What A Vegan Surfer Eats In 1 Day

What A Vegan Surfer Eats In 1 Day

With the growing movement of veganism in the UK and the rest of the world, we wanted to explore what it means to be a vegan surfer in the UK. as our video above shows one of our team rider JACK and what he eats in a day as a vegan surfer in the UK

Veganism has quite literally skyrocketed over the last few years with more people than ever choosing to enjoy a plant-based lifestyle.

If you were unsure of what it means to be vegan don’t worry we have all you need to know. Choosing to eat vegan means you would not eat or use animal products so no meat, cheese dairy honey or any other parts of an animal that are incorporated in food. Vegans not only avoid animal products but they also avoid any exploitation of animals for any purpose, with compassion for the animals health and well being the key reason most chose to eat vegan. many other vegans also refrain from buying products that have been tested on animals such as makeup, cleaning products and most bathroom items. Vegans would also refrain from buying any clothing or products that have animal body parts in it so, for instance, most gelatine sweets, leather sofas, shoes or belts 

But you’re in luck as a surfer in the UK there has never been an easier time to become vegan and you won’t be alone veganism has taken off in the UK as now almost 3.5 million British people call themselves vegan out of the 66,590,551 British total citizens which equates to around 5% of the Uk population.

Awareness of slaughterhouse practices as well as influential documentaries like what

the health and forks over knives have really shaken peoples core beliefs about food and the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. 

Going vegan doesn’t have to be hard tho with over 22,000 register vegan services and products registered with the vegan trademark it’s so easy to do

As a surfer, you might think about going plant-based not only for the animals but for a whole host of other reasons we looked at in our blog

WHY EVERY SURFER SHOULD BE VEGAN .

Reasons like a plant-based diet can be healthier for us and improve our overall physical performance and as a surfer who doesn’t want to surf better and for longer maybe it’s your diet holding you back.

As Surfers that might hit close to home like reducing our carbon footprint on the world as the most up today scientific evidence suggests reducing the impact we have on the environment is essential in the future progressions of the planet most scientists suggest that a change in diet would be more environmentally friendly than most other eco friendly measures like buying an electric car or not using planes and minimising petrol and diesel car usage.

scientists estimate that the production of meat dairy and cheese can be accountable for over 35% of our overall greenhouse emissions,”

Its estimate if animal food production s was to stop and all meat eaters switched to a vegan diet  it would roughly half the overall greenhouse gas emissions currently produced by the planet.

check out some great videos of professional athletes who use a vegan diet to get better performance or check out our TOP6 VEGAN SURFERS ..

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Should All Surfers Be VEGAN?

Should All Surfers Be VEGAN?

Veganism has grown massively around the world in the last few years, in increase in popularity has been especially noticeable here in the UK. We wanted to delve deeper into what it means to be vegan and why people do it . I’m sure you’ve all heard the stories about ‘militant vegans’ and ‘vegan extremists’ trying to force veganism down peoples throats and get us to change. But what does it mean to be a vegan in the UK and what does it mean to be a vegan surfer?

Let’s get the basics of being Vegan and Veganism, what even is it? A Vegan is someone who abstains from consuming, using and supporting the exploitation of animals, aiming to cause as little harm as possible. Vegan’s do not eat or use any animal products, this includes; meat, cheese, dairy, eggs and even honey. Vegans do not support animal testing and do not buy any products that have been tested on animals, or have any animal products or byproducts in them. This includes things like leather belts, couches suede bags, toiletries and make up.

You may be thinking, that’s a lot of things you can’t have, do, or eat, what can you eat?!  Why would anyone want to be be vegan?! Well hear us out…

As surfers we are just like any other normal folk, we have jobs, families and friends but we like the action of surfing, because of surfing’s very nature. We spend time in places abundant with sea life, interacting with animals and experiencing first hand local Eco systems. Some people might say that surfers have a deeper connection with nature than most, because our very sport uses the waves mother nature provides. if you have spent any time with a surfer, you will know that most of us, in fact probably 99.9% of us want to keep our beaches clean, our waters healthy and plastic free. We are mini Eco-warriors who care about preserving our beautiful coastline and surfing in crystal clear, plastic-free, waves. 

