Whilst some of us have that instant ability to look at terrain, and scale the exact variables to land the trick first time; I am not one of those people. There aren’t many people who can do that in actual fact, but I found myself having the pleasure/misfortune to be riding with one of those people that day. 

That person happened to be Terje Håkonsen.

We’d headed out of Oslo a few days before; a long drive through the spaghetti like arteries of Norway’s highway system, seamlessly navigating from farmland, to mountain plateaus, saw us arrive to the serrated valleys of the west coast. 

Our destination was Stranda, the infamous resort that hovers just above the cloud line with the chiseled fjords below. You’d be forgiven for thinking if you popped too much, you might well end up in the fjord, but instead it makes for one of the most dramatic backdrops to a mountain scape I’d ever seen. There’s nowhere like it I’ve ever ridden, and having seen some Strandafjellet’s plans for the next few years, they’re updating the infrastructure whilst keeping the uniqueness of the resort that makes it so special.

Norwegians tend to think of themselves as unfriendly. The classic line being “Norway, where the weather is cold, but the people are colder”, but unless Stranda turned into a tropical paradise when I wasn’t looking, that couldn't have been more untrue. Each day, the small chance encounters with locals followed somewhat of the same pattern.

Initially they were curious as to why we were there (answer; snowboarding), how long we were in Stranda for (answer; 5 days), what else we were doing (answer; surfing (normally followed by raised eyebrows)) and whether we liked the area (answer; a resounding yes). 

This was normally followed by a request for a selfie, albeit not with me. I found my true calling on the other side of the lens or phone. 

Being a bit short pressed on-time, we still managed to get some waves in Stad and outside Ålesund, visit Gudbrandsjuvet and the incredibly beautiful Juvet Landscape Hotel which will remain the nicest place I’ve ever slept for a long time, as well as dropping into Trandal for some authentic bacalao and a truly viking experience. 

In between all the fun, there was some work to do on the #TACscouting but business and pleasure were pretty well mixed up there. 

Stay tuned for some more updates from our trip, and check the photos above. Thanks to everyone we met along the way, was good to ride, eat, and laugh with you all. 

No Bad Days. 

J.