Maria Petersson- the Swedish nomad surfer
Some time ago we got a visit at our office in Malmö (Sweden) by Maria Petersson. She was passing by on her way from Lofoten in northers Norway, where she had spent the summer and fall, to her next destination Fuerteventura. Coming from the cold waters in the north she had became aware of the need to wear plugs and we hooked her up of course .
(All photos by Pontus Pålsson.)
First of all, who are you and where are you from?
My name is Maria Petersson, a surfer from Sweden.
Maria dressed for the cold water in Norway. Photo: Pontus Pålsson
Surfing might not be the most obvious thing coming from Sweden. How did you first get into to surfing?
When I was about 17 years old I went to a surf camp in France. I loved it straight away and I remember thinking to myself ”this is what I want to do”, so ever since then, I’ve been dedicating my life to surfing. Sweden do get waves but they are mostly not great and mostly very cold so I moved overseas as soon as I finished school, so I could live and breathe surfing, and that’s what I’ve done ever since!
You recently moved from Norway to Fuerteventura and I understand that you have been around quite a lot? Which is favorite surf destination so far?
[Laugh] Yeah, it is quite a change moving from the Arctic to the Canaries, but so far I am not missing the cold and the darkness. For the last 10 years I’ve been living in a few different surf places in Cornwall, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia and Norway. After living in these beautiful surf countries I think it will be hard to ever move back to Sweden.
My favorite cold water destination is definitely Lofoten in the Arctic. Lofoten has perfect waves, still not too bad crowds and beautiful landscapes. Warm water favorites are the Sunshine Coast, Australia and Fuerteventura, Canaries.
Fuerteventura. Photo: Pontus Pålsson
Do have a dream destination that is still on your to-do list?
Tahiti is top 1 on my to-surf-list. Everything about Tahiti just looks and sounds so dreamy. I also would love to go to the Maldives, and stay on a boat that takes you to different surf spots- what a dream!
You have done some competing lately and you won the Lofoten Masters last year, congrats! Have you done a lot of competitions in the past?
Thank you! It was actually my first win. I have done a bit of competitions over the last few years. I did a couple of competitions in Portugal that was part of the Portuguese tour, and ended up on 3rd place on both of them. And I’ve done a few competitions with the Swedish National Team, last year us girls did the best we have ever done at the World Surfing Games in Biarritz. The competitive side of surfing has never been my main goal though I am so happy with the results and with what I have achieved so far.
Maria surfing in Lofoten. Photo: Pontus Pålsson
During the event in Lofoten, killer whales showed up in the lineup! Where were you when that happened and how was that experience?
That was crazy! I just got out of the water and were walking up the beach when I heard people screaming, I looked back and saw two killer whales strolling through the line up. It was amazing to see them so close, though I am really happy I wasn’t in the water. [Laugh]
Killer whale experts has been watching the video and says it was an attempt of an attack, which is quite sketchy. I have seen killer whales in the line up before, but after this little interference I am way more scared of them. [Video of the Orcas at Lofoten Masters]
What’s your plans for the upcoming year?
My main plan for this year is to surf as much as I can and to stay healthy. I will keep blogging and do our vlog, and hopefully do a surf trip at the end of the year. We also have a few other exciting film projects coming up, so stay tuned!
Thanks Maria, and good luck with everything!