Archive for January 2011

words to live by   Leave a comment

One of my goals when I started studying for my trainer’s certification was to be able to speak intelligently about how exercise affects the body but also how it affects athletes, specifically surfers. Certainly that area of fitness and the research of it is constantly evolving and changing at a rapid pace. However, thus far, I have a few key practices that I would absolutely adhere to if you’re looking to step your game up and surf better or keep surfing at the same level you’re at. Keep in mind, everyone is different. On some level, what works for me may not work for someone else and that’s the point. These suggestions are meant to be taken as helpful and not as the end all solution. Enjoy!

-Warm up. No, the jog from your car to the shore doesn’t count. Sarah Reese (yoga instructor/surfer) had mentioned that ten sun salutations usually does an adequate job of getting blood flowing throughout the body. It could be push ups, lunges, squats, a run, etc. Just do something to raise your body temperature and get your muscles warm and lubricated. Cold muscles going into dynamic movements (like the ones in surfing) can lead to serious injury.

-Stay hydrated. Paddling and surfing requires a lot of water to keep nutrients traveling to the muscles but also to maintain focus and energy. The moment you lose 2% of your body’s weight in water then your focus begins to fade.

-Carb up. Use fruits and vegetables. Try to limit grains and starches. Your body will recognize and absorb natural foods like fruits and veggies more quickly than most foods. Try to get some protein in your body an hour after your session. It won’t make you huge. It’ll give you the nutrients to repair fatigued muscles used during the session.

-TRAIN. Focus on core stabilization and rotation and move out from there. The core (abs, obliques, low back) connects everything. If that’s strong, everything else will be. Try not to overwork muscles that you’ll already use quite a bit in surfing like the shoulders and back. Try to incorporate certain elements into the movements that will strengthen your weaknesses. If you want to be quicker, jump rope or do ladder work. If you want to be faster, run sand sprints or suicides. If you want to be more explosive, do some box jumps. Do what feels right for your body whether it’s weights, yoga, tai chi, MMA, or whatever. It’s your body but remember the purpose it serves.

-Put surfing first. As I alluded to in the last post, even if it’s just for an hour, get in the water. Every wave, good or bad, is a different look at a wave that your mind and body will remember and apply to future rides. Get as many looks as possible. Never put surfing over firing waves. Surfing is the goal. Training is a way of maintaining and protecting you from injuries. The only time training should ever take over is if the waves are flat.

-STRETCH EVERYDAY! Hold the stretches for thirty seconds but only do these more static stretches at the end of the day. The reason is two-fold. Cold stretching will be counter productive and actually cause more injury than benefit. Warm up instead. Static stretching lengthens muscles but also tells them to relax and go to sleep. That’s not a good way to stay warm if you’re still going to moving later in the day.

-SLEEP. Get at least seven hours. This is when your body is at complete rest and able to regenerate at a cellular level. You secrete the most growth hormone for muscles at rest…not in the gym. 

-Visualize your approach and then do what the wave will allow. You can’t control how the wave will break or shape up but you can control how you react to it. You should never feel like you’re imposing your will on a wave too much. Things should feel harmonious and rhythmical. That’s when your best surfing will come.

-Be positive and in the moment. There is wasted energy associated in dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Both are things out of your control. Simply react to the situation unfolding before you. There is no such thing as a bad wave. Those are just waves to learn from.


The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.





Posted January 31, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

something is better than nothing   Leave a comment

First off, I want to give props to an influence of mine in that of Matt Griggs. Matt is the “pit boss” for the Rip Curl surf team but recently launched his own performance coaching business. It extends beyond his duties at Rip Curl and his site contains a lot of interesting article with regards to competition, self awareness, balance in life, and other relevant topics. Give it a look here…

Good on ya, mate!

I’ve recently taken on the role of surf coach for the Sage Hill High School team. Thus far, it’s pretty fun. All the kids froth and are fairly attentive in terms of the things I’m trying to get across in practices. The new title of “coach” has forced me to reevaluate my own knowledge of competitive surfing. You know…stay busy, put the pressure on your opponent, stick to your strengths, etc. However, when I think back to a Pat O’Connell quote from not too long ago, I’m reminded of a very important point. He said, “Well, first you MUST adopt the surf-no-matter-what ethos. At least get in the water everyday.”

