Surfing – Walk On Mountain http://walkonmountain.com/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:16:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://walkonmountain.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/favicon-5-120x120.png Surfing – Walk On Mountain http://walkonmountain.com/ 32 32 This western Maine river features complex rapids and excellent surf https://walkonmountain.com/this-western-maine-river-features-complex-rapids-and-excellent-surf/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:16:12 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/this-western-maine-river-features-complex-rapids-and-excellent-surf/ Twenty-six years ago, my late friend Bill Kaiser recruited me to represent the Appalachian Mountain Club in dam permit renewal testing on the Rapid and Magalloway rivers in western Maine. I was one of a dozen participants from several regional paddling organizations. The objective was to navigate the two rivers in canoes or kayaks for […]]]>

Twenty-six years ago, my late friend Bill Kaiser recruited me to represent the Appalachian Mountain Club in dam permit renewal testing on the Rapid and Magalloway rivers in western Maine. I was one of a dozen participants from several regional paddling organizations.

The objective was to navigate the two rivers in canoes or kayaks for three consecutive days at different release levels and to give feedback on the best volumes for whitewater navigation. The dam owner provided food, lodging and transportation. The responsibilities of the participants were to paddle the rivers and evaluate the releases.

Ryan Galway and his daughter Krea ride a wave on the Magalloway River. Credit: Courtesy of Ron Chase

If that sounds like a bargain for an avid whitewater paddler, it was. There was one minor hiccup – although a veteran of many Rapid River tours, I had never heard of the Magalloway River and didn’t know what to expect. When I met the other river testers, the scuttlebutt was that the Magalloway was a very challenging whitewater section that started out with a challenging Class V rapid.

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How to train well for surfing: Paddling https://walkonmountain.com/how-to-train-well-for-surfing-paddling/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/how-to-train-well-for-surfing-paddling/ Want to improve your paddle form? Here’s where to start. Photo: Adrenaline Athlete. Editor’s note: This piece was written and supported by Alan Bisseker of Adrenaline Athlete, a professional strength and conditioning coach who works with elite athletes in multiple sports, including world champions, Olympic gold medalists and many professional surfers. Get 30% off Alan’s […]]]>

Want to improve your paddle form? Here’s where to start. Photo: Adrenaline Athlete.

Editor’s note: This piece was written and supported by Alan Bisseker of Adrenaline Athlete, a professional strength and conditioning coach who works with elite athletes in multiple sports, including world champions, Olympic gold medalists and many professional surfers. Get 30% off Alan’s monthly subscription plan, with weekly workouts delivered straight to your phone, here. If you’re interested in working with Alan 1-on-1, he offers a free 45-minute Zoom consultation. Register now.

If you don’t take away anything else from reading this article, please let it be this. When it comes to improving physical performance in surfing, keep it simple, focus on exactly what you’re trying to improve, and find yourself where you are.

What holds most people back from making progress in land surf training is the tidal wave of nonsense you’ll find on social media (except for this account, of course). Once you cut out the noise, surf training isn’t complicated. I must also point out that I am not here to overstate the importance of strength and fitness in surfing, because ultimately technical ability will be the most important factor in your performance in the water. Strength and conditioning (if used correctly) will simply allow you to perform faster, harder and for longer – and who doesn’t want that!

With that in mind, I decided to break things down into simple exercises that anyone can do, focused on improving specific aspects of surfing such as paddle boarding, pop ups and surfing that are crucial for any surfer. , from beginner to professional. The exercises I have provided are by no means exhaustive, but they will work for 99% of you. This article, the first of three, will cover fitness paddle.

Paddle power test with Adrenaline Athlete

QS surfer and English National Champion Luke Dillon tests his paddling power. Photo: Adrenaline Athlete.

For many surfers, especially beginners, “paddling fitness” is the biggest barrier to progression. We spend up to 55% of our time in the water paddling, at varying intensities and with limited rest, especially when exiting from the stern. Therefore, you need sufficient aerobic capacity (or VO2max) to sustain intense, repeated paddling efforts, quickly replenish energy, and then repeat repeatedly.

On a muscular level, you also need excellent endurance from your glutes, abs, lats, traps, upper back, and shoulders (to name a few) to hold yourself in that extended “arched” position and perform the repetitive paddling motion, without the dreaded “shoulder burn” stopping you in your tracks.

How to train

Aerobic capacity: Any steady, low-intensity activity like swimming, biking, or running will help build the necessary infrastructure (small blood vessels, oxidative cells, ventricular capacity, etc.) required to increase your aerobic capacity. 30 to 90 minutes at a brisk pace, three times a week will show results.

