What do big wave surfers do when they’re caught inside?
Big wave surfers train specific breath-hold techniques to stay calm in heavy surf and to hold their breath longer in a series of hold-downs.
You don’t have to surf big waves to be stressed by heavy surf. Victorian conditions offer up big swell and thick heavy waves that hold tonnes of force. Handling the conditions well and being able to hold your breath in stressful situations is what separates a solid surfer from the pack. WaterMaarq’s surfing-specific breath-hold course will fast-track you.
When you think about surfing big waves, maybe this is how you perceive it to be:
Ken Bradshaw, here introduced by the BBC, shows how even for a seasoned big wave surfer, things can get hairy out there.
The toughest challenge faced by locals is that good waves are always at least 1.5 hours from Melbourne. So how do you train to be more confident and give yourself the edge in all conditions? Particularly if weekends are the only shot at getting a wave?
- just keep surfing
- suffer with your mates in surf outside your comfort zone
- stick to small breaks
- try and learn from youtube
- learn with a professional freediving instructor
- suffer in silence
- take up road cycling
These aren’t big waves in this video clip, but see how you go imagining being held under with each wave hold-down:
Now do it again, but do 20x fast push ups or burpees (or 2 x10) before the clip begins. Get that heart rate peaking! How would you feel?
Probably not that great.
Now imagine yourself again, coping with this clip. This guy is keen for a rest after this series, you’ve probably all been in this situation before:
So what is the big secret? If you want to be calmer and hold your breath longer in heavy surf, you need to train specifically for:
- a relaxed mental state
- have good breath-hold capacity after anaerobic conditions and,
- know how to recover quickly before getting another wave on the head.
Marlon Quinn, WaterMaarq’s Master Freedive Instructor, is Trainer and Coach for surfers, big wave surfers and a whole bunch of seasonal/weekend surfers. He trains them to have a more specific useful breath-hold and mental strength to cope with the stress of heavy surf and wave hold-downs.
If you’re a surfer who’s never going to freedive, then don’t be attracted to a freediving course. Instead, take a Surfing-Specific breath-hold course because the training techniques, needs and breath-hold skills for surfing are totally different to a deep freedive.
WaterMaarq courses are best for groups. We can coach you individually too for your specific training needs, whether that’s:
- overcoming mental blocks
- rewiring bad habits
- undoing old surfing nightmares that keep coming back, or
- building and rebuilding surf confidence.
Courses run in Cheltenham VIC and elsewhere by demand. BOOK NOW to secure a place, only 8x places for the full practical training.
– Wed 26th and Fri 28th October 2016, Cheltenham (6-9pm), $350 per person
– Wed 29th and Fri 31st March 2017, Cheltenham (6-9pm), $350 pp
In the end, everyone probably wants their hold-down experience to be more artistic like this one:
If you want to hold your breath longer and be calm in heavy surf, and to dramatically improve your wave-hold down experience, enrol now!
HEADER IMAGE CREDIT: JOSH MORGAN