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The Aloha spreading surf champ Guro Aanestad

 
She’s a three time Norwegian Champion in surfing and everything else she touches turns into gold. Team Surfer Guro Aanestad have spent more time on the road than the average Joe and have collected her share of memorable waves and laughs along the way.
 
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Photo: Pedro Mestre
 
Hi, Guro! It’s so great to be able to pick your surf brain a bit and hear your story. So how did you get into surfing?
 
– Wow, it must have started about 13 years ago. I had some friends here in Stavanger that surfed, so one day they took me along and I was instantly hooked. My dad was happy that I got into the world of water sports, being an avid windsurfer himself, and next Christmas I found a 7.2” Minimal under the Christmas tree. I actually still surf on it on fun summer days in Norway. He was my designated driver the first years, and I remember quite some trips out to the surf on stormy days when I thought there was going to be epic waves, only to surf the white water foam on the beach.
 
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We know that being a Scandinavian surfer you always have the dilemma of cold vs warm water surfing. What’s your preference?
 
– That’s actually a really hard question. I mean, coming from Norway I absolutely love the cold water aspect and surfing here in Stavanger with my friends. I don’t mind the cold temperature, but things do take a bit longer and a bit more effort than in the tropics. There’s a couple of winters where I’ve been changing outside in the February cold and wished for warmer climates. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Indo (Indonesia) and there’s something about surfing in bikini and not having to stress too much with the gear. Indo also has amazing waves, which is important when head out on trips.
 
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Photo: Hallvard Kolltveit
 
– I also absolutely love Sri Lanka. I went there to stay for two weeks, but quickly extended my stay to a month. The setup with so many different waves close to the surf camp, the beautiful, warm and inviting locals, and the food just makes this one of my favourite getaways. It doesn’t get as big as Indo, but I prefer a happy lineup with good vibes and all smiles over a crowded and tense lineup where you might sneak away with a good wave or two.
 
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Photo: Pedro Mestre
 
Having surfed for over a decade in Norway you’ve probably seen both the culture and level og surfing evolved quite a bit?
 
– Yes, there’s always been a lot of people in my age group that have been surfing here in Stavanger, but the level of surfing has gotten so much higher nowadays. You learn from each other and also feel more comfortable in the water when you know that everyone know’s what they’re doing. There’s such a good community of surfers here in Stavanger and I love going out with friends and just having a blast in and out of the water. I love grabbing a coffee or a BBQ with friends before or after the surf, but when I’m in the water I’m a bit too much “in the zone” to just fool around, haha. The vibe in the water is great, we respect each other and just have a lot of fun. I love it!
 
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You’ve also been able to snag a couple of top spots at different surf competitions. Is it all just fun or some competitiveness in there as well?
 
– Yeah, I join in on my first comp 5-6 years ago, which was a Jæren Boardriders or maybe a Volcom competition. Since then I’ve joined and won the Norwegian Championship three times, the Lofoten Masters, Nordic Surf Games and X Waves. It’s again mainly because of the social aspect; seeing old friends, sharing good waves and stories between heats and staying in big houses and meeting new amazing people. That being said, you always want to do well and maybe grab a win as well 😉
 
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Photo: Kristine Tofte
 
What has the future in store for Guro?
 
– Haha, I’m so bad at making long term plans, so I just wing it! A dream would be to do 6 months in Norway and 6 months in Indo every year, but there’s some pieces that need to fall in place for that, so let’s see. I like staying away for quite a while when I go on trips, preferably 1 – 2 months, both because you then get more time to immerse yourself and experience the local culture and the surf better, but also because I don’t like flying too much because of the environmental impact. Wherever I end up I’m at least going to surf a lot in the future!
 
Follow Guro’s journeys here on Instagram.