5 Techniques big wave surfers use to stay alive
20 November, 2023
Surfing is an exciting and challenging sport that calls for bravery, endurance, and concentration.
Big wave riders are among the most renowned and admired athletes on the planet because it takes a special set of abilities to accomplish so.
In order to stay alive and emerge from the sea unharmed, big-wave surfers push the limits by surfing waves that are far larger than usual. Here are five survival strategies used by big-wave surfers.
Big-wave surfers must:
- have excellent physical fitness and training. The waves they ride are tremendously powerful and can pose a significant threat.
Therefore, they need to be in excellent physical shape to withstand the force of the wave and maintain their balance on the board. To achieve this level of fitness, they engage in regular endurance training such as running, swimming, and cycling.
- learn to control their breath. When they are submerged underwater, they need to stay calm and hold their breath for an extended period of time. Holding their breath for too long can cause them to lose their focus, which can lead to fatal accidents. To combat this, big wave surfers do breathing exercises and apnea training to increase their lung capacity and extend the amount of time they can hold their breath.
- have a deep understanding of oceanic movements and water dynamics. Before entering the water, they should carefully observe the waves and understand their patterns. They must know how waves behave in specific areas and how to avoid rip currents or dangerous rock formations. Understanding tides, currents, and swell direction, is essential to ensuring their safety when they're out on the water.
- wear specially designed gear that protects them from impact. They use helmets and impact vests that reduce the chances of head and back injuries. Wearing these protective gears mitigates the risks they take when riding big waves. When they fall, the special design of the surfboard they use helps them avoid any encounters with the rocks or the ocean bottom, which would have fatal results.
- work in teams. They frequently employ the "jet ski assist" technique, in which one surfer operates a jet ski while the other assists him in catching the wave. By using this technique, the surfer can be in the best possible position to ride the wave without being completely overwhelmed by it. Once they've caught the wave, they must maintain balance while riding the wave, which calls for extraordinary ability. While the surfer is riding, the team member on the jet ski follows them and, if required, rescues them if they fall off the board.
Surfing big waves is an exhilarating sport that comes with considerable risks. Big wave surfers use several techniques to stay alive, including excellent physical fitness, controlling their breath, understanding water dynamics, wearing protective gear, and working in teams. These techniques not only help them survive but also allow them to thrive in a sport that requires courage, endurance, and a deep respect for nature.
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