Sweden is one of the best countries in Europe for stand up paddlers with almost unlimited access to vast areas of water, the coast has thousands of islands and inlets to explore, unspoilt rivers and some of the largest lakes in Europe. Combine that with a growing surf scene and it is no surprise that stand up paddle boarding is becoming more and more popular there. One of the figureheads of the sport in Sweden is NSP paddler Patrick ‘Paddy’ Boyum, SUP Racer, SUP Surfer and SUP Ultra Distance paddler. TotalSUP caught up with this versatile waterman to talk all things SUP.
NSP’s Swedish SUP Racer Patrick Paddy Boyum
Hi Paddy, welcome to TotalSUP! Many people might not know you but will recognise you from event photos around the world, with Spring on the way are you looking forward to your 2023 season?
Hej Chris, of course I am! In just a few weeks the race season starts here in Scandinavia. The first race of the season will be a downwind race in Denmark in mid-April followed by all the races on the Swedish SUP Circuit with a focus on Malmö Ocean Race in early June and Skrea Strand SUP race in August. Both are national team qualifying events as they contain Swedish Championship disciplines. The race in Skrea will be a blast! Never before has an ICF qualifier been held in Sweden. The guys in Falkenberg are doing a tremendous job putting Sweden on the international SUP map.
Paddy at the Euros in Denmark
Great news and I think TotalSUP will be there at Skrea in August. I see that you have already been racing this year and turned in an excellent, personal best early-season performance at the GlaGla race in France?
Tack, this winter has been difficult as I have been recovering from shoulder surgery last autumn. The operation was just a few weeks after the ICF World Championship in Poland and I am still coming back from it. I am lucky to have a really great physio who has been helping me get back into shape as quickly as possible but I could not resist a trip to the GlaGla Race in January with my son Lucas, who is one of the top paddlers in Sweden. We packed our NSP Carolinas and headed south.
My expectations in the race were low, I signed up for the short distance with the goal just to get around the course. A few days before the race I felt strong so I got in contact with Benoit from the event and asked if I could change class from Short to Long Distance. He made the change and I was ready to race.
It turned out that all the rehab I had been doing paid off pretty well. I finished 26 overall with my best time ever at a GlaGla Race. As the steam was up I participated in the Technical Race too where I also did my best ever GlaGla result finishing in 14th place.
Patrick Boyum and his NSP Carolina
Great work and good to see Lucas on NSP this season with you. How did you all get into SUP and then into SUP Racing?
I was introduced to stand up paddling back in 2008 when I was on Maui to windsurf. I was pretty sure SUP was nothing for me as I was used to high speed and adrenaline pumping from my windsurfing career where I was into both wave riding, speed sailing and slalom, competing in all three disciplines.
But back in Sweden I became curious and got hold of a second-hand NSP 11’ all-round board from Surfers in Varberg. The first time I went out for a glide was a late summer night as the sun set at the local beach, the water was flat as a mirror, the air and water warm and I set off in just board shorts. I was pretty sceptical at first but it didn’t take long till I fell in love with the sport.
Patrick Boyum NSP SUP Surfer
That big 11-footer was soon exchanged for a smaller wave board which I took with me every time I went windsurfing and I quickly found myself more often searching for conditions suitable for SUP-surfing instead of windsurfing! In 2014 I won the inaugural Swedish National SUP-Surfing contest and was selected for the National Team. By then I had expanded my quiver with a 12´6” race board as well and attended all the races in Sweden and Denmark.
It didn’t take long before the rest of my family was paddling too, Lucas is my oldest son and has been paddling since 2014. His first SUP race was back in 2015 aged 10 and he is now one of the most experienced paddlers we have in Sweden. I love to go out on a great downwinder with him. For the last few years, we have travelled to many international races together. I cannot think of a better training and travelling buddy.
Paddy training on his NSP O2 inflatable race SUP
Your paddling takes in much more than SUP racing, tell us about your Ultra Long Distance paddle – the M2G
Over the years my passion for ultra paddling and the adventurous part of Stand Up Paddling has grown stronger and stronger and a few days after Casper Steinfath’s 24-hour event in Copenhagen in 2021 I took off for an adventure. My plan was to do a solo, self-supported, paddling trip across Sweden using the M2G route, this is an old, partly man-made, waterway called the Göta Kanal starting off at the Baltic Sea on the east of Sweden cutting through the magnificent Swedish landscape to Gothenburg and Skagerrak on the west coast. It is approximately 425 kilometres and I planned to complete it within five days.
I loaded up my NSP Carolina on top of my car and drove five hours from Malmö to where I planned to start the trip. I unloaded the board at a small harbour by the canal and parked the car next to a train station in a nearby town so my fiancé could pick it up a few days later. As I was about to embark I realised that the very start of the canal wasn’t where I was but five kilometres away. In the wrong direction. As I wanted it to be correct in all ways there was nothing else to do but to start the trip by going five km in the wrong direction.
NSP Carolina on an adventure with Patrick Boyum
The NSP Carolina is a thoroughbred race board yet you chose that for your adventure?
Yeah, it was an excellent choice, I carried all the equipment and most of the food needed for the trip on the board and really appreciated the speed and stability of the board for the whole trip.
At one point I was caught in trouble on Lake Vänern which is one of the largest lakes in Europe. I had to paddle across a huge bay on my way to the southernmost point of the lake where a river leads to the last part of the paddle to the ocean. The weather suddenly changed and a breeze started to create massive bumps. At this point, I was nearly in the middle of the bay with a good 20 kilometres left to shore. The wind was a straight headwind, 10-15 knots and the bumps were about hip high. In the middle of this battle my GPS died and with that my navigation help. I had to rely on my ability to navigate by the sun, waves and wind direction. It all went well and I reached shore after another five hours of hard work. The whole trip was a great adventure with tons of experience and impressions.
I crossed the finish line in Gothenburg after four days, twenty-three hours and twenty-two minutes after starting the journey.
Unusually you have been with the same brand, NSP since you started your SUP journey, looking forward to 2023 what do you have planned for your NSP quiver?
Yeah, I am very happy to be with NSP for nearly 10 years now! I think 2023 will be a great year for SUP in Sweden, we have a bigger race scene than ever with events all over the country that I will go to with my son Lucas and our NSP Ninja and Carolina boards and I have a big adventure planned with my new NSP O2 FSL inflatable race board, you will have to wait to hear more about that.
Then there is the ICF World Championships in Thailand in November, I am the team captain of the Swedish SUP team and we hope to take a strong team there.
Sounds like you have a busy 2023 season ahead of you and all of us here at TotalSUP would say “Lycka Till” if we could speak Swedish!
Paddy is one of the leading SUP paddlers in Sweden and you can try to keep up with him and his busy SUP Life on his social media channels – Instagram and Facebook. You can keep up with all things NSP through their social media on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube and on the NSP website.
Images from Patrick Boyum, feature image Maria Cerboni.
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