jwc blog & videos

Southern Maldives #surfboattrips

southern maldives adventures

I realise how lucky I am to be able to help fellow surfers maximise their surfing fun by increasing their performance.

 

With video analysis of technique, feedback, pre-surf trip physical training plans and structured drills it is very possible to transition surfers to levels that coud have taken years of frustration to achieve.

 

This surfing adventure continues and it has been amazing to be able to offer clients surf trips with coaching to new locations around the world such as Madagascar, Banyaks, Portugal and the Maldives. New locations, new waves, new adventures and new challenges.  

 

2019 will see our surf boat OA3 a 65ft 4x double berth surf exploration catamaran return to the Southern Maldives atolls. We were last in the Maldives during 2017. During 2018 the boat has been exploring Sumatra and Banyak Islands.  UK Carve Magazine & editor Sharpy were kind enough to put a little film together of their last trip with us "OMX Surf Adventure to North Sumatra Islands" see above.

 

Returning to the Southern Maldives has been a wise decision for us. It would take years to fully explore the surf potential of these pictureque atolls extending as far south to the Chagas & British Indian Ocean territiories. We were so impressed by the quality, uncrowded and variety of the waves on our last trip.

"Southern atolls have the widest swell window of all the Maldives......"

Due to its size and location the Southern atolls has the widest swell window of all the Maldives with the largest range of exposure from SW-SE swells generated deep in the southern hemisphere winter. May - August being the most consistent swell period can also be negatively affected by the SW monsoon season. Its critical you know where the wrap around surf breaks are.

 

My personal tip is to head out in April or September - October during the NE monsoon season where in the South its clean, competing surf boats are chartered to divers and the potential for swell is high, hitting the exposed Southern reef passes (not to mention out of school holidays air fares).

 

Its important to note that our trips are a little bit more expensive than the floating hostels. The reason for this is we  put the extra cash in deisel to seek uncrowded perfection and only have four double berth cabins so we limit to 8 surfers. I would never feel comfortable rocking up at a paradise surf break with a boat load, for me its just not ethical surf travel.  

 

How can you put a value on an experience that is dedicated to seeking perfect surf and a memory you can relive for a lifetime?

 

For more information for a surf boat trip with coaching on the OA3 in April 2019 we have places available contact us.


Valeria Peconi wins #HURLEYSURFOPENACAPULCO

Congratulations to Valeria Peconi winning the #HurleySurfOpenAcapulco 2018.

 

Valeria, just 17 trained so hard in April and May during our WQS training camp in Madagascar with our other athlete Leonor Fragoso, preparing for her first year as a pro surf athlete on the WQS.

 

She was unlucky in her first event getting knocked out of the Los Cabos Pro Juniour in the frst round.  The surf was huge and closing out.  On her back hand she had little opportunity as the waves just did not come her way.  Thats the ocean and as a pro surfer you have to learn how to deal with disappointments out of your ultimate control.

 

Valeria showing her true spirit, picked herself up, blasting a stellar performance at the Hurley Surf Open taking first place in the prestigious event.

 

Well done Valeria from all at JWC & OMX.


Vale Peconi Surfing Madagascar Justin West Coaching Surf Training Camps
photo credit: Roger Sharp @carvemag

Madagascar Local Surf Crew

The swell in the afternoon was a bit too much for the outer reefs to handle.  Rita and I took a walk up beyond Befasy village to watch the local kids surfing a knee high pointbreak on skegless pieces of wood.

 

These kids were having so much fun.  Reminding me that surfing is not always about competition, sport, lifestyle but something much simpler.  

 

Surfing is about getting naked, submerging youself in nature and simplifying your life.  You dont need a wetsuit, you dont need a surfboard.  Just you, yourself and the ocean waves.

 

As we filmed the kids many thoughts came to me like should I be filming kids naked, should I go back to the surf lodge and let the kids use some of our foam boards.

