Surfers are athletes.
Chiselled gods with preternatural levels of fitness , effortless ability and aesthetic beauty. Refined instruments of aquatic grace to a man or woman.
Everyone knows this to be incontrovertibly true.
So why are my boardies so tight ?
Unfortunately, the image of the stereotypical surfer fails to address the slightly grotesque reality of those wave riders who’ve regrettably misplaced their abdominal muscles under an unsightly layer of pudge. Of course there’s never an acceptable excuse for letting your physique and therefore your health deteriorate, but mitigating factors aren’t too far away for many crew.
Excessive work responsibilities , familial obligations, injury , location, failing motivation , depression and illness are amongst the varied reasons why you’d wake up one day and find the stomach verandah is extending over the tool shed below the belt.
Then there’s the other reasons for losing condition , many of which I’ve explored extensively....love of food or drink , laziness, apathy amongst them. Some crew are all about hedonism and indulgence - admirable traits in moderation- but when you start to realise that your spirit animal is neither the dynamic dolphin nor the potent puma , but is actually more likely to be the golden labrador fixatedly staring at the kitchen from its spot on the lounge , or that your patron is Saint Occhilupo of the Rubbery Girth then you’d best keep an eye on your waistline.
My lifestyle, body type and inclinations find me constantly yo-yoing in weight and fitness. Sometimes I’m lean , strong and capable . Other times I’m chubby , weak and slack. The ceaseless cycle of peak and trough , top and bottom which seems to be my lot in this world.
Right now I’m on the resurgence. A dedicated program to ascend to the lofty heights of my personal mediocrity. As usual I had to bottom out before the turnaround......such is life. As I’ve embarked on this project of renewal I’ve had reason to realise that I’m in no way on my own in this situation and that some crew may not know how to halt their decent into dicreptitude , may not truly realise the pitfalls of not arresting the decline or may just need a bit of inspiration to get up off the floor and rediscover the ability to own their destiny.
So here it is ....Blowin’s guide to exiting the world of the fat bastard.
Your health is the most valuable asset you possess. Being fat or out of shape has repercussions ranging far beyond looking bad in a wetsuit *. Without your health and physicality you are hugely diminished. You cant enjoy activities with your loved ones .You can’t earn a living. You DIE ....which is bad. Being sick or infirm can be hugely expensive.
Surfing is a gift for getting fit. The key to getting stronger is in your hands.
And the best way to get fit in my eyes is to treat it like you would any other issue of overwhelming priority. Do it properly Treat the act like an investment in yourself .
Step 1/ Find a location with a good , consistent wave within easy access from accomodation and go there immediately. It doesn’t have to be the best wave in the world , just somewhere that you can basically surf everyday and for all day if possible. Somewhere you can amass a high wave count and expend a lot of energy day after day , irrespective of time , tide or wind conditions. Sound impossible? It’s not at all when you start looking.
Step 2/ Go there on your own. Sounds boring / sad / lonely , right ? Who gives a fuck .... you’re here to get fit , not go on a bucks party or to laze around gossiping whilst getting back rubs.
Solo means focus and no distractions . It means you aren’t likely to find a beer shoved in your hand at lunch and you won’t be waking up the next day hungover, having to again start from scratch after you’ve decided to reward yourselves following a taxing surf. You want single , bloody-minded purpose. This ain’t meant to be fun , it’s meant to be a second chance before you fall over the edge into the void of the perpetual fatfuck.
And a bit of silence and time for contemplation never hurt anyone.
Step 3/ Make it fun ! Yeah , yeah , I know what I just said , but If you’ve chosen your destination correctly, you’ll be surfing better within days. Weight falls off quickly with the right diet and regular exercise and your resurgent strength, agility and range of motion will increase your surfing ability and therefore your enjoyment of the act. Watch surf movies between sessions. Take this moment to immerse yourself completely in surfing . Do it for your loved ones ....the fitter you are , the healthier you’ll be and your time together will be maximised .
Step 4/ Eat clean . The eating part is hard if you aren’t clued up in healthy eating. Research good eating habits , but it’s basically lots of fruit , veggies , quality protein and as much unprocessed foods as possible. Completely unprocessed is best.
Choice of destination will be influenced by availability of good , fresh , healthy food. Some places have a diet which is inherently healthier.
Step 5/ Don’t drink. Full stop. Alcohol distorts your body well out of proportion of it’s excessive and unnecessary calorific value .It bloats , poisons and ruins for much longer than just the time it takes to piss out of your body. There is a condition known colloquially as Pub Face whereby the cheeks bloat , the jowls sag , the eyes dull and bag whilst the chin seems to breed multiples of itself.