I think at times we can feel more jaded than we realize, especially when we’ve had fun waves for days on end. The minute the winds flips onshore or when the waves start to lack consistency because of the tide it’s almost like you can feel your motivation draining out with the tide. Even today, I experienced the same thing. As I watched small lines peel through 28th street, the wind switch to onshore and I instantaneously thought “well, I could always go work out”. Fortunately, I forced myself to suit up and paddle out despite a few of my friends voicing their dissent. Instead, I paddled out with the mindset that I was going to catch waves and ride them well to the standard set by the conditions at hand…and I did. I got a few fun lefts into the jetty at 28th.

Motivation is a hard thing to find and even harder to maintain but I cannot agree with Pat more. Get out and surf as much as possible if not everyday. Today I found myself having to hang back and look for lines and speed that I wouldn’t usually have to wait for when it’s clean. Every wave is a lesson. There’s no such thing as a bad ride. Even if it’s just for an hour, zip up your suit, wax up your board, and paddle out if not for the simple purpose of reminding yourself how lucky we all are to get to go out and play in the ocean.


Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.


Posted January 28, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

Waves make everything better…   Leave a comment

The better part of the last seven days has been incredible. The weather’s been nearly flawless, albeit making Newport a bit more crowded for the three day week, but none the less enjoyable. The wind has stayed down making for warm, inviting temperatures. But maybe the most important factor leading to this joyous post is the surf…we’ve had fun waves since last Friday and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon. It hasn’t been anything to brag about as far as big waves go. However, for someone like me that enjoys the shoulder to head high rippable walls that Newport can offer during winter, it’s been a festival. The new sandbars have made for some fun peaks all up and down West Newport and everyone seems to be in a fairly agreeable mood. Maybe it’s just me but I think it’s the surf.

For myself, there’s nothing better. You paddle out and catch a long left that takes you twenty five yards down the beach and before you can catch your breath as you hustle out the back there’s another one waiting for you. That’s the kind of sessions I’ve had the past couple days. I could run eight miles as fast as I can or write up the craziest circuits for a workout but nothing gets me winded like surfing all day until the sun goes down. Coincidently, the last three sunsets have been amazing. I bore witness to the green flash that happens right before the sun dipped below Catalina Island. I digress. After a long session of trading off glassy peaks with my longboard friends out at Blackies, I was struggling to keep my eyes open during the third quarter of the Laker Game…and that was a good game against the Thunder!!! That’s how exhausted I was.

Outside of incredibly fun waves, this last weekend has given me a lot of perspective and gratitude for surfing. Sunday, I surfed two foot peaks out at 28th street right side and who did I find out there with me but little Dylan and Julia. These are two young kids I’d often run into around Balboa when I was lifeguarding. Dylan would always attempt to convince me that he never surf on an actual surfboard but before my eyes I found him catching little lefts and rights on a short board. Before I could call him out, I launched into my own wave and attempted to lay down my own turns. When I paddled back out, little Dylan and Julia asked, “How do you do that?”

“Do what?”

“A cutback. You just did one.”


As I launched into an explanation, I realized that I was rambling. There was no simple way, in my mind, to dissect the steps of doing a cutback so in the end I settled with this explanation.

“Go watch a lot of footage of Taylor Knox and try it a lot.”

“Sounds good. I have youtube at home.”

This hilarious interaction made my day but also their enthusiasm. The waves weren’t great but both kids were so fired up and curious about surfing that it made me feel pretty stoked to be out there. Getting to pass on that knowledge and wonder and excitement is infectious and healthy in my opinion. That’s how the younger generation learns and progresses. It’s easy to get jaded and spoiled by the gifts of surfing but it’s even easier and more fun to pass on your knowledge and appreciation on to someone just learning. Cliche but so true.

That’s all for now. About to head out there again. Remember…waves make everything better!


Just take your time – wave comes. Let the other guys go, catch another one.-Duke


Posted January 18, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

All in one   Leave a comment

In an effort to consolidate web space and my sanity to a certain extent, tradewinds has moved to Word Press and will not only encompass surfing topics but also fitness tips, sports, or whatever I happen to feel passionate about that particular day or week. I hope you all have enjoyed my endless ramblings for the last year and trust me that there are plenty more to come 🙂


Posted January 18, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

Hello world!   Leave a comment

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Posted January 18, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized