Surfing is one of those sports with a steep learning curve. That’s especially true for those of us who adopted it at a later stage in life.
Surfing requires a tremendous amount of upper-body and core strength, as well as cardiovascular endurance and skill. Whether you’re an elite-level surfer or your just trying to get the most out of your limited time in the water, doing some cross training can really help to improve your performance.
We all have that mate that takes an hour to prepare before surfing.
Mark Mathews takes us on a journey of what it takes to survive and thrive at Red Bull Cape Fear with renowned breath-hold trainer Nam Baldwin.
“The thing with Cape Fear is that the hold downs aren’t particularly long, but because they’re so scary and you’re worried about hitting the bottom and getting washed into the cliffs — a 10 second wipeout at Cape Fear feels like a 30 second wipeout anywhere else.” Mark Mathews.
Generally, in surfing, there a few different ways to mess up your shoulders. One way is via chronic impingement when paddling, another way (and my personal favorite from experience) is by over “protracting” when duck diving, and then, probably more commonly, is the inevitable stall that you may be performing in order to sneak a glimpse of the green room.
Surfers have always had thing for independence. Surfing, after all, is a very personal pursuit. That explains why there’s traditionally been resistance to the idea of surfers needing coaches. But times are clearly changing. Today most surfers on the elite level have benefited from some form of training through a surf club, a high school surf team, or a national organization. While coaches on Tour are still the exception and not the rule, their ranks are growing. But what’s also intriguing about this trend is that today’s coaches are less about the X’s and O’s of surf technique, and more about the base layers of motivation and happiness. Here’s what the surfers and coaches have to say about their pairings.
1. Surfing is addictive
There’s no doubt that surfing is addictive, but did you know it’s been scientifically proved?
Riding waves can trigger the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine that stimulates the brain’s pleasure and reward centres.
In addition to all those personal and physical attributes, the modern waterman needs a huge investment in his equipment. Any failure in the equipment can lead to a potential life threatening situation. At best that can be severe beating and at worse, a loss of life. So just what does the modern big wave rider have in his kit bag? A lot as it turns out. You might first want to make sure you have a shed big enough to house it all.
Check out Vitor ‘The Phenom’ Belfort teaching 11 time surfing world champ Kelly Slater how to headkick.