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Linn the surfer

She surfs the world to find the perfect wave. Sometimes at sea, sometimes at work.

Growing up with the sea around the corner and a windsurfing professional dad, it was easy for Linn Birnbo to find passion in surfing. And the energy she gets from it, she brings to work.

The ocean has always played an important role in Linn Birnbo’s life. She grew up in a city close to the village of Getinge along the Swedish coastline where she tried out surfing from a young age. And at the age of 18 it was time to explore the French surf mecca Biarritz.

“Biarritz has really good wave surfing conditions, and even if my first week surfing meant that I was more under water than actually on the board, still this was the point where I really got hooked”, says Linn Birnbo, surfing professional.

When Linn surfs, she experiences freedom and the feeling of being nowhere else but in that very moment.

“It’s a special experience, catching the wave. You really need to focus on being here and now, if you don’t you will quickly fall off”, laughs Linn.

At start, Linn just thought surfing could be a fun hobby, but she eventually realized she was good at it, good enough to compete against the world elite.

“I love challenges and to start competing gave my surfing a new dimension where I’m pushing my limits. It also gives me the opportunity to visit interesting places both close by and all around the world, most recently the European Championships in Stavanger, Norway where I ended on a 7th place”, explains Linn who last year also scored a 33rd position at the World Championships in Biarritz, France.

The big goal for 2018 is to compete in the World Championships in Japan. And she continues to take on new challenges; recently by joining the Swedish national team in Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP surf) during the World Championships in Denmark, after only a few weeks of training.

“They were one woman short in the team so I couldn’t say no. My surfing skills definitely were beneficial, but still it’s very different to paddle into a wave standing up. We weren’t the biggest winners nor the biggest losers, but it was great fun and a memorable experience”, she smiles.

When Linn isn’t competing against the world surf elite, she works within finance at Getinge’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden.  The workload is high, but she tries to get the most out of weekends and vacation to maximize the surfing hours.

“Getinge, my manager and the team I work with support my surfing as long as I show full commitment at work.  The best way to start the day is to go morning surfing; it boosts me with positive energy that is contagious and lasts throughout the day. I can benefit from it”, says Linn.

She feels that there are many challenges left for her both at Getinge and in her surfing career.

“Having a hobby or a passion is something I think every person benefits from, both on a personal level and at work. To be physically active also strengthens me mentally”, explains Linn.

Her best advice for anyone who wants to start out with a new hobby is to dare to try.