They ski and ride their snowboard on stairs, ceilings, tall pillars and narrow rails. - I was tired of the gates, says Fredrik Eriksson, who is one of the extreme skiers studying at Luleå University of Technology.
Fredrik Eriksson, Jesper Westman and Pontus Brorson Pierre is in a state where skiing is more than just a glorious day on the slopes. For them it's about challenges, bruises, maybe a broken wrist but mostly a great deal of satisfaction when you manage to go for things ordinary skiiers would not consider.
Off-piste, jumps and railing is more fun than regular runs and the guys even ski the campus.
- We're always scoping for spots, says Jesper. You can almost ski anything, the difficulty is getting enough speed in certain situations.
Usually there are one or more ski photographers, such as Anders Bergström and Björn Nygren, on hand to photograph the daring experiments.
A really good picture, was when we decided to get up a five-meter high column in one of the university backyards. To do that you must have good speed. Skiers took off behind a car at 50 km speed against a kicker built against the pillars.
On the verge of unhealthy behavior, some might say - but the experiment was successful and is documented in pictures for those interested.
Extreme skiing can be expensive. It wears out the skis and boards to juggle around the railings, ceilings and stairs in town or on campus. But what it is that makes the uys to spend most of their spare time getting a lot of bruises is difficult to understand for the uninitiated.
- It is so nice once you stick it and win over yourself, it's worth a lot, says Pontus who broke both wrists and one leg in his hand.
Pontus, Jesper and Bjorn studies Industrial Design Engineering. Fredrik and Anders ar studying to be civil engineers, Frederick in industrial management and Anders in architecture. He is the only one of the guys who studied social studies in high school. The rest was reading technology, nature, and nature / ski school.
- I'm very happy with my choice. This course is wider than a traditional architectural education. It is good that we have a technical basis as well, he says.
A surprisingly large proportion of park skaters at LTU studies technical design. No one really knows why but the guys have their theories.
- It may have to do with creativity. Many creative people are studying technical design and skiing is similar in its creativity.
- It's nice to create something after all the math, says Pontus on his training and Bjorn, who had planned to read mechanical engineering before he decided for engineering design, agrees.
Both Pontus and Bjorn think they ended up right when they chose engineering design.
- The training is good but the most positive thing with LTU is the people studying here. It's crazy good people, says Pontus.
Almost every weekend the people pack their skis in one or two cars and pull away to Storklinten which lies an hour drive from campus and where there is both jumps and rails of varying difficulty. Many people also go to Vassijaure. Here LTU own their own mountain resort for students and staff.
Life on skis is an important part when the studies feel heavy. In about a year employment awaits and the question is whether the burning interest, which today is a way of life more than a hobby, can be combined with a professional career.
The guys agree that skiing will follow them the rest of their lives. So it might be hard to accept the lesser levels of snow, should one get a job in southern Sweden.
- But you can also look at it this way - if you move to the south the Alps is much closer.