What’s the best way to optimize overall fitness for surfing?
It’s a question I’ve been pondering since I took a crash course in human athletic performance at San Francisco CrossFit back in 2013. In about 17 collective months of surfing since–from being obliterated in Hawaii to washing up on various reefs as far away as Chile and Indonesia–I’ve had a lot more time to test the ideas. And more recently, last winter I spent 3 months surfing in the Canary Islands while trying to balance normal life and a somewhat demanding (if amateur) participation in the CrossFit Open.
If you read How I Broke my Body and Fixed it you know I’m a big fan of do-it-yourself physical therapy, but I’ve found very little information specific to surfing. Here are some tips on staying healthy during periods of intense activity in the water, something I originally wrote a few years ago during a month-long stay in the Mentawais Islands.
Feel free to skip directly to the breakdown.
[Photo Credit: Wet Frames Photography]
Most people have heard about good surf in Indonesia or epic rock climbing in S. Thailand. But until you’ve been it’s hard to imagine the extent of the options, the incredibly low cost of living and traveling in the region, and the top-tier quality available for each sport.
I just completed 9 months traipsing around SE Asia, and I was initially stunned to find out how easy it is to set up a base of operations with a small amount of gear and tour the entire region.
You can fly just about anywhere for less than $200 (even booked 24h in advance), and virtually every sport is on tap: surfing, rock climbing, scuba diving, mountaineering, kiteboarding, sailing. The list goes on.
It’s an outdoor-sport junkie’s paradise. Below is a regional overview.
UPDATE: There is a newer pack list! Check out A Digital Nomad Pack List After 5 Years on the Road. It might also be interesting to compare how things have changed since 2013..
Last week I hopped on a 19-hour flight back to Indonesia with little more than a daypack, my laptop bag, and some surfing gear. It may not seem like much, but it’s everything I need to live, work, and travel for an indefinite period of time.
I already wish I’d brought less.
Continue reading >>
My concentration broke long enough to see Kelly Starrett, owner of San Francisco CrossFit, grinning at me from across the room. He seemed pleased.
I was crouched in a deep squat, arms locked out, precariously balancing a weighted barbell overhead—not the best position to lose focus. I tried not to laugh, ground my feet into the ground, and stood up.
Upon arrival two days earlier I couldn’t perform a single air squat without hurting my right knee. I thought explosive movements like the ground-to-overhead Olympic lift I’d just performed would blow my joints apart.
Suddenly it seemed easy.
Three weeks later I would squat 205 lbs. like it was my job. Six weeks later I would press most of my bodyweight overhead and suddenly gain the ability to do free-standing handstand pushups—something I’d never done in my life, nagging shoulder injuries be damned.
After years spent as a broken mess I’d finally figured out why my body was broken and how to fix it. I also learned how to regain and exploit every last ounce of athletic potential I still have in the tank.
It turns out the answers had been right in front of me all along.Continue reading >>
This warning comes from a March 2012 seal attack, but the pics below are from earlier this month.