You don’t want to have Pub Face.
Step 5/ Don’t stop moving. Move your body as much as possible. Wake early after a good nights sleep and just .....GO ! Walk to check the surf. Surf . Walk somewhere else . Surf . Climb a hill . Do push-ups . Surf . Walk somewhere else . Do yoga . Run ....you get it ?
From waking to sleeping, just keep moving. Doesn’t have to be flat out all the time , just don’t stop.
Surfs small or shit ? Go out anyway for a paddle . Or swim the lineup. Just keep moving....
Step 6/ Rest and get good sleep. Don’t stress. This surf trip is as much for your loved ones as it is for yourself. You aren’t much good to them fat, broken or unhappy.
Step 7/ Appreciate your opportunity to do this. Appreciation is the key to happiness and happiness is the key to a good life.
A solo surf trip may seem to be too indulgent or expensive to justify to yourself or your family.
Think again. The alternative is to muddle along as you are now , never being able to make headway or gain traction in your good intentions to get fit and strong. This can drag on interminably without conclusion until one day you realise that your vigor is so long gone you wouldn’t even recognise it anymore.
The alternative is much greater medical bills or possible health failure. You think that a couple of weeks living and eating cheap whilst you literally surf your guts out is expensive ? Compare it with the price of a minor surgical process or ( God forbid ) a major , life altering circumstance arising from your poor physical state.
This isn’t an unfair comparison. If you don’t arrest your decline sooner rather than later , you WILL pay the price. Diabetes and heart disease aren’t just things that other people experience.
You probably pay the price of a surf trip each year in private health insurance. Well , here’s a truism : An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
And really, if you’re not putting a monetary value on your health, then you’re looking at a rude awakening down the track to find that it is the most expensive and valuable thing you’ll ever own. Look after it !
Step 8 / Get happy. Whilst it’s true that getting fat is fun , it’s also true that being fat is not fun. Being fit doesn’t just increase your physical health, it also increases your mental health and a strong mind is just as important as a strong body. When you are increasing fitness your moods and self esteem will elevate . You’ll enjoy life more and will probably become a better person for it. Who wants to be around a sad , self-pitying fat fuck ? Your opinion of yourself informs others about how they should treat you. Respect yourself and others are more likely to respect you. This all starts with the basics of health, fitness and vitality.
Ok, that’s enough sermonising . Good luck and get out there. Get fit , get strong , get some good waves and become the man that you picture in your mind instead of a shambling mound .
* Don’t kid yourself. Sucking your stomach in whilst wearing a wetsuit is a fool’s errand which only accentuates your rotundness. No one thinks that the manufacture of a slight void between your pigeon chest and your gunt is anything more than simultaneously sad and hilarious. Just don’t. Relax , let it hang and own it . Best for all involved.
No one is modelling Calvin Klein underwear after a couple of months on the Pilbara camp drinking program.
Yep, that’s one big ab instead of lots of little ones.
Yeah i need to get on this program.
Been slack this year hardly surfing have a few extra KG's but now water has warmed up it's time to go hard.
You do risk stirring up the beast with talk about fitness though.
Yep and putting it on is so easy and losing it is so hard But if you cut out sugar you are more than half way there.......ist rule is do not eat fat and sugar together otherwise the fat gets taken up in the body......2nd rule if you eat fat do not have any form of sugar for 5 hours otherwise your body will absorb the fat.3rd rule is if you eat something sweet dont eat anything with fat in it for 3 hours........so drop the things that combine sugar and fat and stick to the rules and the fat will melt away.
Perpetual fat fuck.....l like it!
I liked it so much I bought the company.
There is a trick to enhance one's metabolism, because it's not only the food you eat, but how much of it is absorbed and how efficiently. When on this healthy holiday, surfing non-stop for two weeks: with every meal, have extreme amounts of Vit C, Zinc, B6 and clean oils (fish oil is often contaminated with heavy metals, hemp possible the same). This will purge your tissues, like a dirty sponge being pumped full of clean water. Metabolismos will go through the roof, I can double meal sizes on this diet and still trim-down and maximise muscle!!!!
I thought you were going to sell me amphetamines for a second there.
Thanks for the tip !
Seriously, Taking it on board .
I wish i read this before i ate my BLT.
Yeah, me too Zen.
AA, do you have any more info on your metabolism booster?
Thanks, Blowin. Stay on the programme.
