Archive for February 2011

BURNING…again   Leave a comment

Here’s what I’m burning on…

*I figured after the colossal embarrassment that was the BEP at the super bowl that these producers of these shows and events would make better decisions like picking hosts or acts that implimented more than slap dick humor or overrated pipe acts that required T-Payne’s synthesizer. But once again I was wrong and this came shortly after when I was watching the Surfer Poll Awards hosted by Fred Pattachia and Ricky Williams…er Sal Masakela or however you spell his name. These guys have no shame which is almost as bad as having no sharp sense of humor. From butt jokes to awkward pauses and wondering if Sal was ever going to get barreled before coming home from Hawaii, I would have been better off listening to National Public Radio and Mornings Become Eclectic because the show, with the exception of the video clips and Dane and Kelly’s speeches, was just that…like pulling teeth. Not only were these guys not funny but just awkward. Case in point came when Freddy gave Owen an overly excited hug, which no doubt was to make up for the smack talk he gave to the guy who wound up finishing 12 places ahead of him in last year’s ratings. Hey, Fred. I got news. Owen probably doesn’t care. He probably doesn’t even hear half of the smack that comes from the entire world directed at him. He probably doesn’t even know who you are because he finished seventh, surfs way better than you, will probably win a world title, and with more class than conceivably possible probably used your words as fuel the entire year. I say Dane hosts next year. Open bar and Dane Reynolds is a recipe for success. That way we don’t even have to wait for his award. We can just be privy to his wit and timing all night long.

*A week ago, Jeremy Flores and Sunny Garcia were suspended from the next qualifying event of the year. It was a result of Garcia coming to the aid of his sixteen year old son who got slapped by a local after Jeremy jumped in to intervene. Clearly, I’m an advocate of defending your kids especially when they’re under age but then Sunny went on to go medieval on a Brazilian filming the whole thing. Great way to end the vacation to the Gold Coast, right? The ASP should absolutely allow some room for error when it comes to situations like this. However, I could see this stemming from a completely different vantage point. What if little Stone Garcia was out burning people left and right and mouthed off to the wrong guy and it resulted in him sicking his fiery tempered dad on the poor guy? Aussies are pretty mellow from what I understand and the Hawaiians have a reputation for bullying their way into and out of situations. Iain Carns even went as far to say that the ASP has it’s tail between it’s legs when it comes to disciplining Hawaiians for their behavior. There’s no place in the sport for that kind of thuggery but it will persist until the powers that be figure out how to deal with it.

*Dane Reynolds dropped out of the first event at Snapper and was replaced by Cory Lopez. Coming off a new injury, Dane needed more time to recover from it because, much like Andrew Bynum, he waited until the last second to go under the knife. Look, Quik, if you want to rebuild your image, then stop kissing ass to a kid who clearly doesn’t care nor wants to be on tour in the first place. We all know that Dane would be much happier free surfing, lofting stupidly huge airs at some remote beach break, dating his scene machine girl friend, drinking beer, taking weird photographs, and updating his awesome web site. To Dane, just quit. You don’t care and there’s no sense in living a lie. You can’t make it past the semi finals in most contests and watching you try to manage a heat is like watching four year olds learn soccer. To Quik, cut the guy. He’s not a motivated, corporate, driven, ambitious, win or die kind of surfer like Kelly. He’s different and that makes you money but he’s not a long term kind of guy. Unless he pulls a complete one eighty, talent runs out, the body gets run down, and the flame is extinguished. Cut your losses and give him an ultimatum. He basically gave you the finger in an interview claiming you care more about selling t-shirts to kids in Dallas than you do about surfing.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“Patience is passion tamed.”

-Trav

Posted February 28, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

SIDE OUT like a pro   Leave a comment

As a 5’9″ guy, I either get served a lot or not at all. If it’s the former, my biggest challenge is siding out at a high clip, which means I have to get creativity and crafty. If you look at the best players in the beach volleyball game from the last five or six years, whether it’s Stein Metzger, Todd Rogers, or John Hyden, they all share many of the same qualities. Here’s a couple good tips to help you ratchet up your own game and side out more.

*FIRST PASS. The first contact sets everything up. The less you make your partner work then the better your set will be and the better your set the more options you’ll have for your attack. Move your feet to the spot and keep your arms straight through the pass. If you’re bending your elbows, you’re probably too far forward. Use your arms to gauge distance.

*SAME PAGE. Know what your partner wants to do. Don’t expect a back set or for them to go on two if you haven’t talked about it. Tell them where you like your set.

*START SLOW AND GO QUICK. Wait on the set and keep the ball in front of you. Running under the set limits your offense but also limits your ability to see the court in front of you and what the blocker/defender on the other side are doing. If you go too early, you run the risk of jumping too soon and contacting the ball on the way down instead of meeting it at your highest point.

*SELL THE ATTACK. EVERY single set you should swing your arms and jump high even if you’re going to shoot. This makes the blocker commit to the hard hit and opens up space for you behind him. In addition, know what you want to do before you’ve left the ground. Thinking mid-air makes your attack slower and more likely to be blocked or dug.