You may still be wondering what all this has to do with being Vegan? Well quite a lot actually. Being Vegan has a few more benefits than just saving some animals, it’s so much more! A lot of our pro surfing hero’s are making the change, so maybe there is something about it that we haven’t thought of?

Surfers like 11-time World Champ – Kelly Slater and two-times World Champ – John John both enjoy a vegan diet and both made the change after they “Became increasingly aware of food and its effec.ts on the human body. A lot of today’s research, including from studies all over the world and governing body’s suggesting that a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based diet is the most optimal for human health. All signs point to a plant based diet as a far better option for human health and performance when compared to that of high animal-product intake.”

The Benefits Of Being A Vegan Surfer 

  1. It’s the Best Way to Help Animals & Sea Life

It’s fair to say we care more about the ocean than most people, because it’s our playground, our place of solitude, so we have a vested interest in protecting it, being as eco-friendly as possible and helping protect the environment is definitely on most surfers agenda. You have probably witnessed if not first hand, certainly on video, footage of places like Bali, with barrelling waves of plastic and it is truly heartbreaking. So we like to keep where we live and our local breaks clean, doing beach clean ups, supporting local businesses that are actively environmentally conscious and friendly.

If there was an oil spill, or a sewage plant leak at your local break, you would be up in arms, especially if your town depended on tourism – as lot of good surf areas in the UK do; having a clean, healthy and thriving eco-system is pretty important to business.

Did you know that animal farming and the production if meat is the number one pollutant of the sea, with their toxic waste products ending up in the sea?

Did you also know that just one person going Vegan saves nearly 200 animals per year? That includes marine life like fish! The easiest way you can help your local community and marine life is as simple as reducing your animal produce intake. Not to mention all the other living creatures you will help, preventing the unnecessary suffering, just by choosing plant-based foods over meateggs, and dairy products.

  1. Slim Down, Shred More, Become Energised

if you’re looking in to some surf mags recently, or any surf platform online, you will probably see us surfers are a pretty lean bunch… with a few exceptions. Staying lean with a healthy body fat percentage keeps us in top surfing shape, so if you have a few extra pounds to lose, why not give it a go? Some of the highest calorie foods include meat, dairy, eggs and in particular milk, but they also lack in other nutrients like fibre, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Where as a plant-based diet is packed with with fibre, micro nutrients, essential vitamins, minerals and much lower in calories. Overall Vegans are, on average, up to 20lbs/9Kg lighter than meat-eaters.

A lot of pro surfers are finding the benefits of keeping body fat low and energy levels high, but remember this isn’t just a fad diet, or something to do for a quick fix, it’s a total life style change. One that can be easily sustained throughout your entire life and unlike unhealthy fad diets, which leave you feeling tired and don’t keep the pounds off for long, going vegan allows you to keep the excess fat off for good and have plenty of energy.

  1. Be Healthier, Happier & Live Longer

If you’re looking to surf for as long as you can in this life. listen up! We’ve got the answer and no its not the fountain of youth. Being vegan is also great for your health! Not only that it’s also great for improved performance. According to the the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vegans are less likely to develop heart diseasecancerdiabetes, and high blood pressure, when compared to their meat-eating counterparts. When you think about it, it makes total sense, you are eating more vegetables, beans, lentils, legumes, nuts and seeds. All of which are super healthy and nutritionally dense, you also cut out a lot of highly inflammatory foods such as; milk, meat and eggs, which are more acidic and cause inflammation in the body.

Vegans are not only healthier and leaner but they are also more likely to get all their daily nutrient requirements, that the body needs to be healthy, such as plant protein, fibre, fats, complex carbs, as well as vitamins and minerals. They can get almost everything they need from plants, without all the nasty stuff in meat that may slow you down and make you sick such as; cholesterol, saturated animal fats and IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor-1 hormone).

All these things will put your immune system into over-drive, making it less effective when things like the common cold and flu viruses come around. They decrease energy levels, and in the long-term can lead to a decreased energy expenditure as well as poor overall health.

So if you want to be surfing well in to your 70’s and beyond, maybe switch to a more plant based diet. You never know, it you might still be surfing at 100.

  1. Vegan Food Is Better for Surfers + It’s Delicious

There is nothing like that post surf hunger, the intensity and the speed at which most surfers can demolish a post-surf burrito is incredible; what about if you could have all your favourite foods in the world and they were vegan. Meaning you could continue to enjoy all those delicious foods, whilst reducing your carbon footprint, therefore reducing negative impact on the environment you love so much.

Speaking of burritos these are a staple in the surf community, especially in places like California and they are so easy to veganise! All you have to do is take out the meat, cheese, sour cream and it’s vegan, not to mention a pretty decent post surf meal. if you were to go vegan, it’s easier than even to do and you can still eat all your favourite foods including; burgers“chicken” sandwiches, and ice cream. The only difference is you’ll be ditching the cruelty, cholesterol and the inflammation that go hand in hand with eating animal products and instead switching it to a healthier, more environmentally friendly and ethical plant-based version.

Most supermarkets now stock a good range of vegan brands, if not stocking their own branded vegan friendly foods too, restaurants are also following suit creating amazing, mouthwatering dishes and having a vegan menu. There has been a surge in the increasing demand for vegan food in the UK, with 5% of the UK population now saying they are vegan and this percentage is only growing! As more information about the environmental impact animal produce has on the planet, combined with the health benefits of plant based foods being spoken about more.

This shift will keep companies coming out with more delicious meat and dairy-free options that taste incredible.

Here are just a few that are dishing up the goods; Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, M&S, Tesco and even Iceland all have a huge vegan range now, with plant-based, meat substitutes that look and taste like the real thing, but are much healthier than their animal-derived counterparts and don’t hurt any living beings.

If you can get you hands on some ‘Beyond Meat’ burgers they will blow your mind!

  1. Meat Is More Likely To Make You Ill 

If there is one thing surfers don’t want, it’s to be ill when an epic swell arrives at your local break. Going plant-based could be the better option to to improve your immune system, keep your gut healthy and limit you exposure to harmful bacteria. Animal products and meats are often contaminated with faeces which often contain some harmful bacteria , such as Salmonella and E-Coli to name a couple. This is why animal food is most likely to make you ill, or give you food poisoning, it’s not very often, hear of some one eating raw broccoli and getting food poisoning, but eating a dodgy chicken curry can definitely set you back a few days.

A recent inspection of chicken flesh found that 96% of Tyson chicken packages were contaminated with Campylobacter, a dangerous bacteria that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year, resulting in diarrhoea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. Now that doesn’t sound great! Recent studies in america also stated that eating animal foods such as; chickens, pigs and cows, as well as their by-products like dairy and eggs, was the cause of over 2.4 million illnesses and 5000 deaths in one year!

  1. Help Feed the World

If you want to see a better tomorrow you’ve got to act today! if you eat meat it doesn’t just affect the animals,  it affects people too. Even in today’s super high-tech world there are still millions of people that go hungry and die because of lack of food available. Producing meat on an industrial scale takes tonnes of crops and grains to feed the animals that we breed for slaughter.

Did you know it takes up to 13 pounds of grain, to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh! The sheer volume of grain required to feed the animals would be enough to feed 1000’s of people. With the meat we eat only accounting for 18% of our overall daily calories, that 18% could be better spent on less environmentally damaging and ethically grown foods; like the grains and crops we currently feed to livestock.

The more people that switch to a plant-based vegan diet, the less of a negative impact we have on the planet and with less animals being reared for food, the more crops and grains we have to feed the hungry.

  1. Save the Planet

it’s the challenge of our lifetime and as surfers we see a lot of the negative effects of climate change and pollution first hand; dwindling sea life, poor water quality (bad enough to make you sick) and plastic pollution like never before. It seems like reducing our impact on the planet is no easy feat… However there is one way we can help, if anything it’s the best way we can create the most positive impact in reducing our CO2 emissions and it couldn’t be easier… Go Vegan.

