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Mats Wålstedt
Mats Wålstedt

Mats Wålstedt

Kayaker who has paddled and explored the rivers of over 20 countries around the world.

Kayaker who has paddled and explored the rivers of over 20 countries around the world.

Mats grew up in the small village of Dala-Floda alongside the river Västerdalälven in Dalarna, Sweden. In the recent years, this small community has grown to become something out of a white water kayaking mecca in Sweden.
Mats has paddled the rapids for almost fifteen years and has managed to cover most parts of the sport. He has represented Sweden in over ten different international championships and won Nordic Championship titles.

These days Mats lives in Stavanger, Norway.
“Stavanger is probably the only city in Scandinavia where you can paddle a nice river in the morning hours, go surfing in the North Sea after lunch and catch some powder snow in the mountains the next day. Not that every day is like that, but the possibility is there.”, he says.
When Mats isn’t paddling or surfing, he likes to coach young talents in both Sweden and Norway. He is also one of the organizers of the annual festival, DaFlo, which is held in Dala-Floda. DaFlo is a small festival that combines paddling with music, circus, dancing and singing performances in a great atmosphere. For more information go to DaFlo.se


Q&A

– What got you interested in kayaking?
”Dala-floda, where I grew up, is a tiny little town with not much to do as a kid. I tried what everybody else was doing, like fotball and hockey, but I was never any good. Then one day someone offered me to come and try out whitewater kayaking. I did'nt think muck about it at first but once I got to paddle down some big waves for the first time I was hooked and even though I was quite scared at first I knew that I would keep doing it. I have never looked back since. ”
– Name three things you'd never road trip without?
”A good playlist, a couple of Houdi's and obviously the toys whether it might be a kayak, a surfboard, a stand up board or a bike. ”
– Is Dalarna in Sweden the love of your life?
”Without a doubt. ”
– What's your Magic Moment?
”When I land at the bottom of a big waterfall, knowing that I've done everything perfectly. Looking back at what I've just experienced, often amazed by the beauty of nature. ”
– Your favourite YouTube clip?
Funny scared girl running grade 5 rapid Itanda falls in a tandem kayak. My buddy Anton takes his girlfriend (who's never kayaked) down one of the biggest runable rapids on the White Nile in a tandem kayak. It's fantastic! ”
– What do you think would make the world a bit better?
”I seriously believe that the world would be a better place if everybody started their day with an hour of surfing as the sun rises. A walk in the woods would also do it. People need to relax more and realize what's important in life. I know I smile more and treat people better whenever I've done something I love. ”

My Favourites