*MIX IT UP. If you’ve hit two balls in a row, shoot the third. If you just went line, cut. If you hit hard at a defender playing shallow, go jumbo over his head. When defenders think, they guess. Mixing up your shots, locations, and speeds will force them to think more and react slower.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“He that can have patience, can have what he will.”

-Ben Franklin

-Trav

Posted February 27, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

2012 Dreams   Leave a comment

As I flailed away at drifting sets in gale force south wind last Friday, I watched as April Ross and Jenn Kessy drilled in the very same cyclone effortlessly. It hit me right then and there. It’s late winter of 2011. The Olympics are in a little over a year, which means even if this summer is a complete bust for the US in beach volleyball from a domestic standpoint, it’s going to matter much more next year. So let’s discuss our teams headed to Westminster Abby next summer.

April and Jenn are a lock in my opinion. Maybe they haven’t seen the same accolades as Misty and Kerri…BUT Misty and Kerri are no more. Misty is retired and Kerri has been bouncing from partner to partner since Rachel Wachholder in 2009. Some seem to think that she and Nicole will be the team to beat but as I disagree. Kerri’s as talented as they come but she doesn’t have that magic partner anymore and Nicole is no Misty. The flip side is that Jenn and April have been together for the last four years plus and have gotten better every single year. Plus they have something not many women’s teams in the world have…devastating jump serves that slice and dice the opposition. So while Kerri may have points and experience I will side with the youth and talent. I have been privy to how hard they’re working on the sand and even in the gym where I train. They’re not messing around.

As for the US men, two words (well, three)…Phil and Todd. If they don’t repeat, I’ll be shocked. Not much more to say. Who will the second team be? Good question. Casey and Kevin medalled along with Nick and Matt (twice) so I guess advantage Nick and Matt. As long as we medal, that’s all I care about. We’re setting the standard in the world so we should keep it that way.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.”

-Trav

Posted February 24, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

My pics for Snapper!!!   Leave a comment

So as of 24 hours ago, Taj has done what most people expected. He claimed victory in small, tricky Burleigh while Joel Parkinson claimed second. This seems more telling of Joel then Taj. Joel needs to surf well in the tiny surf. Taj can surf in the tiny stuff. Good win, Taj BUT let’s see how the year plays out.

Speaking of which, here are my picks for Snapper:

Taj Burrow

Joel Parkinson

Mick Fanning

Taylor Knox

Owen Wright

Josh Kerr

Bobby Martinez

Julian Wilson

Taj is the obvious favorite after winning last year in very convincing fashion. Joel and Mick are absolute locks as a result of their consistency here and it’s their home break. Taylor is my sentimental favorite in right hand point breaks (although that big hole could be an issue for Snapper). There will come a point this year where Taylor nuts up and maybe takes an event. Owen has proven that he can mix it up in any conditions and he and Bobby were my picks as goofy foots. Bobby can use his blend of speed and tremendous power on the tricky walls in Rainbow Bay and even loft the occasional noteworthy air (as seen in the quarters last year against Taj). Josh Kerr has no shortage of confidence (like five years ago when he said he didn’t think he had any weaknesses on tour) and there’s no question he can loft the airs and emerge from the deepest, sandiest, most kegging barrels the bank has to offer…but can he mix it up with a few trusty man hacks? Finally, Julian is someone I have a boat load of confidence in. He should have been allowed to surf in Pipe and contend for the Triple Crown but short of him being robbed he put on an impressive display of calculated and precise surfing at Haleiwa and Sunset. He took down a heavy mix of locals, journey men, and seasoned ASP vets to get there and he’s shown he can do it in his back yard (Kelly Slater/Quik Pro/circa 2009). I expect big things from this kid even though he carries himself and surfs like a MAN.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“Fortune favors the bold.”

-Trav

Posted February 21, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

5 Spots You Should Stretch (regardless of what you do)   Leave a comment

First off, let me begin by saying that stretching should probably be at the forefront of any athlete or active person’s concerns. Flexibility should come first before strength. That being said we all live busy lives and there is such a thing as being too meticulous. So here are five places to try to stretch out every single day and why.

-HIPS-The hips are a multi-planar joint. This means that they move on more than one axis and along for a number of different movements but that means you have to keep them as loose as possible to allow for those movements. A good stretch would be pigeon in yoga or crossing your ankle over your knee and pulling your knee towards you.

-HIP FLEXORS/PSOAS-Your hip flexors are located between the top of your leg and the bottom corners of your abs. These allow for flexions and extensions of the leg as well as stabilizers when you’re on an uneven surface. Assume a lunge position on the ground with on knee down and one foot down in front. Lean forward and you should feel the stretch in that connecting spot between the leg and abs.

-HAMSTRINGS-More often than not, people develop stronger quads than hamstrings which results in an imbalance. Since the hamstrings connect up to the hips and the hips to lower back, it’s very important to work and stretch this muscle. Lay on your back, straighten one leg as much as possible, and pull it towards you.