 

I stopped and realised that all these thoughts were so restless so always needing to be more and stressing about a crazy parts of culture that we left far behind.  Why could I just not accept the purity of the moment? 

 

I thought that I was the teacher but these kids taught me so much more, to remember to just enjoy the simplest pleasure of the moment and forget the need to always grasp and strive for more.

 

 

Just surf, smile, love, laugh and live......

 

Thanks to Madagascar Surf Lodge for the experiences.

 

Book a surf trip with surf coaching to Madagascar.

 

 


Equality through opportunity

I was reading through some articles on Apple Education with the view to help my daughter have access to extra curricular learning resources through her Ipad.  At only 9 years old she tells me she wants to study medicine.  The material really impressed me.  

 

I am currently involved with building a village school in rural south west Madagascar, part of the Madagascar Surf Lodge Community School Project and wondering what resources would be useful for the Malagasy kids.

 

My political view often swings between capitalist and socialist.  I am probably not alone in this view.  I feel every human has the right to create wealth and security for themselves and the future generations of their family but I also believe in equal opportunity for all.  So how do we create a world where individuals can advance personal wealth but also share it amongst the world community?

 

The “rich” could share their wealth to the wider community in need or the “poor”.  But equally "the poor" could benefit more by helping themselves.  The usual method is through government taxation and a heavier presence of “state” in the equalisation of wealth and of course international aid.  The argument of the capitalist is that the interference of “state” slows the potential for growth.  The argument of “state” is they require funds to run programs, health service, education etc….and so the political balancing & politicians chasing their tails on our tax $ continues.

We are entering the dawn of a new age both exciting and full of hope.  Words such as “citizenship”, “globilisation” and "ethical programs" are positive signs we are moving beyond relying on antiquated systems of “national government”.  There are still decades to go but we have started…do we need the “middlemen” to rule our resources, allocate opportunities?

 

The grass roots of potential is in the business of technology as in all great periods of human advancements, technology holds the greatest possibilities of our universal evolution.

 

We see crypto currencies avoiding the centralisation control of banking & governement regulation putting peer to peer value exchange back in the hands of the people.  Crypto currencies flow beyond borders and national lines drawn on maps and have the potential for more efficient global transactions.

My time in Africa I have seen technology advancing this idea.  We’re not used to Africa taking lead in new technology. Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention and it couldn’t be more true in case of Africa, where pre-paid airtime is the fastest growing ‘virtual’ currency, overcoming conventional currency exchange, government corruption, huge fluctuations in currency value and lack of banking infrastructure.

 

There are over 100 million mobile phones in Africa, and it is one of the fastest growing mobile regions.  Smartphones are already used for music & movie downloads, messaging, social media debate and personal piggy banking.

 

Kenya is home to an impressive cutting-edge Vodafone mobile tool: M-PESA, a system for sending both minutes and money via SMS. (The “m” stands for mobile. Pesa is Swahili for money.) Airtime minutes automatically load onto the phone of their recipient. 

Seeing the development of phone credit currency in Africa got me thinking of the idea that with a simple smartphone any child in the world suddenly has access to first world education opportunities.  Its a real game changer. 

 

In the words of educationalist Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange when talking about equality of educational opportunity for black African Americans, “Education is a civil right. Access to education is access to opportunity. It is the path to career advancement. The key to closing the income gap. It can drive equity in housing. It is a proven determinant of overall health and wellbeing. It will mold the future African American leaders of industry, politics and social justice.”

 

These words, these ideas are true not just for young black Americans but for our world children.  I am so positive of technology being the conduit of change and oportunity for all.  Perhaps building a school in the traditional sense from bricks and mortar is old fashioned like building a bank with a vault for storing cash.  Maybe the answer is to raise money to provide Ipads & mobile technology and acces to online education resources in multiple languages.

 

To help with the the Madagascar Surf Lodge School Community Project you can simply share this article and the Fundraiser on Facebook where, if you can spare it, donate.  Even a small amount, goes along way in Madagascar.