For the time-pressed surfer, shorter, more intense intervals have also proven effective in improving aerobic capacity. Try six to eight minutes of intense (but sustained) effort on a rowing machine or SkiErg (with corresponding rest periods), or 20 to 30 seconds of full effort with 40 seconds of rest to improve paddle fitness .

Muscular endurance: Embrace the shoulder burn! The dreaded Bottle Hops exercise (see above) is both loved and hated by my private clients, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more powerful stimulus for burn-resistant shoulders. Try timed sets of 30-60 seconds of quality reps (similar rest periods, initially) or aim to do 100 total quality reps, with as little rest as possible.

Next step in this series: sprint by paddling and jumping.

Learn more at AdrenalineAthlete.com.

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Surf Survivors, Friendly Sharks, and Alaskan Plastic: The 2022 Ocean Film Festival | nature holidays https://walkonmountain.com/surf-survivors-friendly-sharks-and-alaskan-plastic-the-2022-ocean-film-festival-nature-holidays/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 06:02:00 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/surf-survivors-friendly-sharks-and-alaskan-plastic-the-2022-ocean-film-festival-nature-holidays/ JThis summer, many families spent their first vacation abroad since the start of the pandemic. But as fall sets in and the cost of living crisis deepens, that week or two by the sea may soon seem like a distant memory. The timing is therefore perfect for the British tour of the Ocean Film festival. […]]]>

JThis summer, many families spent their first vacation abroad since the start of the pandemic. But as fall sets in and the cost of living crisis deepens, that week or two by the sea may soon seem like a distant memory. The timing is therefore perfect for the British tour of the Ocean Film festival. Nell Teasdale, the tour director, says audiences can “dive into a night of wild sea voyages and amazing marine life, without getting their feet wet.”

Derived from the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the Ocean Film Festival started in Australia in 2012 with the hope of inspiring people to enjoy, explore and respect the sea. This is the ninth year that the festival has toured the UK. United. over the next two and a half months, screenings will take place in locations ranging from Inverness in the Highlands to Truro in Cornwall. The tour will raise funds for two charities that help protect the oceans: the Marine Conservation Society and Surfers Against Sewage.

Brendon Prince in Circumnavigate.
Brendon Prince in Circumnavigate.

There is a program of seven short films. Headlining, Circumnavigate (39′) by director Will Reddaway. The film follows Brendon Prince, 48, from Devon, as he attempts to become the first person to stand up paddleboard nearly 2,500 miles around mainland Britain. It’s a grueling 141-day journey, navigating tidal currents, offshore wind farms, busy shipping lanes and ports. Prince has close encounters with sharks, killer whales and dolphins as he tries to break five world records.

But it’s not just about entering the record books. Prince’s main goal is to raise awareness of water safety. After watching three people drown off Mawgan Porth beach in Cornwall in 2014, he gave up his job as a physical education teacher and started the charity Above Water. “In this country, 600 to 700 people drown every year,” he says. “If my paddle strokes mean a child is listening and learning, then I can paddle for six hours. I can paddle for six days. I can paddle for 60 days.

Excerpt from the film Mar at the Ocean Film festival
Excerpt from the film Mar at the Ocean Film festival
Excerpt from the film Mar at the Ocean Film festival

Next up is Mar (25 minutes), an exhilarating – or terrifying – tale of a big-wave surfing competition on Portugal’s exposed northwest coast. We watch surfer Alex Botelho face a life-or-death moment as he tackles “some of the strongest and largest ocean swells in the world”. Expect triumph and tragedy amid stunning big-wave surfing footage.

Rebirth at the Ocean Film Festival

Rebirth (6 min) is also surfing. Benoit, a surfer from the Basque country, lost an arm in an abnormal walking accident. He must relearn how to ride the waves and regain freedom on the water, in an inspiring portrait of the adaptive surfing community. “For me, it’s like a video game,” he says. “You lose one life and you start another.”

Meanwhile, Tiger Shark King (7 minutes) is the amazing story of conservationist and diver Jim Abernethy, who spent 20 years removing thousands of hooks from the jaws of tiger sharks in the Bahamas. His favorite is Emma, ​​a 15ft shark who stays close to his boat and likes to have his head rubbed – perhaps because he’s pulled four hooks out of it over the years.

From the film Tiger Shark King at the Ocean Film Festival

According to Abernethy, sharks are intelligent and have a “loving side”. “The tiger shark is really playful and also very curious, much like dogs,” he says. He takes divers to meet the sharks safely and hopes to de-stigmatize them as indiscriminate killers and preserve their future.

Another dive film, I Am Ocean (9 min), tells the story of Australian diver, oceanographer and underwater photographer PT Hirschfield, who is on a mission to save the persecuted wildlife at her local dive sites, especially stingrays. She was first diagnosed with cancer 11 years ago and finds that being in the ocean makes her feel “happier, stronger, healthier, more alive…it has absolutely improved my quality of life”.

I am ocean at the Ocean Film Festival
Eyre & Sea at the Ocean Film Festival

Also set in Australia, Eyre & Sea (10 minutes) follows the entertaining Alan, who lives in Baird’s Bay, a town of three (“almost crowded”, he says), on the remote Eyre Peninsula. Alan takes visitors swimming with endangered Australian sea lions – and if the animals kiss the swimmers or bite their toes, “that’s cool. Don’t panic, they won’t hurt you. The blue-ringed octopus, however, is another matter: “They bite you, you die.”

“My goal with these tours is for people to appreciate the animals, appreciate them, respect them and hopefully come away with a better understanding of them,” says Alan. “And I’m sure most people do.”

If you give a bottle to a beach at the Ocean Film Festival.

The last film, If You Give a Beach a Bottle (5 min), is by Max Romey, filmmaker and painter who mixes watercolor and videography. Romey heads to “the most remote and beautiful coast” of his home state of Alaska in search of marine debris. He doesn’t expect to find much in such a sparsely populated place, but is shocked by the litter washed up on beaches around the world and the complex issue of microplastics in the food chain.

“It really doesn’t paint the happiest picture, but hopefully it’s just one piece of the larger story,” he says. “If we can do something now, then maybe the next generation will grow up with a different image.”

Tickets from £11.50 at venues in England and Scotland, selected dates until December 2, oceanfilmfestival.co.uk. An online pass to watch last year’s festival films or the best films of the last five years costs £10 at banff-uk.com

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Central Alberta girl wins wake surfing gold on world stage – Red Deer Advocate https://walkonmountain.com/central-alberta-girl-wins-wake-surfing-gold-on-world-stage-red-deer-advocate/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 20:36:00 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/central-alberta-girl-wins-wake-surfing-gold-on-world-stage-red-deer-advocate/ A young central Albertan is putting competitive wake surfing on the province’s map with her incredible performances on the world stage. Lacombe’s Morgan Bateman shot to greatness after winning gold at the World Wake Association Nautical Masters Wakesurf Championships in Pine Mountain, Georgia, Sept. 8-11. The 13-year-old won the medal after collecting the most points […]]]>

A young central Albertan is putting competitive wake surfing on the province’s map with her incredible performances on the world stage.

Lacombe’s Morgan Bateman shot to greatness after winning gold at the World Wake Association Nautical Masters Wakesurf Championships in Pine Mountain, Georgia, Sept. 8-11.

The 13-year-old won the medal after collecting the most points in the U13 women’s amateur event competing against wake surfers from around the world.

“It was awesome,” she said. “Being in this sport, I really enjoy it and it was great to travel and get to know other people.”

To accumulate points during the event, they can complete a series of rounds, some worth more points than others. The contestant who completes the more difficult tricks will earn more points. During his run, Bateman completed a pair of 360 spins, including one with the board facing the opposite direction, and received more points due to the degree of difficulty.

Bateman became interested in wake surfing at the age of 11 while at her family’s residence in Gull Lake. There, she met two-time wake surfing world champion Bailey Rush who was offering lessons. Once she started learning from Rush, she fell in love with the sport and hasn’t looked back since. Rush is now Bateman’s trainer and someone she looks up to.

“She not only taught me tricks and how to surf properly, but she taught me the mental part. In wake surfing, it takes a lot of mental toughness to calm down before you run and not get nervous,” Bateman said.

She does not hesitate to practice other water sports such as wakeboarding, which she practiced before practicing wake surfing in her free time.

Bateman also competes in the Competitive Wake Surf Association where she is currently ranked 11th in the world among amateur women.

If she remains in the top 15, she will travel to the World Wake Surfing Championship in Mooresville, USA, October 6-8. On top of that, she also participates in Water Ski and Wakeboard Alberta for the wake surf team with a group of other surfers her age from all over the province. The team will train together but compete against each other.

Just a year ago, Bateman said she won gold at the Canadian Junior Championships in Cranbrook, BC.

The youngster is very passionate about the sport and she said she loves the feeling she gets while wake surfing.

“It’s kind of just my happy place and I love being on the water,” she said.

centralalbertaLocal SportsRedDeer

Morgan Bateman of Lacombe holds the plaque after becoming World Wake Surfing Association World Champion.  (Photo submitted by Morgan Bateman)

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Athletics: How surf fanatic Sam Tanner became New Zealand’s top 1500m prospect in years https://walkonmountain.com/athletics-how-surf-fanatic-sam-tanner-became-new-zealands-top-1500m-prospect-in-years/ Fri, 09 Sep 2022 21:00:00 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/athletics-how-surf-fanatic-sam-tanner-became-new-zealands-top-1500m-prospect-in-years/ Sam Tanner burst into the consciousness of New Zealand sports fans at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Photo / Photo port Sam Tanner is not afraid to think big. Just weeks after the best season of his fledgling career, the Kiwi track and field star is already focused on what’s next. After a dose of […]]]>

Sam Tanner burst into the consciousness of New Zealand sports fans at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Photo / Photo port

Sam Tanner is not afraid to think big.

Just weeks after the best season of his fledgling career, the Kiwi track and field star is already focused on what’s next.

After a dose of surf

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Police are investigating ‘lift surfing’ videos posted from Morecambe Travelodge https://walkonmountain.com/police-are-investigating-lift-surfing-videos-posted-from-morecambe-travelodge/ Thu, 08 Sep 2022 04:50:00 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/police-are-investigating-lift-surfing-videos-posted-from-morecambe-travelodge/ Police have launched an investigation after a series of ‘lift surfing’ videos were posted online – believed to have been filmed at hotels in Lancashire. Shared on a Youtube channel under the name RYEGI, the footage shows the inside of an elevator shaft and appears to have been filmed by someone sitting at the top […]]]>

Police have launched an investigation after a series of ‘lift surfing’ videos were posted online – believed to have been filmed at hotels in Lancashire.

Shared on a Youtube channel under the name RYEGI, the footage shows the inside of an elevator shaft and appears to have been filmed by someone sitting at the top of the elevator. Images purportedly taken at the Morecambe Travelodge were posted three days ago and have been viewed 146 times.

The Youtube channel describes the content as “Lift surfing, Skyscrapers, Urban Exploring and more”.

READ MORE: Body found near rural Lancashire village as police and mountain rescuers called

Lancashire Police have confirmed they are investigating the Morecambe incident. Investigations are ongoing after damage was caused in the incident.

In the video, the YouTuber appears to be filming himself descending the elevator while the automated voice can be heard in the background. The voice announces that the doors are opening, and that the elevator will go up.

The elevator goes up the elevator, before it cuts inside the box. The elevator then descends three floors.



The view towards the elevator shaft

The description of the video reads: “In this video I injured my finger! LIFT SURFING AT MORECAMBE TRAVELODGE: This lift serves 5 floors.

“WARNING: Do NOT copy the activities you see in my videos. The dangers of lift surfing involve crushing, electrocution, entrapment, serious injury, and death. There are many other significant dangers, this not are just a few examples. Watching videos online will never show the full extent of the dangers involved.”

A Travelodge spokesperson said: “We take the safety of our guests and staff very seriously and have implemented strict elevator security measures.

“The perpetrators of this VT illegally entered the elevator shaft and we will report this incident to the police for further investigation.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We are investigating a burglary at Morecambe Travel Lodge where an offender entered the premises as an intruder and forced his way through an entrance door to the elevator shaft.

“The offender filmed himself on the roof of the elevator. Damage was caused and investigations are ongoing.”

READ NEXT:

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Surfing the wave of the latest Chinese hype – Land Surfing https://walkonmountain.com/surfing-the-wave-of-the-latest-chinese-hype-land-surfing/ Tue, 06 Sep 2022 22:11:58 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/surfing-the-wave-of-the-latest-chinese-hype-land-surfing/ Forget glamping and Frisbee, a new hobby has become Gen Z’s favorite pastime: land surfing. In parks and plazas across China, young locals can be spotted swinging on long skateboards, moving their bodies as if they were surfing the waves. In the past two years alone, 6 million citizens have embraced waterless recreation. Land surfing […]]]>

Forget glamping and Frisbee, a new hobby has become Gen Z’s favorite pastime: land surfing. In parks and plazas across China, young locals can be spotted swinging on long skateboards, moving their bodies as if they were surfing the waves. In the past two years alone, 6 million citizens have embraced waterless recreation.

Land surfing is a type of skateboarding and is similar to surfing and skiing. The sport has quickly gained popularity among younger cohorts thanks to its relatively low barrier to entry – it is inexpensive and easy to experience. Also, unlike skiing which requires a specific location, land surfing can be practiced in non-coastal and mountainous areas.

The hype is provided by celebrities like Ouyang Nana and Peng Yuyan, who share images of themselves practicing the sport on social media. According Data from Xiaohongshu, searches for “land surfing” have increased significantly since February of this year. In May 2022, the number of related positions increased by 460% year-on-year, reflecting the potential of the sector.

According to data from Xiaohongshu, searches for “land surfing” increased 460% year-on-year in May. Photo: Xiaohongshu Screenshots

Danni Liu, General Manager of the iBLUE Communications Europe and US office, believes that the strong social aspect of the activity has helped it become popular so quickly. “By taking photos and videos of themselves surfing the earth, people can create a cool, trendy and distinctive image on social media,” she explained. Many have formed their own online communities to share their experience and make friends with like-minded people. Land surfing enthusiast based in Beijing Lan Duo created a group in April: in four months, it had amassed more than 1,500 members.