Meat is one of the worst things for the environment, from the land needed to rear these animals, to the volume of crops grown and processed for the animals, to the actual amount of animals themselves, 70 billion are slaughtered each year. The amount of CO2 they produce and the byproducts that get into our water ways quite often create dead zones, poisoning so much marina life, not to mention the effect on your average surfers health.

The carbon emissions created simply by feeding 70 Billion animals and the production of the animal produce after slaughter on its own is unfathomable. It’s well documented that the animal agriculture industry is the single biggest causer of climate change. Adopting a Vegan diet is more effective than switching to a “greener” or electric car in the struggle against climate change.

Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet, could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73%. Meanwhile, if everyone stopped eating these foods, they found that global farmland use could be reduced by 75%, an area equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined! Not only would this result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, it would also free up wild land lost to agriculture, one of the primary causes for mass wildlife extinction. Now that we know we have just 12 years to make some serious changes, going Vegan sounds like a pretty easy place to start!

 

  1. A lot Of Pros Are Switching To A Vegan Lifestyle 

The list of surfers who are opting to choose a plant based diet for health and performance reasons is growing, aside from Kelly Slater and john john Florence you’ve got surfing power couple, Alana Blanchard and jack Freestone who live animal product free and are still performing pretty well. Other pros and influential surfers include Rob Machado, Rasta, Carissa Moore, Maurice Cole, Nikki Van Dijk and Tia Blanco all big names who made the choice based on health and compassionate reasons.

It’s not only the pros who can make the change though, big time Hollywood actors and keen surfer Chris and Liam Hemsworth, both adopted a vegan lifestyle for health and compassionate reasons and never looked back. Alongside other Hollywood A-listers that are also paving the way like; Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Alicia Silverstone, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Miley Cyrus, Neo and Carrie Underwood.

  1. More Energy = More Surf 

As surfers we are always looking at any way to catch more waves and have more tube time. A recent study found that vegetarians and Vegans in particular tend to have more energy than their meat-eating counter parts, this is perfect if you’ve got a busy line up, having better energy levels might just add a few extra waves into your next session. It’s important to note that previous studies found higher levels of body fat and cholesterol in meat eaters when compared to vegans. The cholesterol and saturated animal fat found in meat, eggs, and dairy products eventually clog the arteries to your heart over time and for us guys that means they impede blood flow to other vital organs as well…

  1. Save The Whales But Not the Pigs

We as people have a weird thing when it comes to animals, we have a lot of favouritism in the UK when it comes to certain species; we love dogs and have them as our pets, we eat pigs and won’t think twice about, but in contrast are outraged when we see places like China eating dogs, the very thought of it causes distress.

We draw a line in the sand between animals considered ‘food’ and animals considered our pets, when in reality they all animals, through documentaries like Blue Planet we find out about whales and their dwindling numbers, we want to know what we can do to save them. On the other hand in japan whales are hunted and killed “for research” code name for –  feeding japan. We have these double standards for these creatures, one we happy to eat, the other we would be horrified to even think about it. Think about it… Would you eat your own dog or cat? Maybe your guinea pig or rabbit? They’re exactly the same as pigschickensfishcows and in fact they are just as intelligent! They can feel fear and excitement, as well as pain and suffering and are even able to have complex relationships . Pigs are so intelligent in fact, they can even learn to play video games!

Thoughts 

 Now reading all this you might think it’s interesting, or you might think that a preachy vegan wrote it…. You might be right. As a surfer and someone who ate meat for 26 years of their life, I have now been plant-based for around 3 of the last years and living a vegan lifestyle for 2 years.  i can see the stark contrast in my health and performance in surfing and ways of thinking. i no longer suffer from an array of gastro-intestinal/stomach related health issues, no more bloating, no more heartburn and acid reflux, no more feeling lethargic all the time and my surfing energy is higher than ever!

I’m probably in the leanest shape possible since becoming vegan and enjoy some of the clearest thinking, bye bye brain fog! i also have the lowest cholesterol levels and and visceral fat percentage i have had in 10 years. When you can see those positive health changes in such a short space of time, you really want to talk about it so other people can feel as good as you do!

 

Let us know if you found this blog helpful, would you like us to write more blogs like this? Even if you hated it all feedback is valuable. 

