Our High Heaven ambassador Malin Åkerlund a.k.a @activefemme is our next @highheavencom-instagram host for the upcoming week!
And this is really a perfect timing, since Malin just landed a really cool social media internship with TomTom after she did a presstrip for High Heaven trying out their new actionsportscamera in the Alps, and since she recently re-launched her own blog www.activefemme.se
“I see myself as an active hybrid with a passion for movement. I love the rapids, I love climbing and downhill mountain biking, but most of all, I think it´s brilliant to try on new things!
I paddle whitewater kayak because it makes me happy, simple as that really. The rapids has also given me a chance to meet lots of new wonderful friends world wide. I always get excited when I see a new wave to paddle; And there are so many cool disciplines- slalom, freestyle, creeking… I always have something new and exciting to learn. The water also takes me to a mental place and position that I really like and the most challenging situations I’ve had in life has been while paddling.”
What adventure is next on your bucketlist?
I’m dreaming of an adventure on four wheels far away! I would take my family on a action filled roadtrip in a old VW bus around New Zeeland… Just to see the amazing natural beauty that the country has and fill up the days with a awesome mix of enjoying surf, downhill, climbing and whitewater kayaking together. Chill Living!
What’s your worst/best/most intense moment related to action sports?
When I am out kayaking with buddies in the rapids and you are just caught up in what you do, you are in the moment – It’s awesome when you realize that you are so involved in what you do, that you can be so extremely focused. That’s definitely the best moments in whitewater kayaking for me.
One time, I was on a paddle trip to northern Sweden. At one place in the rapids we went ashore on a small island and scouted. There was no chance that we could get back to shore, because the white water was flowing so strongly. The only way to the bottom of the rapids was to paddle off the island, pass an undercut and then quickly get into a quiet backwater. Undercut rocks are rocks that have been worn down underneath the surface by the river. They can be extremely dangerous because you can get trapped underneath them under water.
I was so nervous! I must have been safety scouting more than 4 times together with an experienced instructor before I finally dared to paddle it.
It might have seemed more dangerous than it actually was, because I was a newbie at the time, but I would definitely pass on that one if I could have and I’m very happy that I did fine in the end!
What/Who is you favorite initiative, project, professional, leader, athlete or brand in the action sports sphere?
Inka Gurung who started “Himalyan Adventure Girls” A non-profit organisation with the unique purpose of encouraging Nepali women to participate in the outdoor industry as guides and instructors, but also for fun!
Tourism has became one of the most important forms of income generation in Nepal and yet women in general, continue to play just a small part. This organisation has provided professional training to create opportunities for Nepali women to gain employment in the outdoor industry, as well as participating in kayaking and climbing competitions, mountain biking events etc.
What are your hopes for the future of the industry?
Right now, almost all the equipment in the action sports stores are designed for active men’s bodies, and it also applies to online communities and e-commerce sites. Much of it is too large and not at all adapted to females.
There is only an extremely narrow mini small range of brands that focus on women’s need for equipment. I would simply like to see more of equipment for female adrenaline!
What is the number one preconception or prejudice people have about you?
Many people are very surprised when they are told what kind of sports I do.
Often they think that I’m too small and weak to cope with these sports. If they only knew how much of it actually depends on good technique.
Do you have a feature or body part that you have been self-conscious about? Do you think low self-esteem in girls and stereotypes in media are connected?
Yes, through life I have probably rejected every different part of my body. Now I like it. It is healthy and strong. It is functional and takes me out in to the world. Now, I even love my freckles 😉
There is certainly a connection. The media are often showing us the picture of a white, beautiful and happy woman – An ideal that very few can live up to, or even worse; can identify themselves with. The mix of different personalities and appearances are not represented in the media and it’s hard to look up to something that does not exist! I would love to see a colored women with some extra weight, playing hard in action sport on a glossy magazine cover someday… That I would buy in a heartbeat!
What would you say to people who want to get in to action sports, but think they might not fit in?
To keep up with the action sports, you need a body. If you have a body, you can keep up with action sports. Anyone fits in. Be yourself!
Do not be afraid, but be nervous. If you never get your heart rate up, you know you haven’t pushed your limits. It’s part of the sport really. And when you’ve done something great- a challenge, and feel the adrenaline pumping – then it’s easily worth it.