Given this popularity, sales of skateboards have also increased significantly. Douyin e-commerce data shows skateboard product sales growth increased by 353 percent in 2021. And despite local manufacturers offerings coming in cheaper at $115-220 (800-1400 RMB) than their international rivals’ prices of $190-500 (1300-3500 RMB), gGlobal companies specializing in skateboarding are preferred by domestic consumers given their proven expertise in the field. “For example, the aluminum alloy of the front axle support part, its ratio determines the strength, ductility and strength of the material. It takes years of testing to achieve the best effect,” shared Jia XudongChinese president of the land surfing brand Carver.

Since the beginning of this year, the transactions of labels imported on Small Global posted triple-digit year-over-year growth. Popular ones on the platform include Spanish establishment Yow and Penny from Australia. In June, more companies entered the market – 15 overseas companies, including pioneering surf line Carver and veteran name Santa Cruz, landed on Tmall Global.

Clearly, the fledgling industry is increasingly crowded and players will need to work harder to consolidate their market share. For example, Spanish skateboarding outfit Yow collaborated with Japanese denim group Moussy to host an offline land surfing event in Wuhan for female surfers. “Physical initiative helps build brand affinity and stay at the top of consumers’ minds,” Liu said. Given the current COVID outbreaks, offline activities may be at risk in the short term due to potential blockages; however, over time physical events will drive consumer engagement and loyalty.

Spanish skateboarding outfit Yow has collaborated with Japanese denim group Moussy to host an offline land surfing event in Wuhan for female surfers. Photo: Moussy

The hype around activities like Frisbee, camping and land surfing only illustrates the continent’s continued rise in love for niche sports and outdoor pursuits. In light of this, the equipment and sportswear created for these scenarios will generate sales. Good news for brands looking to ride the wave.

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Why is surfing so good for us? Neuroscientist and writer offer clues https://walkonmountain.com/why-is-surfing-so-good-for-us-neuroscientist-and-writer-offer-clues/ Fri, 02 Sep 2022 18:39:04 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/why-is-surfing-so-good-for-us-neuroscientist-and-writer-offer-clues/ Maybe it’s just moments like this that make us happy? Photo: Paz Arando//Unsplash Mystical, cutesy explanations and platitudes abound to describe the transcendental health benefits of surfing. But mundane spirituality aside, what does surfing offer that pumping iron or rolling on a treadmill can’t? I took a closer look at the question and even asked […]]]>

Maybe it’s just moments like this that make us happy? Photo: Paz Arando//Unsplash

Mystical, cutesy explanations and platitudes abound to describe the transcendental health benefits of surfing. But mundane spirituality aside, what does surfing offer that pumping iron or rolling on a treadmill can’t? I took a closer look at the question and even asked a neuroscientist to see if the research might offer any clues.

Is it exposure to the elements instead of sterile sweat chambers lit by fluorescent tubes, laced with body sprays and rusty iron? Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush that only happens occasionally in the gym when you try to bench yourself too much? Or if the steroid-loaded Mongoloid next to you doesn’t like the way you look at him? There are certainly close contacts with death when running off-road or racing down the edge of a cliff on a mountain bike.

Or is it the satisfaction of improvised decision-making? Something you can find in surfing, skateboarding, jazz music, or a blank canvas, but only vaguely offered by weightlifting, running, biking, or any activity with unshakable rules.

Anyone who has ever pumped up their heart rate or surfed knows that the mental health benefits of physical activity are numerous. However, the stimulation we feel in pursuing activities with few or no limits could be mediated by something called synaptic plasticity, explains Santi Solé Domenech, a Weill Cornell Medical College Research Associate and Google Scholar specialized in biochemistry and neurosciences.

A synapse, neurologically speaking, connects neurons in the brain to those in the rest of the body, including sensory organs that register touch and pain. Over time, and through use and disuse, the power of the synapses changes, strengthens or weakens, which, in theory, plays on our basic memory and learning abilities.

In intense states of emotion, pain, or general tension, synapses fire. While there may be similar activities that have similar effects, how many might generate the same responses that we have to swing in a foamy sea, dressed like shark bait, and try to hold a position in order to catch a wave in the right place – while doing our best not to end up like mincemeat on a nearly dry reef below, or barnacle-encrusted rocks ashore?

Then there are the moments when it all comes together. When you’re finally where you want to be, and the wave is a blank canvas, a 12-tone scale with every height in between, and when friction and gravity – and maybe a bit of wind or a section crowded interior – are the only things really holding you back.

