice easterly breeze brought some cold and sunny weather to our coastline. Then when Denmark, our neighbouring country, opened the borders again at the beginning of June and the wind forecast was on, we got into our cars for a little team trip to our beloved North Sea and its endless coastline for some solid waves.

While crossing the border I felt a big relief. What a weird time! As Europeans, we are all so used to open borders, traveling to wherever we want to go in these lands with just our passport in our hands… We are just not used to being restricted in moving, and it really is a big luxury to live without those restrictions. Our whole crew was so happy that the whole weekend looked set to be a good one, with everything lining up perfectly. Happy, easy travelling with a bunch of nice girls and guys, and a whole lot of water time in different spots.

The first evening was very special. For me it was the first time in ages that I could sit indoors with a group of people, while enjoying a nice drink, chatting, laughing, and all after a good day of wingsurfing. As we all had to be Covid tested when entering the country, it was such a nice feeling to enjoy life as a group, and share our emotions and thoughts… and not just via a phone or a video call, or outside with winter jackets on. This made the trip so heart-warming for me and after such a long time in this situation you really do realize what you have been missing.

We were very blessed with the conditions every single day, from flat water to wave sessions, and enjoying crazy sunsets at almost 11 o'clock at night. I love those midsummer days in the north… The day feels as long as three, and you can squeeze in so many sessions into one single day. A normal weekend is like a week-long holiday. The best thing at the end of the day is midnight pasta with a bunch of stoked people! I look forward to that time for the whole year, and I really love to be at home in June for this reason. Whether it's in Denmark or the Baltic Sea, our landscapes shine during that time and it feels like an endless summer. I almost got a little bit melancholic during our trip… the longest days of the year, the best bunch of people, good conditions… It should always be like this.

When the coastline is so long there is no need to squeeze into a busy parking lot. And with wingfoiling, it's even easier as, in my opinion, you don´t need the perfect wind direction or the perfect wave. Almost all conditions you head out in are fun, and when the water is empty or just loaded with a bunch of people you know, it's even more fun. I like to surf with people I know, because I know their abilities and how they ride. It's all about cheering, pushing and caring for each other. For this reason, and all the reasons I’ve mentioned, I really enjoyed our little trip and I hope many more will come along. There’s so much more to discover in our surroundings… 

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