Dec 18, 2018
Prepping For Giant Surf
We're in the middle of a 2 or 3 day run of giant surf on the West Coast, and Surfline ran a piece on how the pros get ready for big waves. True, for most of them it's their full time profession, and surfing giant waves is always life threatening. So, anything they can do to make it safer makes complete sense, regardless of how complex and expensive it is. I guess my point is, it's not how I see surfing as a sport.
Here's a sample...
“In my head, I’m already going through a mental checklist. I need to get a boat, a jet ski, I need a place to stay, I need to book airline tickets, all that logistical stuff needs to happen. Then there’s a whole other side to it in regards to my equipment, what boards you want for the forecasted conditions, what are my wetsuit options, flotation options, all of that stuff all the way down to the fins and leashes and all that. There’s a big list. And everything becomes really rushed in these windows, so understanding that I’m going somewhere cold, I can have all that stuff ready. I know what my closet looks like and it’s like, ‘Boom, boom, boom!’ I know what I need to grab. It sounds easy when I break it down like this — but it’s a massive list that can create a lot of anxiety before the event.
“I’m pretty meticulous with my gear. I’m the one putting in my fins. I want to wax my board. I want put everything together. So, there’s a lot of little details there. I think that’s really important though, to get all of that done and start putting your brain to use visualizing what’s going to happen. That’s a big part of what we do…sometimes you have to see it before you just turn around and go. I don’t have any weird routine things, but fin keys are a big one. We’re going to need them, so there’s definitely fin keys in all my bags. Also, if you’re in a position to help someone you should have that stuff. I’ll pack tourniquets, packing gauze and all that stuff. Your bag may be the first one somebody can get to, so you have to be ready for those kinds of things too. It’s not just the surfing.
“Another thing is that once you get everything organized you have to pack it back up so you can get it on a boat. Then packing it on the boat for the day. It’s a process, but I think repetition makes it a little bit easier. You want to have the right stuff, though. You don’t want to get somewhere and then be like, ‘I ran out of cartridges, or I don’t have this or that.’ Sometimes the airlines take your cartridges, so a big part of your list is adapting. You’re going to have to adapt. You’re probably going to have a flight delay. One of your boardbags isn’t going to make it, your cartridges are going to get taken out of your check-in bags.”