These are not the sensations that most of us experience amid, say, repetitive transfer of pieces of iron from one position to another, or placing one foot in front of the other on a treadmill or a nondescript gravel path winding through a city park. Do not devalue any of these sports or exercises; they all have different merits and offer different forms of respite to each.

Consider, on what is perhaps the opposite end of the surfing spectrum for many people, sit still and try to keep your eyelids open for a math lesson rather than taking on a three-headed slab with nothing else only a skinny foot or so water between you, imminent death or facial reconfiguration. It’s the pure stuff of memory that only results from being spat out of a perfectly lifted upright barrel.

Mountain biking and road biking are certainly exciting and captivating in almost every way. But there’s something about being on terra firma, our natural element, however cold and harsh it may be. In short, we are clearly and simply out of our element the second we are afloat.

Sure, the mammal or dive reflex kicks in and more or less keeps us from drowning (immediately, at least), but deep down and instinctively we all know we’re fighting for every breath and every face. wide open in an environment. totally not ours, an existential enigma and a chance for a different perspective.

Whether it’s a three-wave hold or the ten-second drag we’ll dream of through our last breath of air in our earthly goods, we invariably seek and find relief from the doldrums day after day the life on land. This is something that no weight room, no pre-worn path, and no four-walled institution will ever be able to offer us.

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Surfing Offers Powerful Healing https://walkonmountain.com/surfing-offers-powerful-healing/ Thu, 01 Sep 2022 19:59:07 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/surfing-offers-powerful-healing/ Courtesy of THERAsurf IN LOVING HANDS – Surf instructor Travis Collings surfed with Blakey Moss for six years. Kendra and Garrick Moss watched nervously from the Malibu shore as a man put their son Blakey in a life jacket and paddled the boy out to sea on a tandem board. As the two approached a […]]]>

Courtesy of THERAsurf IN LOVING HANDS – Surf instructor Travis Collings surfed with Blakey Moss for six years.

Kendra and Garrick Moss watched nervously from the Malibu shore as a man put their son Blakey in a life jacket and paddled the boy out to sea on a tandem board.

As the two approached a wave, the man lifted Blakey into the air.

Born with a rare genetic condition, the 6-year-old couldn’t speak, swallow or stand. But he knew how to surf.

“Blakey had the biggest smile on her face,” said Santa Clarita resident Kendra Moss. “It was the most amazing thing. I still get emotional thinking about it.

The impossible was made possible by THERAsurf, a Malibu-based non-profit organization that offers children with special needs the opportunity to benefit from the healing power of the ocean through surfing.

The organization was founded in 2010 by couple Jimmy Gamboa and Kim Bordenave, who met at the beach. Her son has special needs and Gamboa has started taking him surfing.

Reed Farrer and Travis Collings are two of the 12 volunteer surf instructors who carry out the mission of the founders.

BALANCE—Above, THERAsurf instructor Reed Farrer rides a wave in Malibu with a child with special needs.  Top right, Kendra Moss and her son Blakey consider surf instructor Travis Collings part of the family.  Courtesy of Frank Profera

BALANCE—Above, THERAsurf instructor Reed Farrer rides a wave in Malibu with a child with special needs. Top right, Kendra Moss and her son Blakey consider surf instructor Travis Collings part of the family. Courtesy of Frank Profera

“Surfing has been a very powerful practice in my own life and has helped me in so many ways,” said Farrer, who lives in Mar Vista. “I can’t think of anything better to do with my time. . . than to share this with other people, especially with children in need.

A licensed therapist, Farrer hopes to raise awareness of how water can improve physical and mental health.

“Healing can look different for different people, and surfing is a really legitimate form of therapy,” he said. “It can improve someone’s quality of life.”

This is the case of Blakey, now 12 years old, whose DEND syndrome causes developmental delays, epilepsy and diabetes.

He has only missed one THERAsurf event in the past six years. On the board with Collings, he finds peace.

“It’s beautiful to see how much Blakey loves the ocean: he relaxes, he sings and he applauds,” said Collings, a resident of Agoura Hills. “I made it a point from then on, six years in a row, to be the guy who takes him into the water because it’s so special.”

Courtesy of Kevin McCarthy

Courtesy of Kevin McCarthy

Surfing has helped Blakey to have more confidence in himself and to trust others more, his mother said. He managed to accomplish something difficult despite his diagnosis and he gained a sense of belonging.

Moss spent years watching his three oldest children fall in love with the sport while his youngest struggled on the sidelines. When the family discovers THERAsurf, Blakey finally finds an activity he loves.

As he is out of the water, he says “more” in American Sign Language.

The nonprofit, Moss said, is the absolute embodiment of inclusivity.