Lonely Surfing...

Madagascar Surf
Madagascar Surf Lodge right
Madagascar surf
Todays surf report

It is a very lonely feeling paddling out on your own at first light to double overhead surf.  

 

For me surfing has always been about surfing with a few close friends or on your own.  There is no feeling like being immersed in the vastness of nature.  To sit out and sea and see the sun rise.  Vulnerable is sometimes a good feeling, humbling, reminding me that indivdually we are nothing, fleeting and that the energy that flows around us is everything, constant and vast.  The sun rising, the ocean pulsing the orange colours on the wave face and today the added raw energy in the swell.  The incredible occurs everyday. 

 

It was a very good feeling to turn around and see Rita join me 15 minutes later and hear her screaming down the line as she picked a nice medium sized runner that wrapped all the way to the inside.

 

Back out later waiting for the surf to glass off at 0900hrs.

Madagascar surfing
A little choppy on the face photo credit Jean
Madagascar surfing
The wind for the day its usual morning offshore cycle

Cooking surf, fishing & goodbyes.

Sadly it is time to say goodbye to half of our little Malagasy family.  We are going to miss you Leonor, your physio ball and of course you Valeria & your forever smile. 

 

I feel you will leave our little training camp safe in the knowledge you have gained fitness, technique and the mentality to compete in your given WQS events but just as importnt you have created a bond that and support network that will always be behind you every contest you compete in.

 

Valeria you have improved your surfing performance in particular your vertical backhand attack and I know at just 17 you have a really fun surfing career ahead of you.  

 

Always keep it light and make it fun, that I know you will.  Enjoy every moment of this blessed life and give as much as you can.  Push on every turn keep experimenting with where you hit the lip, how long you hold the rail through turns, how much you explode off the top.  Your wave selection and positioning is like somebody older than you.  Your rythym and flow is natural.

 

Remember in Los Cabos if the waves slow and you need to cutback, add zest to your cutback by punctuating with a big whitewater vertical rebound.  It has been for us a real pleasure to meet you and for sure we gonna come to Mexico as soon as we can.  

Leonor, you have many more weeks of training in some great waves.  Your backside attack really impressed me, we started doing some sessions together earlier in the year and if I compare then to now you have really improved.  

 

Frontside, your carving cutbacks are looking more drawn out and smooth.  Your read in bigger faces has always been good but now you are pushing through each turn with more aggression, attacking critical areas of the wave and adding more variety into your arsenal.

 

Keep positive about your surfing, open your heart sometimes to advice from others, I am here to help always.  It is not a journey you have to do on your own.  Often we may disagree on things but this is always positive as it pushes each other to evaluate ourselves and others.

 

The most important thing is to enjoy those Indo comp waves, I hope it will be big & gnarly because I know you will paddle out and perform when others will be looking for excuses to surf the shoulder.

 

To both of you, from both of us....ciao darlings.


Madagascar Surf Lodge Community School Project

Madagascar Surf Lodge Community Projects
Happy smiles!

Rita, Jem and I had a very fun morning visiting the local village school, meeting the kids and their teacher and pacing out where the new school will be built.  

 

Befasy village school has very basic facilities with mixed age groups in one class.  Some of the kids sitting with their notebooks & pencils on the floor.  The upside, the kids were very polite, the local teacher seemed to provide a good level of education despite the lack of facility.  The school caters for 100 children with 10 teachers when compared to many European schools is an enviable student teacher ratio. 

 

We have given much thought to the Madagascar Surf Lodges impact on the Befasy village community.  Begging is a problem in many of the main tourist areas of Madagascar.  With a national wage for 50% of the population falling under €1 per annum, money is a real issue and in a small self sustaining fishing community a potential destabilising factor.  Most of the local village economy is based around goods or labour exchange.  With larger scale community projects the whole village contributes towards the effort. The giving of “gifts” with good intention can actually create many problems. 

