Local Legend: Chris Dight.
Firstly, Introduce yourself, who are you and where are you from?
My name´s Chris Dight. I am originally from Coffs Harbour but grew up in Tweed Heads, Australia. I moved to Sweden 12 years ago. Father of 2 grommets and partner to an absolute gem of a woman. I’m currently in Stockholm and scouring the baltic coast of Sweden for hidden slabs whenever I can.
How did you first fall in love with bodyboarding?
I actually started off on a standup as a grom. One day my board got knocked up badly on the rocks at Kirra and I took it in for repairs. My older brother bodyboarded at the time so I borrowed his board and hit the shorey. I had so much fun that I begged mum to buy me one for my birthday and things kinda just rolled on from there.
You’ve been nominated as a “Local Legend”, can you give an outline of your personal history with your local area?
I moved just north of Stockholm from Göteborg in 2016 and immediately got to it trying to find something worth surfing over here. Since then I’ve driven and hiked along just about every bit of coastline and paddled stupid distances to islands and reefs in the middle of nowhere looking for setups. Sometimes with company but most of the time alone.
Learning how to read the weather/ swells here is pretty intense as well. Minor details like a few degrees difference in wind/swell direction or a storm passing the coast 50km further north than predicted can really make or break a session here. Sometimes you need to check the same spot like 30 times in all the slightly differing weather conditions before being semi sure it’ll even break. We don’t usually know there will be a wave until a few hours before, meaning you need to be super flexible with work and family commitments as well. But when it all comes together and you score an epic session it’s all the fuel you need.
What makes your local area so special to you?
It’s almost completely unexplored from a bodyboarder’s perspective. So the thrill of finding a new slab is definitely a big driving factor, but also the challenge of it all in general. Timing the unpredictable weather patterns, hiking through knee deep snow, putting on a wet 6mm wettie in -10 degrees with wind chill at -20, then trying to take it off again when your hands are numb to the bone and you can’t grasp the damn zip 🤣 it’s all pretty special really. Though it makes me laugh thinking about the old days at D’bah where we were all complaining about how cold it was. These days it isn’t cold unless ice is forming in your beard/ eyebrows or on your arm as it rests on the board for 20 secs.
Without naming specific locations, can you describe your most memorable session or wave in your home zone?
Discovering and paddling out at Elsa’s for the first time was pretty memorable. I had spent ages going over sea charts, maps and weather patterns and had found a spot that looked interesting. l had to wait three or four months before the right storm came through so I could get out there and have a look, and another month before I did the same trip with all my gear. As I paddled up to it I almost couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was just one perfect barrel after another. It’s rare enough to find that kind of thing anywhere in the world…but here in Sweden it was like winning the lottery.
Who are the other riders in your area who deserve a little recognition and why?
Basically everyone who is in the Nordic Bodyboard Association.
Michael Moraga in Denmark, Chris King, Kaci Benaissa, João Faim, Bruno, Nic Geldenhuys, Oscar Chandler in Norway. Christian Beuvard in Iceland, Samuel Gojak, Ryan Rice, Ripley Davenport South Sweden. Charlie, Stu and Pierre around Stockholm. There are plenty more and I haven’t even met half of them personally but they are all part of the driving force pushing each other to get out in the frigid waters and share the stoke.
Can you tell us an urban myth from your area which routinely gets retold, either surf or non-surf related?
That there is good surf at Torö seems to be the local myth of choice haha, or that the consistency in waves matches the consistency in social media posts over here . Some sessions have been regurgitated by people for years.
Lastly, which rider is ripping the most where you live?
Charlie Tomlinson has only been here for a few sessions, but each time he’s been getting some sick ones. He’s definitely going to be a contender for a trophy or two in the NBA’s 2021 bodyboard competition.
Any other comments or shout outs you’d like to include feel free here.
Big shout out to Guy Sowry at @bodyboard_depot for keeping the Nordic Bodyboard Association members well equipped and Kerryn/ Craig at @northernexposure Brewery for their support and love of great tasting beer.