“The range of abilities that I’ve seen in all the kids who have been able to surf, no one is left out,” she said.

Before approaching the water, instructors are encouraged to build sandcastles and relationships with children. Time spent on the sand is just as important as time spent at sea.

“The happiness, smiles and tears on the beach are what I remember the most,” said THERAsurf Vice President Kevin McCarthy. “We do it with our hearts, deep in our hearts.”

From birthday parties to Little League games, the instructors are always there for their surfing partners. On and off the board, Kevin says, they are considered heroes.

While he hopes to have had a positive influence on the children, Travis said he knows they have had a positive impact on him.

“(They) remind me that it doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we’re together and as long as we enjoy it,” he said. “Whether we get one wave or 20 waves, we’re just as happy.”

For parents who entrust their children to the instructors, THERAsurf is much more than an organization.

“They really feel like family,” Kendra said. “We really love these people, and we’re so grateful for the relationship they have with Blakey and what they’re able to do with him that none of us are able to. They’re able to bring pure joy and happiness.

And every time he surfs, it’s clear that Blakey feels as much joy and happiness as the first time.

To get involved, go to www.therasurf.org.

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World surfing champion John John Florence just spent $2,995,000 to buy his childhood home in Pipeline for his mom Alex and it’s next door to Kelly Slater! https://walkonmountain.com/world-surfing-champion-john-john-florence-just-spent-2995000-to-buy-his-childhood-home-in-pipeline-for-his-mom-alex-and-its-next-door-to-kelly-slater/ Sun, 28 Aug 2022 08:46:26 +0000 https://walkonmountain.com/world-surfing-champion-john-john-florence-just-spent-2995000-to-buy-his-childhood-home-in-pipeline-for-his-mom-alex-and-its-next-door-to-kelly-slater/ This is the feel-good story of the year! The Florence family story, single mom Alex and her three boys, John John, Nathan and Ivan, is as good as possible. In 1986, sixteen-year-old Alex from Ocean Grove, a seaside Christian community in New Jersey and the sweetest sixteen-year-old, told her parents she was going to the […]]]>

This is the feel-good story of the year!

The Florence family story, single mom Alex and her three boys, John John, Nathan and Ivan, is as good as possible.

In 1986, sixteen-year-old Alex from Ocean Grove, a seaside Christian community in New Jersey and the sweetest sixteen-year-old, told her parents she was going to the North Shore and told them asked if they would, like, driving her to La Guardia airport.

Surfing had been on her mind since she was 12 and she dabbled her brain every day in surf movies like Beyond Blazing Boards and skateboarded all over town and surfed in oversized wetsuits.

One day, Alex was sitting in a girlfriend’s bedroom watching surf videos on the portable TV with the giant VCR plugged in and said, “I’m going to be one of those girls!”

With a backpack and a skateboard and some c-notes in her purse, the petite blonde teenager landed in Honolulu, stepped out at the Nitmiz and just stuck her thumbs up. She got off at Haleiwa where another girl, who was 19 but seemed so worldly, picked her up and said:

“Say, girl, do you need a job?”

Well yes.

Well, we’re shooting this movie, North Shore and…”

Do what I did and download the movie and check out the Halloween party scene in 20 minutes. Of course, it’s a scene. Laird Hamilton wears lycra pants and his bare chest is painted zinc purple and lime green. A bearded Gerry Lopez is the brooding, beer-drinking, beer-drinking leader Hui Vince in a red bomber jacket and yellow t-shirt. And, there, but don’t blink, it’s mom John walking past first female Kiani and Arizona wave pool champ Rick Kane. Yes, that tangle of shoulder-length permed blonde hair in leopard-skin lycra is the same girl who, five years later, would give birth to the first of three remarkable children.

But, it’s 1986, and there’s no party to be had! The North Shore set, which also featured 80s surfing star Rob Page and perennial icon Mark Occhilupo, is a 21-day bender.

Three weeks is ending too quickly and Alex needs a place to sleep and a job. She gets a room in Velzyland, just south of Sunset, and the most Hawaiian of the North Shore’s beachfront neighborhoods. Fifty dollars a month for her room and Alex becomes one of five girls from the North Shore who actually surfs

And, yeah, V-Land is tough but heavyweights like that little blonde thing, that little sister to the mainland. At the time, the gnarliest cat was a guy called Junior Boy Moepono, a 300+ pound Polynesian menace. And, for some reason, Junior kept a protective arm around Alex.

Later, Alex moved to Kauai for a year, settling in Hanalei Bay, where the Irons children grew up, and then flew to Bali for six months. Australian surfers taught him to ride a motorbike in Poppies Lane. She hopped on a boat to Lombok for a while, then made the 24-hour bemo-ferry ride to G-Land where she was so lighted up with malaria that she had to call her parents to have them they go back to their place.