Madagascar Surf Lodge Community Project new school plans
The new school building plans

The local fishing pirogues (boats) are designed and built traditionally using wooden paddles and stitched recycled sail material.  The children play in the shore break with hand made toy pirogues, sailing them during the afternoon onshores.  The young men seem to have the smaller pirogues and search inshore with diving masks scanning the lagoon bed for octopus or lobster.  Medium sized pirogues work in teams driving & surrounding schools of fish into a large net.  The largest pirogues fish further offshore into the Mozambique channel with line and hook for bigger pelagic species. 

Madagascar Surf Lodge Community School Project
Selfies with the kids!

There is a natural harmony where man & wind powered crafts take just enough fish for the survival of the village but not too much to affect fish stocks.  What would happen to this balance if one or two of the fishing families purchased an outboard engine and caught more fish and charged the community to buy fish from them?  My thoughts, it would lead to greater inequality, force the community into a monetary system and more unfortunate ways of securing an “income”.

 

So how best to help the community?  We donated an outboard to the village supply boat so freshwater can be delivered more easily and patients can be transported to the neighbouring village medic faster.  Construction of a new school and in addition to the national curriculum of teaching French Rita will teach English.  I will teach the kids some touch rugby!  

 

Medical supplies is an important asset to a rural community such as this.  The community seems very healthy in comparison to the people living in squalid inner city districts & major tourist towns where plagues run through the population as in mediaeval Europe.  The isolation and the healthy seafood diet of our local community saves us from risk of disease. 

 

We ask all our guests to not give any gifts, tips or money to the local people.  We aim to sustain the village harmony and reduce our impact.  If you feel like you want to help the local community we have a collection box that will contribute to local community projects such as medicine, emergency evacuation, school equipment and in the future an internet connection and computer station for the new school build.

 

We invite donations to our community projects via PayPal by sending to jussywesty@icloud.com describing your donation as “Madagascar Surf Lodge Community Projects”.

 

Please help our projects by sharing this post.


Madagascar Training Camp News

Slightly windy conditions this morning with a junky swell that actually resulted in good conditions for training WQS athletes.  

 

Valeria stood out with some good vertical front side attack of the lip.  Valeria is working on getting the board vertical & breaking the fins out the back of the wave or sliding them off the top of the lip.  Having a wave that does a similar thing over and over again allows for this repetition of technique.  Repetition = learning.

 

@madagascarsurflodge perfect environment for improving your surf from improver to elite athletes.  Healthy diet, early nights & consistent surf.

 

Photo credits Rita Durães

Back to the beach and straight into a High Intensity Interval Training session.  Sprints, rest periods, leaps, multiple squats per minute and explosive movements.  The beach HIIT sessions are designed to increase cardio vascular endurance and with a leg focus to help with surfing compression.

 

surfers: Leonor Fragoso, Portugal & Valeria Peconi, Italy/Mexico Jnr Champion


Todays Surf Report

The crew were in first light.  The surf forecast looked promising with no wind in the early morning.  

 

It was pretty much flat.  We stuck around to watch the sunrise and a few small waves started feeling the reef.  After 30 minutes the swell hit and we were sharing consistent long range swell producing head high waves, clean faces and a tight pocket.  Everybody had a great surf, even swapping boards.  Leonor riding one of Markies Twin fin designs and Valeria out on a Skindog longboard.  A coule of locals paddled out on super old logs and we were stoked to encourage them.  Whoops all-round.

 

Another day surfing for four hours, I need new shoulders!

 

Images courteousy of Magic Seaweed who we are finding the swell reports very reliable.


Todays Surf Report

The surf forecast looked pretty small but the team still headed out to a super reliable left where we found some fun lips to hit and racing walls.

 

For training the WQS girls it was ideal.  Paddle battles ensued with Leonor working on her back hand wrap tighter in the pocket, adding variety to the turns by releasing the fins or carving longer on the rail.

