Come hang out with me
It's an early morning in May and the sun already feels warm on my skin. I've brought my own skateboard, not entirely sure why. Probably because I'm meeting my new idols in the skatepark and want her to know that I'm also a skater. Not even close to as good as she though. I've seen her Instagram and know what she can do. Simply put - I'm starstruck!
- Coffee? I ask and hand her a mug. Hanna Fjellstedt takes the cup and sits down on her board in the middle of the skatepark, fixing her cap in the process.
Hanna is one of the founders of the newly formed community Systraskate. It's a sisterhood of skating girls and non-binary that get together twice a week, inspire eachother and learn from one another. She tells me that the acceptance towards girls that skate have changed in recent years, and it's a stronger community now compared to when she was a kid. Back then there were mainly guys who skateboarded.
- We wanted to create a space for skateboarding girls. The youngest one is two years old and it's fun to be a role model because when I was small and began to skate there was no woman who skated in town that I could look up to. Systraskate all began when a 7 year old and a 10 year old, siblings, came along. Then they brought their friends and class mates and now we are over 20 people.
How it all began
Hanna refers time and time again to when she was a child, and that makes me curious to find out more.
- Tell me how it all started! I beg.
- Well, I had always had a skateboard at home, but I started to ride when I was 13. I rode every day between 13 and 15 years old, it was constant. I rode on my own a lot, but also with guy friends. We didn't have a skatepark back then, so we had to build everything ourselves. Then I started a girl-skate in the youth center, in a small indoor room, and we quickly became a group of girls.
I look at Hanna and think to myself that she doesn't realize how much she means to this town and other girls. Or she does, but is to shy or humble (like we northerners tend to be).
- So, when are we hiking up the Falkträsk mountain to make a bon fire with the other ambassadors then?
The question is sudden, and out of nowhere. Her eyes have lit up in a way that I, before this, have only seen in my kids eyes.
- A friend showed me Falkträsk mountain, she says. It's gorgeous up there.
For those who has not been there - Falkträsk mountain has, not only a view of the water below but also a view over the entire town. There's also a fire pit and a couple of benches for those who want to have a barbecue or simply enjoy the view.
Always ready for an adventure
- I really started to like the outdoors in recent years, and I spend a lot more time in nature now. I mean, sure, I've always been outside when I was a kid, but now I enjoy hiking, fishing, just being in the woods, those kinds of things. So I bought myself some pants and shoes suitable for hiking. I even got a Trangia stove as a birthday present, so now I'm always ready for an adventure!
Hanna goes on to tell me about her summers in her dads cabin when she was younger. Everything she could ever imagine was there: snow mobile in the winter, a canoe in the summer. A small beach and calming nature.
- I have lots of friends who also enjoy the outdoors, so usually we all takes off together. It doesn't matter if it's summer or winter, we don't care. We love either one.