Life in Swedensportswinter

A Californian doing Swedish Winter Sports, take 1

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Snowboarding Again

I come from California. In the winter we have soccer. When it is cold out we put on a sweat shirt.

Here Sweden is completely different. Lately it has been freezing (which is normal for February). And sometimes it is too cold to do any sports, even the winter ones. But once in awhile we get those nice days and it is great to get out in the sun while we can and exercise!

Last weekend, after a year of not snowboarding, we finally got a chance to hit the slopes! We went to a small local slope that cost 10 euros for the day. Before you get too excited, note that the slope was only open for 4 hours. But for me, a complete beginner (I had only just learned to snowboard two years before), it was great.

Snowboarding in Sweden

Took me awhile to get the hang of it and remember what my instructor said (weight on the front foot, steer with your rear foot, and keep that rear leg straight!) but once I did it was fun! The locals were super nice too. As you can see in the video below, I am no expert:

The guy running the ski lift was very encouraging, and one of the women said I was very brave for trying (didn’t get good video of my fun falls!) It was great for the encouragement, and it was nice to see how everyone was so eager to practice their English (though granted me and my Swede were not speaking Swedish with each other – they probably figured I didn’t know it!

And a little something about how small the world is, when we were taking a break in the hot lodge a women came up to us saying she couldn’t help to hear I was American and asked where I was from. Turned out that she lived in the bay area (San Francisco area) for 20 years and only in the last 4 years moved back to Sweden. Wow! I guess she never thought she would see an American skiing at her local slope in her small town. And I didn’t think I’d run into a Swede who lived in the States for so long! It was pretty cool to chat with her, and makes me look forward to my next trip back.

Learning to Cross Country Ski

Because it is so cold in Sweden, winter sports are a must. Cross country skiing is a very popular sport among Swedes. Probably because the tracks are everywhere, and completely free for public use. So my father-in-law decided to take me out cross country skiing.

Now, keep in mind I had never been on skis before. And the instructions I got before trying this sport was “follow me!” I had no idea what I was doing. That was the fun part, at least for them! So I try my first cross country hill. Not as bad as I imagined. And makes me want to try to go a bit faster next time I go snowboarding!

All in all it was a great weekend and so much fun to participate in these Swedish winter sports. Now I can only improve and next time impress you with how awesome I am! 🙂


  1. Michelle
    February 18, 2011 at 05:08 — Reply

    you may be no expert with a snowboard but i think you did a FANTASTIC job! way to go miss foster!!!! lol

  2. Ellen
    February 22, 2011 at 03:33 — Reply

    I too am a (former) Californian who frequently partakes in winter sports! I now live in Colorado but I am going to get my masters in Sweden, headed over in June! Just stumbled upon your awesome site so you’ll probably see me around, as I am obsessed with Sweden as well 🙂

  3. February 22, 2011 at 08:35 — Reply

    Wow, very cool! Where are you going to be in Sweden, Stockholm? What are you going to study? Glad to welcome another Swedish Freak! 🙂

  4. Ellen
    February 22, 2011 at 13:59 — Reply

    I’ll be in Uppsala at SLU (the ag uni)! I’ll be travelling most of the summer and am hoping to get to your neck of the woods, since I have only been to central Sweden so far. Do you recommend any “must see” places?

  5. February 22, 2011 at 14:37 — Reply

    It seems up here all there is is forest forest forest, but I need to do more exploring myself. North Cape is quite famous, but that is in Norway in the end. Around our area there isn’t even any national parks, they are all above and below it 🙁

    In any case, if you are heading more north you will most likely pass through Skelleftea. We have an open couch (are active couch surfers) and welcome visitors, especially Californians 🙂 Might be able to do a nice moose grill for you too, so drop us a line when you are up here 🙂

  6. Ellen
    February 23, 2011 at 01:42 — Reply

    Awesome! Thanks for the link – I am hoping to do some hiking in the national parks and elsewhere.

    I will definitely keep you in mind if I come up north! I am planning on creating my own blog for my Swedish adventure so I am looking for ideas and inspiration… I’ll definitely be around here commenting! I am a member on CS but have yet to host or surf, but I am planning to in Sweden. I feel that these last few months here I should open my couch up, but I dont know how my roommies would feel about it!

  7. February 23, 2011 at 08:46 — Reply

    well, FYI, it is much easier finding people to sleep on your couch then it is finding a couch to sleep on! 🙂 Let me know when your blog is up, will be a great read I’m sure! 🙂

  8. March 4, 2011 at 11:19 — Reply

    You’re also from the Bay Area?! Me too…from Berkeley. There are so many Californians in Sweden it’s crazy.

    Ellen, I couch surfed a few times and really liked the program. My place is too small to take surfers now but I’ll be glad to grab a drink in Stockholm with you. Hit me up on my blog and email me. =)

    • March 4, 2011 at 14:44 — Reply

      LOL, Berkeley rocks! So weird about California’s coming to Sweden, what is up with that? Not cold enough in California???

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Hilary lived two years in Norrland, Sweden (Northern Sweden) and fell in love with the country. She lives in Prague, Czechia and hopes to one day soon return to Sweden.