Going Big? These Are The Breathing Techniques You Need To Know About

25 Jan 2018 0 Share

We all have that mate who trains in the beach pool, sitting on the bottom with a big rock trying to turn purple. And for people preparing to battle the raw elements of mother ocean, this qualifies as normal behaviour. But if you catch them trying squeeze into a dishwasher to withstand the mighty force of the eco-cycle, you have fair cause for concern. Don’t try that one at home, kids.

There are far better ways to learn quality breathing techniques in heavy surf conditions. While facing monster swells at our local beach doesn't happen everyday, a big set, an extended hold down or a solid drilling can send you from calm to panicked pretty quickly.

“Riding a big wave can be amazing and scary at the same time,” explains Mark Visser, Australian big wave surf champion and ocean adventurer. Despite his infatuation with big liquid concrete, Visser acknowledges that paddling out into a big set can definitely cause you to shit yourself. But, he believes, with a bit of training, you can up your skill level and approach big waves with confidence. “No one wants to be afraid every time they paddle out – you want to be able to confidently catch that wave that made you say, ‘wow!’”

“Fear can be crippling,” he affirms. “That feeling of being held down and panicking, not knowing what to do. The truth is, we all have the ability to be calm underwater, and it doesn’t require a big breath hold time.”

Visser worked with the best freedivers and applied his own first-hand knowledge of what really works for surfing to develop the Ocean Foundations course for surfers of all skill levels. The course is an online package of surf related skills, including breathing techniques, water safety, muscle control and recovery, “The things that make you elite,” Visser adds.

“Practicing these techniques quickly changes things right away,” Visser explains. For a limited time, the course is available for Coastalwatch readers for a whopping 60% off – click here to get started.

This story is presented in partnership with Ocean Warrior Course

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