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JACKS REVIEW
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Jack Buckingham

This is without a doubt the best small wave surfboard I have ever ridden

Jack is an SBS Boards Team rider and sponsored surfer who creates daily vlogs about his surf adventures around the UK coast line. Jack regularly surfs for hours a day, creating some great in depth and raw videos that showcase whats it’s like to be a surfer living in the UK. Jack shares the trials and tribulations of surfing in the winter, those daily struggles with cold water, usually pretty windy and rubbish conditions, all in his endeavour to search for those perfect waves. 

The Predator  

The Predator is one of our favourite all-rounders and one of our best-selling surfboard. It’s designed with the perfect balance of high-performance features and modern comfort.

For Jack’s style of surfing, he needed a board that was fast, loose and able to take on almost any waves. The board had to be responsive and adaptable enough to be surfed well in small waves, but really hold well in bigger surf, that’s where the Predator comes in with its hybrid outline, that is shorter, wider and thicker than your average surfboard. It’s got plenty of volume and width upfront under your chest, which is then pulled back into a more refined, rounded pin tail, giving the board a really unique riding style.

The volume up-front gives it that ease of use when paddling and pumping down the line, whilst the pulled in tail keeps it smooth, fast and responsive allowing you to be more agile in tighter sections of bigger waves.

It’s got a super flat rocker throughout, with a little more lift in the nose to help take on the bigger drops, whilst the added extra foam under the chest area really improves paddling speed and catching waves.

ABOUT THE SHAPE

Its widest point is a little further up the board than most conventional shortboards,  allowing for a wider nose and width that is carried through the entire board, giving great speed on any size wave.

It’s gradually pinched down into a foiled rounded pintail, giving less volume in the tail, so you retain that instant rail to rail response of a performance shortboard. It has been slightly tapered in the tail and the nose, giving it a balanced and stable feeling, with a tone of forgiveness in turns. The board’s graduating single concave forces water towards the fins to help generate speed and drive, giving incredible grip in your turns, especially in bigger waves.

The Predator is a really fun, fast and light all-around board that’s going to give you the confidence and speed in bigger waves, as well as the paddle power and wave count in smaller surf. ideal for intermediate – expert surfers.

After 1 year of surfing our Predator surfboard, jack’s board is still in great condition and ready for another year of intense surfing. if you want to check out some of Jacks most recent videos, check out his channel in the link below.  

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 ‘The New Yorker’ talks about how the wave pools have changed surfing history, how everything before them is now from one era and everything post-wave pools is another and he’s right. For as-long as there has been a world tour, surfers have travelled all over the world surfing perfect and sometimes pretty crud waves, but the anticipation of a swell, an event and how unpredictable the waves will be is the exciting thing about watching as a spectator. Having the events only on when the conditions are optimal also gives them the element of uniqueness and excitement. But with wave pools being able to turn on waves every 2-3 minutes like clock work, delivering the same wave every time, it can take away that exciting and mysterious part of surfing culture. The sheer terror as you watch someone pull in to a super heavy unpredictable wave, over a shallow reef makes it gripping to watch. The WSL (World Surf League) tested an event at the surf ranch and of course it’s mesmerising to watch, but i can’t help but feel that a little bit of the magic is lost, when you know you’re going to get the same wave as the person before. Some of the drama and the unpredictability is lost as a spectator.

Don’t get me wrong, i think Kelly’s Wave Pool and wave pools in general are an incredibly cool thing, i hope they will be good for the progression of surfing, but as they say in the video, if someone that has grown up surfing in a wave pool, only ever known perfect waves, in a controlled environment, then decides to paddle out in the ocean, in a constantly changing environment, where skill and experience are key, especially when it comes to paddling and surf safety – This is where the potential for wave pools to be a problem exists. They might create a proficient surfer in a wave pool, but also a potential casualty or risk to others in the ocean.

Which ever way you look at it, wave pools are coming so we will have to embrace them what ever the outcome. 