Nice grabby there blowy.
Good write up too, I’m yet to become overweight but I’ve had the big fluctuations in fitness and been on the edge of stacking on the pounds. I usually arrest it early.
Might get the missus to read this when I need a solo getaway :)
Nice little pep up, all good ideas. , However this schedule require one to not work?
If you can’t find a couple of weeks and a few dollars to reverse the slippery slope towards diabetes / Heart disease / Dad body which is the curse of many modern males then you’ll have to do the hard yards of fitting it in amongst the lifestyle which got you there in the first place.
It’s very possible, just much harder. I’m presenting the case for an abbreviated route . You can only work with what’s available to you , but sometimes- and I’m in no way insinuating that it’s the case in your life - you’ve got to make time , make room and put aside the cash to arrest the decline before it becomes entrenched. As I said , it’s cheaper in the long run.
Up to you , mate.
PS I should have gone harder on the fact that being lean is not indicative of health or fitness , in fact sometimes I’ve been very fit whilst still carrying a couple of kilos extra. Legions of ripped ice heads attesting to the fact that low fat doesn’t equate to high health.
Just get strong is the message.
For sure mate. Some of your thoughts perked my interest and know that I need to ‘commit’ a little harder to a healthy routine despite the familial and general other life commitments. In the past couple of years I find myself having periods of poor surfing or time out due to injury, illness or shit surf. General spiral into laziness or poor habits (not getting up early etc). I quite like the idea of just getting up early and heading to the ocean no matter what. Surf is shit so body surf, stretch, walk, meditate, etc.
As my wife says ‘I’m a better husband, father and person in general’ when I’m surfing.
Time for me commit and cut the crap that isn’t helpful or doesn’t matter.
Blowin, you're on fire at the moment. Good stuff, and good conversation to start.
For me, just having a trip booked can be the tipping point for breaking out of the unfitness rut - knowing I need to be fit to make the most of it gives just enough motivation.
Is that you in the pic Blowy?
i thought you were a regular footer?
Ha been waiting for someone to say that..
Are you fellas taking the piss ?
No - i remember a cutback 2 pics of a natural footer you posted
eh those Pyzel ghosts are a bit rare secondhand with FCS plugs
I bat for both teams . Switch hitter . Left is off the peak at Lakey’s , right is periscopes. Same trip , Same photog , same surfer.
Udo ....so tempted to buy a ghost here in Indo but I don’t have time to order a custom with glass upgrade to 6 ounce all over so I’ll probably get one back in Oz in the new year. Fucked if I’m shelling out top dollar for a disposable wafer who’s construction won’t withstand the very waves it’s designed to ride .
My mates who surf better than me - and who aren’t paid to nod their heads - are raving about them . Some don’t fall for the model surfboard but I’m a believer in the market being the ultimate proving ground. If they don’t work , word gets around. Always a subjective, personal perspective, but if rippers are on board then I ain’t arguing !
Thanks for keeping your all seeing eye on Gumtree for me , mate !
you kidding me? Thats epic!
do you ever surf backhand?
If I’m bored and not a super difficult tube on a left . . Hardly ever goofy backhand.
Backhand tube riding is the hallmark of the truly skilled surfer. Lots of crew can do airs , but not many people can wrangle their way through a technical backhand travelling barrel.
I sure as fuck cannot !
Yeah totally agree.
It’s strange that some people can do it so naturally, even if they’re not a great surfer.
I struggle with it.
I don’t know one person who can tube ride backhand well who I wouldn’t class as a very good surfer.
Airs are almost a generational extension to my experience so I can’t really account or conceive of that stuff.
I’m basically the same age as Slater and as stoked as I am with his longevity and as much as I like to kid myself that he’s representative of my age group, Slater , his career arc and his repertoire hasn’t even remotely resembled that of my peers.
Actually, that’s not true. In waves of consequence, crew my age are still very much in the upper echelon of ability to ride and to get set waves at some of the best waves on the planet.
So my point is....well, initially it was dont dwell on the belief that being a hopeless, fat cunt was eternal and that right now was the time to do something about it , but that sort of got diluted.
i have a good mate who is the most amazing switch-footer. I swear, i'm not even sure what his preferred stance is. When we surfed together anywhere- he was always forehand.
Switch foot isn’t astounding and it’s not the result of amazing talent. Some crew are innovators and early adaptors* is all.
