If you ever skated on a frozen lake you may know what the feeling of freedom and speed is. But skaters from Sweden, Henrik Trygg and Mårten Ajne, are experiencing more than this; they’re the enthusiasts of skating on very thin ice. 


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Last December freelance photographer Trygg filmed his friend Marten Ajne skating on a freshly frozen lake outside of Stockholm. In this short film, the skater glides across the surface as his weight cracks the ice, producing a sound unlike any other. The style they employ is Nordic skating, a long distance ice skating on lakes and skaters usually cover from 50 to 100 kilometers a day.

“I have been skating for 25 years, I started out with some climbing friends, just to get some more adventure on home turf during the long dark winters!” Trygg told Bored Panda. He also published two books about Nordic ice skating and many articles for different magazines. “So maybe you can call me a professional,” Trygg said.

Trygg explained that so-called black ice is a phenomenon when the ice is new, pristine and barely holds for to skate on it.

“The reward is to hear it singing, bending and cracking without falling through. It’s not so dangerous when you know what you’re doing and have the right equipment and know how to use it.” Trygg explained. “We fall through at least a couple of times every winter, but that’s not so dramatic, because you’re up pretty quickly and also we have dry clothes with us, so we can continue skating.” the photographer elaborated on possible obstacles and how they overcome them.

But how so that the skaters do not fall through the ice? Trygg quotes the skater Mårten Ajne: “Three-dimensional stress-distribution prevents the ice-cover to break. [It is] the same principle as for an arch or a dome.”

“The skater’s weight causes the ice to bend like an arch. Even if a crack forms, compressive force from the surrounding ice laterally pushes the separation together” Trygg added.

Watch the video below and listen to the sound of ice!

More info: Henrik Trygg

Skaters from Sweden, Henrik Trygg and Mårten Ajne, are enthusiasts of skating on very thin ice

Last December Trygg filmed Marten skating on a freshly frozen lake outside of Stockholm

Nordic skating is a long distance ice skating on lakes and skaters usually cover from 50 to 100 kilometers a day

The skater glides across the surface as his weight cracks the ice, producing a sound unlike any other

Trygg has been skating for 25 years and has already published two books about Nordic ice skating

“The reward is to hear it singing, bending and cracking without falling through” says Trygg

The so-called black ice is a phenomenon when the ice is new, pristine and barely holds for to skate on it

“The skater’s weight causes the ice to bend like an arch. Even if a crack forms, compressive force from the surrounding ice laterally pushes the separation together”

Watch the video and listen to the sound of ice