Straight Outta Fiskebäck Media presents the very first Straight Outta Fiskebäck Junior Freestyle Team feature film. The Team was founded in 2014 by Swedish pro rider and coach Erik “Hawk” Håkman in Fiskebäck, Gothenburg. Watch some great action shots from a recent session from the freestyle team (in order of appearance): Primus “Preemo” Sörling, Leo Skingley, Måns Schoultz, Anton Öqvist, Felix Schoultz and David Ygge.
Our friends at Continentseven did a nice interview with Erik Håkman. Below you can see Chris Pressler from Continentseven enjoying time on the water with his freestyle gear. He is well known for windsurfing and for pushing the sport through their windsurfing page www.continentseven.com together with Kerstin Reiger. We in Starboard want to thank you for everything you are doing for the best sport in the world!
Continentseven: We love seeing young people getting stoked and freestylin’ together. From our own experience with the Continentseven youth team we know that young people can benefit like-minded people. Freestyle is one of the disciplines, which attracts young people and it doesn’t need so much equipment. Fiskebäck is an ideal spot for freestyle during spring, summer and autumn with a wave protected area, flat sections and good wind directions. Over the winter months it’s quite cold, but Erik still runs coachings with his team. Let’s see, if some kids will show up at European freestyle events or produce their own videos.
Interview with Erik Håkman about the Straight Outta Fiskebäck™ Junior Freestyle Team 2020
Continentseven: You do an awesome job Erik! All the kids rock. I just had a freestyle session a week ago and it was fun to practice the moves!
Erik Håkman: Thanks Chris! They really do well and I’m so proud of them! Great to hear that you are back on the freestyle train again my man!
C7: Ha, I always used to be on the freestyle train 😉 When did you start the project? What’s your background in teaching?
Erik: The short answer is: In 2013, but it’s been a long time coming. I started coaching in 2009 and worked on and off in different surf schools in Sweden, on Bonaire and in the Philippines (Borocay) before starting with my own coaching program in Sweden in 2013. That same year I launched the pilot for the Junior Freestyle Training program. I organized training sessions at my home spot (Fiskebäck, Gothenburg) every week throughout the season. It turned out to be very successful and I ended up with a group of 20 juniors between age 10 and 19. This first year gave me the opportunity to really establish my formula for progressive freestyle coaching.
Midway through the 2013 season, I organized a 3-day invitational event that would let juniors in other parts of the country meet, improve and compete together: The Junior Freestyle Camp. I had all the kids bring mats and sleeping bags and we camped out in the local surf club, put in 8-hour days on the water, and had a group of parents organize a sweet meal plan. After the first year things really took off and besides the regularly scheduled Junior Freestyle Training sessions at home I ran a summer tour of Junior Freestyle Camp events visiting spots around the country.
Fast forward to today this is all still very much in full swing. The local junior group is at an all-time high of 30 riders. Since 2016 I’ve also added a Freestyle Friday’s session for adults to the program based on the same format. In an attempt to make a long story a little bit shorter I can say that the motivation to keep my Junior Freestyle project going all these years has without a doubt been the pure joy I get out of coaching and getting to know these amazing kids that now have grown up to be my close friends. For me, this video represents a milestone in that journey and just how far these guys have come since we first met.
C7: At what age did the kids start to practice and how old are they now?
Erik: Most of the team has been riding with me since day one of the first Junior Freestyle season! Primus (13) started at the age of 6. Mostly fun and games at that point! Leo (16) and Måns (17) are best friends and started at 9. Felix (15) started at 10 and is Måns’ younger brother. David (19) started only last year. Anton (graduated the juniors category but still part of the team) started 6 years ago and has been my training partner on many trips around the globe. There are a few more boys and girls in the Team that missed out on the session when we were shooting the video. Gotta make sure they make it into next year’s one!
C7: How often do you meet at the spot and what do the coachings look like?
Erik: The training sessions run at 5 pm every Thursday during the season, roughly early May through late October. We normally get roughly 20 sessions per season with conditions ranging from very light winds to full on 40+ knots storms. We do it all! Besides the 2 hours long-scheduled sessions the Team usually rides together.
The team riders are a group, but my coaching style is very focused on the individual rider, his level and his style. I have a progression plan lined up for every single rider, building from the basics up to as far as they want to make it. Regardless of the level the moves are broken down into stages and a lot of work is done in light winds to complement the strong wind training. Even though we all know that new school aerials are where it’s at, you should really see these kids in light winds. A real Gecko mania!
C7: We know that freestyle is your passion. Is it easy for you to transfer your passion to young people?
Erik: These kids inspire me so much. It’s all about finding just the right mix of fun and freestyle. The Junior Freestyle concept has turned into such a communal scene and we’re all just sharing the excitement. Anyone who’s ever had a crack at freestyle windsurfing knows that that feeling of progression is just so infectious. I just love working through the stages, trying to find out what works for every individual. Most of the time I’m just as hyped as the person who’s landing their latest trick.
I always hear people talking about that one special memory you finally landed a particular move for the first time. Having shared in the progression of all these kids so closely over the years I have tons of those. That’s pretty special!
C7: Many brands don’t believe in this discipline, but we believe it’s the key to make windsurfing cool and get young kids on the board. Landing new moves with light gear and a short board is so much fun and so satisfying. You don’t need the perfect spot, just 12 knots, one board and one rig. Isn’t Freestyle windsurfing the perfect way to fascinate young people for windsurfing?
Erik: No doubt! I couldn’t have put it better myself. I’m lucky to be working with great brands that really see the value in freestyle and freestyle for juniors especially, and I truly believe that the simplicity and the visual appeal of freestyle windsurfing is just unbeatable. Combine that with the fact that you can start having fun freestyling as soon as you’ve managed your first few runs on the board and you have a winning concept. It’s such a fun and playful way of approaching learning windsurfing. I always teach sail 360’s and Heli tacks to beginners, and that sets off the progressive mindset that is so addictive right from the very beginning.
C7: Will you continue with your project in 2021?
Erik: I can’t wait for another fun season, still as motivated as ever. And I think that I can speak for the rest of the team when I say that we’ll definitely be back to crush it in 2021!
Check out Erik and the Straight Outta Fiskebäck Junior Freestyle Team on Instagram:
Erik Håkman: https://www.Instagram.com/erikhakmans1988 | Primus Sörling: https://www.instagram.com/primussorling | Anton Oqvist: https://www.instagram.com/antonoqvist | Måns Schoultz: https://www.instagram.com/mansschoultz
We wish Erik and his team a lot of fun on the water!