 

Valeria worked on her front side round house cutbacks, dramatising the manouver with a full vertical re entry off the foam/pocket.


News from Madagascar Training Camp

Team OMX (Markie Lascelles, Ben Skinner & Leonor Fragoso) are at our Madagascar Surf Lodge for a training camp for their respective contests.  Carve Magazine photographer & filmaker Roger Sharp is also here to snap an editorial about our adventures.  

 

Ben (pictured above on his crazy carbon 9`2 from Skindog surfboards) is in training for the new "Surf Relic" Longboard World Tour competition in Malibu.  

 

Leonor is off to the WQS events in Indonesia after a short two week trip on our boat OA3 to the Banykas and a month training camp with JWC.  

 

Markie is taking a well earned break from his Beach Beat shaping room.

 

I would also like to welcome Valeria Peconi, 17 years old, now surfing for Italy, recently Mexican Juniour Champion living in Puerto Escondido.  Valeria is training with JWC for a month as she has gained a wild card to the WQS 6000 Los Cabos competition in Mexico.

 

Surf consistency here has been amazing, we have surfed everyday with ZERO crowds.  I lose count of how many waves the girls catch per session.  Its all about repetition.  Each session we focus on a particular set of learning objectives, surf repeat, feedback, repeat.  With our boat photographer snapping high burst rate photos to break down technique.

 

Ben Skinner has been blowing minds taking longboarding to some other level that has to be seen to be believed and experimneting with some kind of skim board surfboard he is in the process of designing at hs Skindog factory.

 

For athletes nutrition is fundamental to performance and at the lodge we have been following a menu ingredients designed by prominent nutrition scientist André Matias from Evolution Clinic, Lisbon.  With the abundance of fresh seafood, organic vegetables, fruits and nuts prepared by the surf lodge chef, everybody is feeling energised and motivated.

 

 

waves uncrowded surf training surf coach coaching madagascar
Leonor on another clean empty right

Ketones & Ketogenic Diets; what are they?

Ketogenic Diet, switching to FATS as primary energy source

 

If you are into health & nutrition you have likely heard the term ketogenic diet. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to adapt the body to utilize fat as its primary fuel source instead of sugar. The body does this by first converting fat into what are called ketones that the cells can then burn as fuel.  Is this a healthy diet option and what are "ketones"?

 

Biological Role of Ketones 

 

Eating three meals per day for our ancestors was unusual. Ancient humans would hunt and forage for the foods they could find. If food was scarce, they wouldn’t eat.

 

Our ancestors often faced the possibilit of going without food for days. To sustain life during these times of scarcity, the body is thought to have developed the ability to store and utilize fat as an alternative fuel source.

 

In a traditional nutrition course, you would learn that sugar is the body’s primary fuel source while fat is a secondary fuel source. When sugar stores are burned up, the cells then convert to burning fat as an energy source.  What we are finding out now is that fat can actually be a healthier and more sustainable source of energy.

 

Sugar sugar everywhere... 

 

Modern man has an abundance of food that is available to us on impulse. Most people will regularly eat three meals a day with snacking in between

 

This kind of frequent eating, along with an overemphasis on carb-rich and sugary foods, causes a reduced ability to burn fat. As these foods damage our bodies on a metabolic level, we actually lose the ability to produce ketones.

 

This type of reliance on sugar creates massive blood sugar spikes, inflammation, hormone imbalance, and ultimately many of the chronic diseases that plague society today.  By adopting a more ketogenic style of eating, we can reverse this damage and revert back to the efficient fat-burning machines as near to our bological forefathers as possible.

 

The Ketone advantage 

 

The energy currency of the body, comes in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). The mitochondria within every cell in the body either metabolize glucose or ketones to form this important energy molecule.

 

Based on what we understand of cellular energy metabolism, ketones are able to create much greater amounts of energy per molecule than glucose.   This means when the body begins to convert fat into ketones, you actually have a much more stable and sustainable energy source. 

