It is a crispy sunny winter morning. From the Cessna 172 in the blue sky, you can see him glancing down and seeking for the perfect spot to surf. The airplane lands smoothly… and out comes Magnus Stokke smiling and proudly wearing his student pilot uniform together with his brand-new surfboard in the right hand… and that my friends, is the perfect combination of cloud-and water surfing.
flying from Arendal to a surf competition in Lista
Magnus has always dreamt about becoming a pilot and especially as a kid. Being young and already in kindergarten, he was drawing jet fighters and had model planes hanging from the roof in his bedroom.
Waxing his board before getting in the water at Lista
“While I was growing up, I didn’t see it as realistic cause I knew how expensive it was and I didn’t see myself as being mature enough… to be honest I was bit of a brat when I was young haha. Growing up I got more mature but still I didn’t see it as realistic.”.
The surfer from Norway
Magnus is a 30-year-old guy from Norway, a place just outside Oslo called Lørenskog. He moved to Hawaii when he was younger and did his bachelor and master’s degree in organizational leadership and then moved on to a master’s degree in HR. Talking about Hawaii, that is actually where his passion for surfing began.
Trying to figure out where the better waves are before jumping in
“To be honest… the biggest reason to why I did another master’s degree in Hawaii is so I could surf again” he said with a cheeky little laugh.
Magnus in his second heat in the European Championship of surfing in Portugal
Magnus started surfing constantly and as he says while looking at the ocean; “I got addicted, a day without surfing felt weird.”.
“After I finished my masters, I moved back to Norway 2014 and started looking for a job, but the funny thing is, when I looked for a job I only thought “where is there a job where I can find waves.”, he said while laughing.
Moving back to Norway to start a new journey
After a year in Australia he got a job in Portugal working as a managing director for a football company. When a friend of him mentioned that the government is finally giving loans to pilot students, “I dropped everything, quit my job (even though I really loved it) and moved back to Norway where I ended up spending more than a year studying maths and physics, I finally realized I had a chance pursuing my biggest passion and dream, to become a pilot.” he said with his eyes shining of happiness.
Magnus and the national team of surfing sharing the stoke after his first heat in the European Championship of surfing in Portugal
When he got the call saying he got accepted to OSM Aviation Academy about a year later Magnus got these news at the perfect timing; he was still able to do the European Championship in Portugal and the World Championship in Japan in surfing and finished just one week before school started.
After a great session in Japan preparing the world championship
“So, to say it this way, last year was really amazing, doing two championships representing my own country and getting accepted to the school of my dreams, it is amazing… don’t really know how I can top this in 2020.”.
Combining water- and cloud surfing
Magnus is still surfing during his pilot training time in Norway even though it takes more effort now to plan his time.
“It is difficult to combine both water surfing and cloud surfing, specially during winter, however, surfing in Norway is better in winter but the problem is that our days are a lot shorter and it is a two hour drive from Arendal so I need to wake up around 4am at the earliest to manage both surfing and going to school during the days”.
Instructor Jenny, his classmate and photographer of the day Koen and Magnus on their way to a surf competition in Lista
“If you find something you love enough then you will find the energy to actually do it. Having a hobby is really important for both your mental and physical health when having such intensive studying, it will help you gain more energy and staying positive”.
"Me trying to look cool 😉"
“I think it is quite important to do something out of school, instead of just sitting and reading every day and going to school, at some point you will get burned out. I just have this idea that if you are physical fit then you will be able to read more efficiently and for a longer time”.
Before flying to Lista
“Surfing and flying is like meditation to me, when surfing I only think about the next wave and what is going to happen, how the ocean is moving and how I should get the next wave (it is a lot to think about) and looking at the flying part, I focus on becoming better and better every time I fly.”.
Hobbies to do in Arendal
When it comes to my hobbies (except from surfing) I actually play football! I used to play in a team and now I’m just playing for fun. There was a football team for the school here in Arendal when I came, however, there wasn’t any training, or any facilities organized. Therefore, I decided to organize it and now we have been playing every Monday and then every second Thursday we play an indoor league against some other teams from the area.
This was taken after their first football match for the season
Magnus also just bought a kayak, which he finds really exciting to start with, “In Arendal we have amazing nature and lots of opportunities to go to different islands, so I thought maybe I should get in the water other than surfing since there aren’t waves every day.”.
“I do love the ocean, and for me in the future, it will be quite important to have a base somewhere close to the ocean, that is my dream.”.
Zero flight experience
“I had no flying experience before I came here, some people in my class had close to 300 flight hours from a glider or micro plane while others had 0 hours. I’m one of those who had no experience at all, I had barely touched a flight simulator on my computer… so I’m coming from kind of the opposite world for sure.
First time flying with a surfboard (you can slightly see the board in the back)
So being in the airplane from the start, it doesn’t feel that natural and you try to make it perfect every time, even if the instructors say “oh you did a really good job” I still sit there and feel “well it can be better, tell me how I can become better and please give me homework”. Then once you get in the plane the next time and you do it, you get that special feeling like “wow that was a good flight”, that I would say is the best feeling.”
“I knew it would be a lot of studying coming to this school and I would say it exceeded my expectations, it was even more studying than what I thought but it is very interesting and it is for sure tiring but at the same time fun as well.
Flying to a surf competition in Lista
Even though I have studied a bachelor and master’s degree, I’m doing more studying here now for sure when it comes to intensity. It’s a full-time job, you need to put at least 40-hours per week to it. The theory part is for 14 months and it feels like we are studying a Master’s in those 14 months, with having 14 different subjects, about 10,000 pages to read and about 40,000 questions to go through… so yeah there is a lot of information that needs to go through your head and hopefully some of it sticks.
Magnus' first surf competition in Arendal, "was so excited I didn't even have time to get out of my uniform" 😅
I also had the expectation that this school will be professional, well it is beyond professional! And the level of the instructors and the students is really high, the instructors are some of the best teachers I have ever had 😊
For me, as we say in surfing, to become the best you need to play with the best, so when you have the best students and instructors it will make you a better pilot as well.
I really appreciate being in this school, both me and my fellow classmates feel like we have done the right decision coming to this school. Super happy with my choice. Lastly but not least, I would like to thank OSM Aviation Academy for believing in me and being such a good support, it is amazing that they ended up buying me a surfboard."
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