Switch is the future of surfing. It’s a bit ridiculous that it’s not the present seeing as how established it is in other sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, soccer etc etc
It’s not that surfing is inherently more conservative, it’s because our medium is so unpredictable and therefore valuable. No one wants to waste a good wave going switch.
At least when you’re practicing airs you get to takeoff and ride the wave , feeling the dynamism , power and speed before you risk the last part with a potentially wasteful air attempt.
With switch it’s commitment from takeoff ,which can equate to waves wasted from scratch. Personally, I knew I could do it before I started.
KNEW I could do it. No doubt. More than just visualising the outcome , I was utterly of the belief that I could do it and so my progression was abbreviated. It was akin to a sculptor seeing the final artwork in the block of wood before he’d struck a blow .
They say the sculptor merely has to remove the parts of timber that aren’t required for the artwork, same as with learning switch. It was a frustrating and bittersweet process of acquiring the physical ability to do that which I already had the mental ability to achieve.
Like a baby bird learning to fly ! Weird , I know.
Caveat : I don’t rip . Don’t think that I do . I’m just a punter loving it all.
Have a go ya mug !
Wave pools will make this discussion redundant in 18 months.
* Early adapters !!!!! Fuckers been going switch since humans first stood on a board , I’d venture. The restrictions of single stance are the modern imperative.
Everything you have written on this thread today Blowin, I wholeheartedly agree with and that's coming from a 56y Pub Face. So much so, I copied your 8 points and saved them.
Good on you , Seaslug !
I can’t believe that someone of the moniker “ Seaslug “ would be requiring tips to get fit !
Jokes , brother , we are all fat cunts here , mate. You are amongst friends.
Good luck , mate. Surprise yourself or better yet , go in with your game face on , take charge and get shit done !
I'm now picturing you surfing with a black mask Zorro style
A looooong time ago I remember thinking about surfboards and tube riding and coming to the conclusion that a board [assuming that it is symmetrical] doesn't care which way it goes. It all comes down to putting it in the right place and controlling it in the correct manner using your body. Consequentially I have had some of the better barrels of my surfing life on my backhand, Definitely the longest, and the heaviest.
Jono , , if you talked as much obscure shit as I do on this website you’d want to remain anonymous too.
Plus ....the internet already knows more than enough about us without giving it our everything. I don’t do Facebook, Twitter , Instagram or whatever. I’m determined to keep my face off the internet.
Possible ...Who knows ? But I don’t have to make it any easier when I’m talking cyber-shit with fellow surfers.
PS I picture you as a Quasimodo type figure pulling ropes in the background. Am I wrong ? You’d better not be good looking, it’ll ruin everything. In fact , if you aren’t arched over under the weight of an extraneous lump of sub-cutaneous upper back fat it’ll ruin everything.
Mattlock : You are one of Gods chosen people. Know your place at the head of the table . Those who can backhand tube ride eat first !
PS. Thanks Blowin for the recent long posts. Good reading indeed.
Thanks Blowin. I haven't supped from the cup for a while tho.
Thanks for the thread Blowin, some good thoughts there. I wrote a few thoughts on health myself, went and had dinner, came back to click send, and thread's moved on without me.
Anyway, for what it’s worth, I’ve been fit and strong my whole adult life, (currently 36), but struggled to maintain a routine once the kids came along. Here is what worked for me. (Results may vary, sample size of one, etc.)
1. Exercise every day.
2. Eat clean whole foods.
3. Get enough sleep
Some tips on how to accomplish the above:
1. Don’t rely on willpower.
Willpower is limited and willpower depletion is real. When you've finally lost your temper and yelled at someone, or said, fuck it, why not, and had a drink or a toke, your willpower is depleted. I have had the most success in changing my own behaviour by first changing my environment to make it easier to do what I want to do, and harder not to. This helps change habits and avoids reliance upon willpower.
Instead of trying to resist the temptation of the coke or ice cream in the fridge, just don't buy them in the first place. And if you still find yourself buying them, then ban yourself from the aisles in the supermarket with the big signs saying, "Chips, Lollies, Drinks”. Just sail right on past. If you still can't, then get someone else to shop for you. If all you have in the fridge is fruit and veggies and other clean whole foods, you'll make do.
If you crave flavour and stimulation, swap plain water for soda water. Use chilli instead of sugary sauces. Ignore empty marketing words such as “natural, wholesome, vital, nutri" etc., and just read the labels, focusing on macro nutrients: sugar, protein, fats. Learn to cook your own food. Pretty soon you'll prefer it over most takeaway because nobody quite makes it the way you like it. Over time your palate will change and you'll be repelled by the sugary slop you used to crave.