 

WAVE TECHNOLOGY

Kelly’s wave pool isn’t the only one on the market trying to catch our attention and potentially paying good money to have our surfing fix. Weber Wave Garden and a few other companies are all improving, building test pools, their first commercial facilities, trying to be the first to crack the market and be one of the first to conquer this whole new business opportunity.

For wave pool manufacturers the idea isn’t about just creating waves for surfers, it’s about expanding an industry that has long been associated with coastal communities, expanding to land locked areas, to increase participation and potential revenue. Can you imagine if surfing had the kind of numbers participating that football or basketball has?! It would be immense and that’s were the gold rush lies in the wave pool game. Each company wants to be the first in the market to become an established, superior wave pool and an industry leader.

Even with the power of Kelly Slater at the helm of one of the worlds most perfect wave pools, it has no doubt spurred other companies to up their game with wave pools and the surfers representing them. Companies working with different technology, working towards a commercial wave pool, that can produce a lot of waves consistently is the ultimate goal and as you can see from some of these wave pool clips, these companies are pretty close to creating something special.

Being in the UK we are pretty lucky, we were the first country in the world to have a commercial wave pool, built for the public use. Surf Snowdonia, built in Snowdonia, Wales uses wave garden technology, to propel a small 2ft wave over the duration of about 15-20 seconds of ride-able wave time. This like most wave pools was the first of its kind, so a lot of things have been learnt since then, especially with target audiences and who is visiting these wave pools. As much as we all want massive barrels and perfect peeling waves, the beginner market is were companies like Surf Snowdonia are making their money. They have been pretty much fully booked since they opened and there’s a reason offering a safe, guaranteed wave for people to learn in is very appealing. After spending 3 years as a surf instructor i know it can be difficult to get the right conditions to teach in, some days it’s too big and dangerous and some days it’s flat. But guaranteed waves sound pretty perfect from a beginner point of view and even more so for surf schools.

The UK will also make history by 2020 as one of the only places in the world with 3 wave pools; “The Wave” being built in Bristol, utilising The Wave Garden Cove technology, to create different types of waves more suited to intermediate and advanced surfers, as well as being a prime location for a lot of surfers from Devon and Cornwall to travel to, which has the largest surf community in all of Britain. The UK will also have another first as London prepares to have its very own wave pool, which i can only imagine to be fully booked on completion. With these wave pools in surfing, who knows were surfing in the UK could be in a few years time.

 

Surf Snowdonia 

The Wave Bristol

The Wave London 

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How To Hold Your Breath Longer For Surfing

How To Hold Your Breath Longer For Surfing

Why is Your Breath-Hold Important in Surfing?

Holding your breath might not seem too important apart from the obvious of going underwater in a wipeout, duck dive or even in a bad hold down, but that’s never more than 10-15 seconds or so, so why do we need to train for it?

Improving your breath hold is much more than just holding your breath longer underwater, it’s confidence in yourself. 

If you’re a big wave surfer on the WSL (World Surf League) you would probably have trained for years learning about breath holds and learning to deal with monster wipeouts. Surfers like Shane Dorian, can hold their breath for 5+ minutes under water, giving them a lot of confidence when they have a bad wipeout, that they can at least hold it for 45 seconds to a minute with ease. Working on your breath holds gives you that same confidence, that if you take on bigger waves, you can survive the consequences if things go bad.

Some freedivers around the world can hold their breath for over 22 minutes! Some of the worlds best big wave surfers can hold it for 5 minutes and your average surfer can hold their breath for anything from 30 seconds – 2 minutes under water. So improving your breath hold isn’t just about surviving wipeouts and hold downs, it’s about giving you confidence in the water.

By using a few of our little tricks and tips, you can almost double your breath hold and who knows one day, it might just save your life.

Boosting Your Breathing Power and Efficiency 

As surfers we have to be incredibly fit to paddle out back in some good sized surf, doing it over and over again, for several hours can be pretty taxing on your body, specifically your lungs. If you haven’t trained your aerobic capacity and endurance you won’t last as long some of the greats.

Your lungs are a huge part of your surfing ability, allowing you to paddle out back and pump down the line to your heart’s content, so ensuring they are in top condition will definitely have a positive effect on your surfing.