But do you think little Alex can live in Ocean Grove?

Looking for money and adventures, Alex took a waitressing gig at a cruise shop with a girlfriend who happened to be a beauty who had just won the Miss San Antonia beauty pageant. Her friend brought her boyfriend and together they sailed the Caribbean.

Soon, more adventure. This time Europe as a backpacker. The couple had separated on the cruise ship and Alex and the guy traveled to Europe, strictly as pals. Separate beds. Totally level.

But then, one night in Austria.

A few drinks.

Laugh.

Stumble in the cold night.

A night.

One night in 1990 and the creation of John John Florence, named after the American President’s little boy, the kid who bravely saluted his father’s coffin in front of millions of Americans. Yeah, it’s a name that has strength, that has courage.

The partnership did not work. How could he? Three little boys. There’s not a lot of money in the house they rented in Rocky Point. Dad quickly disappeared into the penal system.

Alex remembers driving her former Valiant, the departed ex-husband, John, five, Nathan, three, Ivan, a one-and-a-half-year-old baby, looking at his little boys and saying, “What “What do you want to do? We have nothing to do or be anywhere? We can stay out until 10:30! We can go to the thrift stores!”

Alex took her kids everywhere and despite what you might call a huge broken hand, she felt this sudden freedom. Total freedom. She took them everywhere. And that summer, after dad separated, Alex packed her things and, with her three little ducklings following her everywhere, flew to Bingin in Bali where she knew a local family who let them stay in their warung , cheap.

Of course, she didn’t have much money, but here they lived on 10 dollars a day, and they stretched their resources ($1200) for four sublime months. Little Ivan, who was just over two at the time, had broken his leg on the trampoline before they broke up but Alex was cool, she took her child everywhere.

Back on the Shore, Herbie Fletcher, a jetski pioneer in surfing, towed John John in bombs when he was seven. Here they are, back in Rocky Point, just a house set back from the sand, funded by hosting up to 10 boarders at a time, squeezing them into three bedrooms. Alex rented the floor space for $250 per month. Whatever it takes.

They built a half-pipe in the yard. British Vogue, US Vogue and Elle magazines couldn’t help but hear about this gorgeous solo surfer mom and her shaggy-haired boys. Alex felt like he had a guardian angel. No money, but she was on the beach feeding her three boys and, well, you tell me that’s not life.

Meanwhile, Alex was studying for his degree in English Literature at the University of Honolulu. And this is where it gets really good. Alex says if you saw the amount of her student loans, which she just paid off, you’d think she was the “gnarliest surgeon ever.”

But, her job used her loans to support the family, to raise the children. She didn’t want to leave her children to just anyone. So she went to school in the evening and took boarders. Yeah, sometimes dinner was cornflakes, but the kids played outside in the sun and were pushed (or towed) into the waves by a role of surfing icons including Nathan Fletcher, Danny Fuller, Kala and Kamalei Alexander, Herbie Fletcher and Pete Johnson.

Jamie O’Brien too, but he was still a little crazy and sometimes threw dog shit at the kids. But, he also took John to contests and pushed through the waves on his very first run, when he was four years old.

And it wasn’t just surfing.

Nathan, a smart kid, gobbled up every lit book Alex threw at him, from Bukowski to Tom Wolfe. He would devour a thousand-page volume in a day.

Yet they were, they are, foolish little children. Alex lost count of the number of times she threw a bleeding child in the car and rushed him to the ER. John “broke almost everything”, his neck, his back, his legs, his wrists, his arms, his ankles. Ivan got 55 facial stitches (rogue fin) after paddling a 25ft that would later be nominated for the Billabong XXL Wave of the Year.

Eventually they were evicted from the house by a sale, an owner who returned, whatever it was, Alex doesn’t remember.

So Alex and John John, now 10 but mature beyond his years, because he’s seen some shit out there on the Shore and he knows what it’s like to live on nothing, were walking down the street parallel to the beach and were talking about the situation, saying things like “Oh man, what are we gonna do now?”

And, as they walk, there’s this little house on the beach, just around the corner from where they live now, and Alex, being Alex, sees this car in the driveway, looks at John, who nods head, and they walk up to the owner, their brown faces break into million-watt smiles, and they say, “And that?”

Not a bad place to live out your harvest years.

And, suddenly, they are in Pipe.

Lo and behold, twenty years later and for five thousand dollars less than three million dollars, her little boy John, who is a few weeks away from turning thirty, gave his mother, this brave woman who moved to the Côte -Nord and who created the lives that made boys what they are, the gift of their childhood home.

(In other real estate news, John looked at a big chunk of land near the polo field in Mokuleia. The ticket price isn’t cheap, eight million dollars.)

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