You don’t need to snack. If you can kick the habit your body will probably learn when mealtimes are and just deal with it. I was able to overcome the urge to snack in the afternoon slump by doing my exercise then. It totally eliminated that trough in my day. If you think you’re liable to pike on an exercise habit, buddy up with someone or join a group and hold each other accountable.
2. With exercise, go for intensity and frequency over quantity.
While the sabbatical Blowin talks about has its benefits, it can also result in an over-hyped spurt followed by the well known post-NYE resolution reversion. What you want in the long-run is not a boom and bust roller coaster but something you can happily maintain for the rest of your life.
After many over-ambitious failures I was finally able to settle in to a sustainable exercise routine that kept me strong and flexible by, counterintuitively, doing less than I thought I should. This left me wanting more after each session, and after a while that feeling became an association that worked in my favour.
I started by doing just ONE set of bodyweight exercises a day until failure. After that one set I felt pumped up and wanted to do more, but I wouldn’t let myself. The second week I did two sets, and even though I wanted to do more, I didn’t. Eventually I got to the point where I was doing several sets of exercises several times a week and feeling great. Honestly, if all you can do is one push-up every night, just do that and see if you aren’t raring to do more after a few days. I got the principle from Hemingway, who used to always stop writing each day before he completely ran out of steam, ending at a point where he still wanted to go on. That way, the next day he would always hit the ground running. Er, don’t copy any of Hemingway’s other lifestyle habits.
The body responds to the conditions it experiences, and it won’t build muscle or lose fat unless you push it beyond its comfort zone. Astronauts lose significant bone density and muscle mass after only a couple of weeks in space without exercise. Muscle is a liability to the body unless it is being used, so you must continually fool it into thinking you need muscle by overloading it regularly. That means muscular and cardiovascular overload, but not necessarily for long periods. Just five sets of twenty seconds of full intensity bike riding can do as much for overall health as 30 minutes or more per day of moderate exercise. You don’t need expensive equipment. There are plenty of parks with outdoor gym equipment, and there's always the ocean. Keep your runners/bathers and towel in your car. A quick stop on your way home and you’re done.
By the way, that's the first time I've heard of pub face, but I just visited Kalgoorlie and bloody hell, exhibit A. Stepped off the plane and in to the airport (basically a shed built around a bar), and it was wall-to-wall with pub faces swilling away. It was 8:00 a.m.
You can never out train a poor diet. Eat clean drink water simples.
More of a Sloth from The Goonies sort of thing Blowin
Days of old glory Blowin, maybe now I should change it to just slug
Don’t you dare !
Re your Ghost order, wait till you're back in Aus. Pyzel Aus build really, really strong boards. I've got 4 at the moment, and they're all excellent.
I ordered my Ghost 4+6/4, and after three years of punishment, it's still looking and surfing great. All rocky reefs and points in NZ, Indo coral, and the odd NSW visit.
Who makes them in Aust ?
Is there as much rocker in the "Ghost" as it looks on the web?
For those that gain weight easily its fairly straight forward depending of course on any other dietary / metabolism / bio availability / health issues.
As all ready mentioned don't eat or drink sugar.
Dont eat hi levels of saturated fats
That kills the visits to the local bakery (i know torture)
Don't eat hi carb (bread, rice, pasta etc) if you do make it the smallest portion on the plate.
Example chicken sandwich, throw away the bread eat the chicken.
Eat more tuna / fish but still eat red meat just 1/2 the portion and or reduce the frequency.
You will be a total warrior......like Blowin in 3 months-ish plus reduce your exposure to coronary artery disease.
Last if you are still puffing coffin nails fck them off it only ends one way
Short life long death...................wise old jungle saying.
Don't know who where they are, Udo.
All mine have come via a shop in Auckland, some custom orders, some off the rack bargains. All have been excellent quality, and my 4yo Pyzalien is still refusing to pack it in, even after creasing it 3 years ago.
I lost 7 kilos in just over 3 weeks and seriously feel 10 years younger after the trip during which I wrote this story.
Christmas was a challenge that I met head on ....well , mouth first anyway. It’s hard to say no to a festive beer or a handful of chocolate coated macadamia nuts.
Still , the clock was reset and life is much better for it.
If you’re a fat fuck , a Dad Bod , a pisshead , pothead , stresshead or just a person prone towards a detrimental lifestyle , plan an exit strategy.
And that doesn’t mean eyeing up a plot in the local boneyard.
Get busy living.