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Originals February 20, 2024February 27th, 2024

In Conversation with SSC

Here onboard the good ship WT we’re big fans of the merging of cultures, and anyone or brand who sees our little eco-system of counter culture a touch differently. Enter Stockholm Surfboard Club, a brand at the intersection of fashion and surf. A brand at the forefront of design by means of expression, but its roots equally embedded in surfboard shaping and fashion with the founders being of Acne studios allumi. A shining beacon of hope in what can be an increasingly bleak brand offering in our beloved subculture of surf!

We find ourselves in Stockholm, it’s November and the first snow of winter has arrived and settled en masse, with an afternoon at leisure we could think of no better way to pass the time and swing via their studio to learn more.

Dive in, the water is Baltic.


Introduce yourself!

Hi my name is Manne . I’m from Stockholm, Sweden and I’m the founder and creative director of Stockholm Surfboard Club.


When did you start shaping surfboards?

I started shaping probably around 15 years ago – it came about because I was always interested in carpentry and craftsmanship working with your hands. My dad was a carpenter, so I was really amazed how, how he could turn, whatever materials into like a sauna or whatever, he could really build stuff. And I was impressed with that. I worked as a carpenter for a bit, then I started shaping because I realised that you actually can build your own boards.

And then, yes – I got hooked.


When did you start surfing?

I started surfing here in Sweden, and also travelling a lot mainly to Costa Rica. So I surfed a lot with Freddie (Meadows) over there, I spent like every winter there for about 10 years maybe. I went to other places as well, I worked a bunch down in France in a chateau there picking grapes in the season. I mean, obviously if you’re from Sweden, like most Swedish surfers they learn abroad. And I’ve been like surfing a lot abroad, but I live here so I surf a lot in Sweden too.


And how did Stockholm Surfboard Club come about? Talk us through the journey?

I had a shaping studio with a bunch of friends in in the, in this in Södermalm in the centre of Stockholm. We were shaping surfboards, a bunch of us and it was kind of a nice, fun club I guess – just a community thing with my friends.  At the same time I was working at Acne Studios, there in the design team. I was working  with the design team during the days and then I was shaping surfboards and hanging out with my friends during the night in our workshop. Johnny, who’s the creative director at Acne Studios is also a keen surfer and obsessed with surfboards, craftsmanship, the legacy and the tradition – everything about it. So we kind of hit off on that subject, with Acne we did a few collaborations with surfers like Alex Knost with Robin Kegel. So we did a few surf projects and it kind of made it hit and miss, but at least it opened up the division that there’s so much stuff within the surf industry that’s interesting. Stuff that’s not really being done or being used – so  it happened naturally to kind of merge those two things; my day job and my night job.


How did it kind of grow from there?

Obviously we did it roughly at first, tee shirt blanks, screen printed logo stuff. I was travelling a bunch to Japan during my years at Acne Studios. I got in contact with a wetsuit factory there that started developing the wetsuit. So that was also one of the products, one of the first products, and try to do them in a different way. It’s not like we’re inventing something new, but at least to do them in an elevated way. So it was nice to get that first unique product done, I was really proud. And I am still really proud of the wetsuits that we do. So we had the wetsuits, we had some T shirts, and then some surfboards. And then we started developing a small collection, and that came with COVID. So that was like a perfect start. And then from there, it’s just been growing


“It’s not like we’re inventing something new, but at least to do them in an elevated way.”



What’s your take on the worlds of fashion and surfing colliding?

I mean, I’m not really a fashion guy. So I’m, maybe not the right person to ask, but I don’t know who the right person to ask is…

For me, we’re not trying to make fashion in that sense of the word. We’re just trying to I mean, get inspired by surfing. And, like, everything that goes with it I get inspired by being in the ocean –  you know, I get inspired by being in the shaping bay. I get inspired by looking at old surf magazines, or new surf magazines – there’s so much stuff with surfing, that inspires me.

I guess skateboarding has been such a urban activity, and fashion – fashion is urban. So I guess it’s like, that’s why it’s merged into what it is now. And I think surfing has always been so not urban. It’s been like, if you’re on the beach, you have long hair and shark tooth necklace, you know.  And then now I think surfers are, you know, with whatever, with internet and accessibility and wave forecasts and whatever. You can surf, wherever, I mean, you can surf if you live in Stockholm, so you can surf wherever. And that became that urbanisation of surfing, I guess, which will eventually lead to it becoming more a part of subjects or areas, including fashion  where, where you wouldn’t see it before.


Does Stockholm Surfboard Club see itself as more of fashion brand or more of a surf brand?

I see us as a Surf Brand.  I think it’s interesting to do both, I mean, obviously, fashion is a big thing for but it’s  a tool to work with interesting people and do interesting things and to collide the  worlds to kind of make it interesting. I was really like, a real surf bum, you know, I’ve been living on the beach and you’re surfing etc and at times done nothing else. But I also have these  roots in Stockholm and  90% of my friends don’t surf.

So I think the brand, what we do, is rooted in surf but then there’s a lot of more coming into it. I mean, the name is obviously surf related but it’s more like an umbrella of stuff that we like our community and our extended community wants to do, you know  –  I don’t care if it’s if it fashion or perfume or surfboards or I don’t know, cooking supplies?! It could be anything really.


With your physical positioning, obviously being up in Stockholm it’s a long way away from your Biarritz’s, your L.A’s and your Sydney’s of this world – the traditional hubs of surf culture as it were. Do you find that sort of offers you a different perspective being a bit detached?

Definitely, I mean, without knowing in a way . Since I haven’t been in the industry, which I I’m sure you are, if you grew up in, in Sydney, or if you grew up in LA, or San Diego, or if that is all you know. For example the fashion scene in our industry, in Stockholm is really small. It can seem big or whatever but it’s not. I think, all industries, if you’re only in your little puddle, and everybody knows everybody, everybody influences each other and then it’s just going to be quite incestuous development.

So I think, for sure, we will have some other perspectives coming here from the North.


What’s your take on contemporary surf culture? What inspires you?

I guess there are two legs of it. There’s one, like the ‘sport’ of surfing, which is whatever, if you call it contemporary, or the modernization of surfing, which is terrible. I remember I used to watch the ASP before it was the WSL – I was like, it’s like every sport you know, it just ruins everything – the modernization of competition at least. I’m not I’m not a big fan of that part of it. But then on a more artistic level, I think there’s a lot of stuff going on, in the alternative part of surfing and surfing culture, which is nice.

However I think I mostly don’t get inspired by ‘surfing’ per say to be honest. Like, I do get inspired by the fact that I want to surf and I want to build surfboards.  But It’s not often that I look at another surf brand and think ok, I wish I did that, those influences come from other other places.

But, I mean, obviously, there is things happening. And I think one of those things is like the Queen’s classic in Biarritz, which I think is cool, because it’s coming from the roots, and the core. There’s a community and there’s something new and cool emerging from it, and it’s very inclusive and I think that’s a cool, modern thing. Also taking it back from the big corporations and doing stuff like that festival is amazing.


What’s next for SSC?

Taking the surf club on the road! I think that’s what’s happening a bit more to be more, you know, to be more activating our connections and communities globally. And then of course I love working on exciting projects with friends.

Life goes on.

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