-LOW BACK-Past the hips, the lumbar spine takes a lot of abuse. To make matters worse, the majority of twisting motions come from this spot. There’s not one sport that doesn’t require some sort of twist or contortion from this part of the body. Sitting up, bend one knee, and twist to the outside.

-SHOULDER GIRDLE-The shoulder is another multi-planar joint. It moves in a bunch of different ways. To stretch it, pull one arm towards your body (as shown in the diagram). BUT NOT SO FAST! You need to stretch it in the other direction as well by using a wall (as shown in the last diagram). Typically this is a chest stretch but it’s still acting on the shoulder so you want to be sure to hit both directions.

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.”
-Caesar

-Trav

Posted February 21, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

conversations with rett   2 comments

For awhile now, Rett Larson, athletic performance trainer extraordinaire, and I have been keeping in touch. We’ve been texting ideas and theories back and forth and all the while I’ve been learning quite a bit. Unlike myself, Rett has a degree and a wealth of experience and knowledge at his disposal. Yesterday, we sat down for some lunch at Ginas in Corona Del Mar. Not only does Rett know a lot but he’s a very cool, appreciative customer if you want to pick his brain. The talk was eye opening and entertaining.

Anyways, the point behind this is that we got to talking about circuit training or super setting certain exercises. An example would be squats with box jumps or lunges with a sprint or pull ups into dead lifts. Regardless of your choice of exercises, the key is to keep moving and not stop so you achieve a high heart rate that’s reaching your anaerobic threshold. Now, the difference between aerobic and anaerobic can be easily explained. If you’re sprinting up a set of stairs, your body is working so hard that it can get enough oxygen quickly enough hence why we’re out of breath when we reach the top. That means your body has to use it’s sugar stores and creatine stores to create energy, which runs out within ten seconds. If we’re running three miles at a steady pace, most likely we’re able to get a stable breath rate going and we’re able to use fat for energy because we have an adequate amount of oxygen coming.

From this perspective, it would seem like longer cardio bouts would seem more affective to lean out, right? Wrong. First of all, when you’re burning through circuits, that sugar you’re using is really potential fat being converted into energy. Second, when you start to come down either during rest between sets or at the end of the work out, you’re actually burning fat to recover and replenish the energy you’re using. Lastly, from an athletic trainers standpoint, several sports demand an athlete’s ability to turn on in bursts similar to this method of training. Why not simulate it and condition accordingly?

There’s nothing wrong with good old fashioned cardio. In fact, I still throw in at least a half hour after my own workouts. However, from a caloric standpoint, you’re going to burn more using circuits and intervals.

Good talk, Rett!

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

“Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.”
Albert Einstein

Posted February 10, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized

Paleo Diet and how it relates to surfing   Leave a comment

What’s up? Great end of the season for the NFL and for the PACK. Stoked for Rodgers. The guy is humble as pie and deserves everything he got and more last night. Nearly every one of his throws was pin point perfect except for a high one early. I’m sure he even apologized later for hitting his receivers on the numbers. Football is over. Lakers are struggling. UCLA basketball still doesn’t interest me yet. What’s a neurotic sports fan to do?

For the last few days, I’ve begun a diet/cleanse of sorts. There’s a few names for it. The Primal Blueprint, the cave man diet, Paleo diet…whatever you want to call it. Yeah. I’m doing that.

For those not familiar with it, here’s what it entails:

*Eat as much lean meats, fruits, and vegetables as you want.

*NO processed foods (anything with a label)

*NO dairy

*NO sugars (fruit is a minor exception)

*NO grains of any kind

*NO alcohol

At first glance, when I read the constraints, I thought “that’s all five of my food groups!!!”. After a lot of research and endless pouring over articles and testimonials, it makes sense. The foods you are allowed to eat ARE real foods. They are pure, natural, and easily absorbed, which is exactly what are bodies need and ESPECIALLY what the bodies of athletes need. The theory is that all the other foods we are not allowed to eat are not easily recognized by our digestive system and as a result we don’t absorb nutrients like we should. The purpose of the diet is two fold. First, you reset your body by ingesting the right kind of fuel and allow your body to shrug off the unneeded toxins and pounds your body is carrying. Second, you start treating your body well and finding energy you didn’t know you had.

Granted, your energy levels may fluctuate a bit at first because your body won’t immediately know what to do without calories you’ve been getting from dairy, grains, etc. but eventually it levels out. I chose to undertake this decent change in lifestyle because I want to know what happens to my surfing when my body is primed and fit and filled with good energy as opposed to the way I’d been eating previously. In my opinion, I have to think this would benefit surfers. Think about it this way. You’re going to sustain better energy with easily digested and recognized carbs like fruits and veggies and recover more quickly with chicken or turkey versus a processed shake with a bunch of chemicals your body doesn’t know what to do with.

I have until March 11th and thus far the biggest change I have noticed is how tired I am by the end of the day. My mind feels sharp and clear. I still have to do a body fat test and weigh myself but I’ll let you know of any other changes I see. Join me?

AND NOW YOUR MOMENT OF MEDITATION…

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.
– Marcus Aurelius
-Trav

Posted February 7, 2011 by travstradewinds in Uncategorized