If you are to improve your lung capacity (this refers to the total ‘Lung volume’ or ‘the volume of air in the lungs at different phases of the respiratory cycle‘. If you’re an average adult male surfer you probably have an average total lung capacity of about 6 litres of air, as we move every day we subconsciously do something called Tidal breathing, this is our natural resting breathing rate and the ‘tidal volume‘ is the ‘volume of air that is inhaled or exhaled in only a single such breath’. When we surf or exercise, this is increased and becomes conscious, if your lungs have a better capacity, they will be able to complete the task of exercising or surfing a lot better and be able to store more oxygen in the event of a hold down.

Depending on how fit you are and your overall mass, the average surfer’s respiratory rate is 30-60 breaths per minute when surfing, compared to 12-20 breaths per minute in adults when doing simple daily tasks 

You might have a naturally higher lung capacity if any of the following apply yot you…

High Lung Capacity 

  • Taller in height
  • Live at high altitude 
  • Good fitness level 

Lower lung capacity 

  • Smaller in height
  • Live at low altitude 
  • Have a high body fat/overweight 

How to Increase Your Lung Capacity 

It all starts with training on land in a safe environment, this is the perfect place to start. It’s called dry training, you can practice your breathing exercises and workouts in the comfort of your own home. 

Try this breathing workout to help improve your breath hold and keep you safe in those double or triple wave hold-downs. 

So, here’s a simple training program to hold your breath for longer periods of time:

1. Start breathing slowly for 1 to 3 minutes, relaxing your entire body – you need to keep as relaxed as possible, slowing down your heart rate and minimising movement.
2. Take a deep breath out, fully exhaling everything, blowing all of the carbon dioxide and air from your lungs.
3. Take a really fast deep breath in, followed by any extra short breaths in you can do to really fill your lung capacity and then hold your breath.
4. Relax – try to keep calm and relax the body thinking of something else to keep your mind focussed on something other than not breathing. 
5. When you reach your limit, fully exhale, blowing all of the air and carbon dioxide from your body, followed by deep inhale & exhalation until you have recovered.

This is a great way to check out your maximum breath hold in the very best circumstances, post wipe out you may not have as big of a breath, or be as relaxed, but it can give you a good idea of the time you can last underwater if truly pushed to the limit.

Repeat the above breathing workout 5-10 times, with about a 1-minute break in between and record your times on a notepad, use a watch or timer each round to see what you get. If you repeat this breathing workout 2-3 times a week, you will find soon enough, your breath-hold starts to improve and the duration will extend week by week. After a few months of consistent practice, you will have added minutes to your time!

3 Key Things to Keep in Mind When Training Lung Capacity for Surfing.

Relax The Body 

A high heart rate and a moving body are going to use more oxygen, compared with a relaxed body with a lower heart rate, so try to remain still and relaxed. A lot of pro’s or big wave surfers talk about when they wipe out, they go into a relaxed ragdoll-like state and avoid fighting with the white water or the mountain of water on top of them. Once they feel the pressure and motion pass, that’s when they will try to get to above the water.

Relax The Mind 

Relaxing the mind is probably one of the most important things, not necessarily physiologically but it does have a massive effect on your breath hold time. Thinking of something else will help you to forget that you have no oxygen coming in, it can help you keep calm underwater, your heart rate lower and the mind and body relaxed, while you are conserving oxygen usage in the body until you can inhale again.

Relax Your Breathing 

Over time your body will become accustomed to higher levels of CO2 and you will start to adapt to withstand the higher levels present in the blood. Likewise, your body’s urge to breathe and open your mouth will be suppressed or can be trained to repress that reaction through repetition and training. Ultimately like anything the more training you do, the better prepared you will be to deal with the constantly varied conditions of surfing, this will help give you the confidence to take on bigger amd more powerful surf conditions.

WARNING: When training in breath holds never push to the absolute limit as this could result in a blackout or potentially even death.

It is strongly recommended to practice it in a room with a partner in the event that something goes wrong.

We would suggest holding until you’re about 90% gone and then breathe. It’s only training at the end of the day and for us regular folk, it’s simply meant to help add on a bit of time to our breath hold, not set any world records.

 

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