Casper Steinfath aka The Danish Viking reveals to TotalSUP how he has toughened up all winter in Vikingland by training in the freezing waters of his home fishing village of Klitmøller by the North Sea.
Casper, as the only Danish national in the current World’s Top 100, can you tell us a bit about your Danish roots?
I live in an old little fishing village called Klitmøller on the west coast of Denmark by the North Sea. The area has a very dynamic coastline with lots of waves and great conditions for a great variety of water sports. My hometown is also known as the “Cold Hawaii”. I have grown up surfing and paddling in the cold waters of Denmark and I am happy to still be able to call this place home and have it as my main playground for SUP and all kinds of surf activities.
The temperature often goes below -15 degrees Celcius in Cold Hawaii
How did you organize your winter training so far?
It has been a really great winter and sadly it is coming to an end now. After the Paris Crossing race in December where I finished 2nd I took a break and just enjoyed some time with my family at home after a long year on tour. But then came January and I was back into full training mode! I spent all of January training at home in “Cold Hawaii” laying the foundation work to get in shape for this year. After a really successful but cold month in Denmark I flew to Hawaii for the first stop of the Stand Up World Tour at Sunset Beach. I was really stoked to train hard and chase some big winter swell with the boys in “Warm Hawaii”.
Thanks for the epic Winter Denmark! There was a great mix of cold conditions and fun training sessions. Dodging snowballs while practicing beach starts was one of my favorites! Thanks for the fun Skp Steinkopp Productíons! Welcome to #VikingLand
Posté par Casper Steinfath sur lundi 1 février 2016
We saw you were having a lot of fun in Denmark in very cold conditions before heading to Hawaii, how did you manage to adapt to climate?
Looking back at this winter it has been filled with some very strong contrasts for me. Playing around and training in Denmark during January was amazing, but it was super cold! Going to Hawaii afterwards felt almost surreal because it was the complete opposite of Denmark. For a while it almost felt wrong to be training in Hawaii because I was not wearing my 6 mm wetsuits, gloves and boots. It is amazing how you become a product of the environment you hang out in!
Casper Steinfath riding a huge wave in Hawaii
What positive results do you get out of training in cold conditions?
What I realized this winter in Denmark was that at first training in the cold was very hard and seemed close to impossible, but the more I did it the easier it became both for my mind and my body. Training in freezing conditions definitely toughens you up and forces you to really commit and take every training session even more seriously. Maybe it makes you more Viking, but it definitely makes you appreciate the good conditions even more and makes you stronger mentally. The training I underwent at home allowed me to push even harder when I got to Hawaii. I feel like I am coming out of this winter season a lot stronger than usual and I can’t wait to get started with racing!
Casper taking a break between training sessions in Cold Hawaii
You are the flag bearer of Denmark’s candidacy for the 2017 ISA champs. In your own opinion, why would Denmark be a good destination?
I think Denmark would be a great candidate for the 2017 ISA World Championship in many ways. The excitement for stand up paddling is exploding not just in my hometown of Klitmøller, but all over the country. Denmark has thousands of kilometers of coastline and so many different types of conditions whether you are looking for epic flatwater, howling down winders or super fun waves. Denmark could really highlight the full spectrum and all the different ways of having fun on a SUP board. The conditions will make for some amazing action both in urban and wild natural settings, and I think it would be super cool to have an ISA SUP World Championship in Europe. It would without a doubt be a dream come true for me to be able to compete at a World Championship in my own backyard
What is the state of the SUP scene in Denmark?
The SUP scene in Denmark is growing very rapidly, but more importantly for me I see a lot of excited and very passionate people doing something they love. SUP is becoming the new cool thing to do no matter if you live by the flatwater of Copenhagen or near the wild waves of the west coast. It is super easy to go to the water in Denmark no matter where you live and I hope we with an ISA SUP World Championship in 2017 we can share this message to even more people in Denmark and beyond.
Thanks a lot Casper for answering all of our questions!