 

At the same time, burning fat does not create the same insulin and blood sugar response that burning sugar does. This is part of the profound benefits of being in ketosis including, improved hormone balance, lowered inflammation and improved brain health.

 

Likewise, many people report feeling much more stable when they go into ketosis. Feeling less hungry, gaining control over cravings, and often experiencing a much more stable emotional state.

 

How The Body Gets Into Ketosis 

 

As I mentioned already, the body will either burn sugar or fat for energy. Sugar is converted into glucose while fats are converted into ketones by the liver.  When blood sugar drops and glycogen stores are burned up, the body begins to convert fat into ketones for energy.

 

As we find out more about the benefits of ketones, people are intentionally putting themselves into this state for therapeutic benefits as well as a heightened state of mental performance.

 

There are several ways to promote an increase in ketone bodies.  The general strategy is to supply the body with ample fats while depleting blood glucose to signal the metabolic shift towards fat-burning.  See the pie chart to analyse your Macronutirient percentages and use the nutrition guidelines on products and online calorie calculators to ensure you are keeping your dietry intake to similar values on the chart.  Contact me if you need advice on how to do this.

 

You can also have blood work done to analyse in more detail your levels of ketogenic state.  

 

Its possible after a change in your diet that you will not feel so great to start with as you enter a ketogenic state, after 2 to 3 weeks however you will start to feel the benefits.

 

Summary 

 

Ketones are the body’s alternative fuel source to sugar. Derived from fatty acids, they provide a much more long-lasting and stable production of energy. In addition to providing stable energy, ketones also do not promote the inflammatory rise and fall of insulin as does sugar.

 

Modern dietary habits have altered our metabolism and made sugar our primary fuel source. By following a ketogenic style of eating, it is possible to reverse these metabolic defects and take advantage of the benefits that ketones have to offer for our brains and bodies!

 

Finals Day Las Americas Pro Tenerife

Mens Final Ruben Vitoria v Jorgann Couzinet

The sun & the waves conspired with some exciting surfing on finals day at the WQS event, Las Americas Pro, Tenerife.

 

A full drama final saw the young Basque country surfer Ruben Vitoria after a tentative start, against an in form seasoned competitor Jorgann Couzinet, throw hesitation aside to surf the come back heat of his life.  

 

After Couzinet combos Vitoria in the first few minutes with a devastating 8.67 and an 8.83, you could physcially see Ruben relax feeling a near defeat and just go for broke, his surfing loosened up as he became much more vertical and snapped the lip over and over again to the whoops of the crowd..posting a 9.10.  He realises he is still in with a chance and motors back out to the peak.  In sync he spins around on a beautiful set wave cranking up the dynamics of each and every turn.  

 

The crowd feels the energy the judges loving the critical go for broke surfing as he is rewarded wth a deserved perfect 10. To be forever know as Ruben "the comback kid" Vitoria.  

 

I managed to drop Ruben a little advice on not spending all the 10,000$ prize money in one night out in Las Americas!

 

Ruben Vitoria Mens Winner Final WQS Las Americas Pro, Tenerife
PHOTO CREDIT WSL / LAURENT MASUREL

Girls Final Pauline Ado v Mikaela Greene

With female surfing in Europe exploding with talent it was an Australian surfer Mikaela Greene who took the title with a cool head, a series of verical snaps and sound heat strategy.

 

Pauline was very close, drawing nice lines and carves but didnt quite match the vertical attack of the pocket by Mikaela scoring a 7.00 over Pauline's 5.67 in the opening exchanges.  The French surfer Pauline puts a few more scores on the board and scores an early lead in the final but is sold on a wave as she tries to hold on to the lead.

 

The cool competition head of Mikaela sees her post a 8.90 with a series of vertical back hand snaps on a bigger set wave with priority to take over the lead and eventually the title.

Mikaela Greene Finals Day Champ Girls WQS Las Americas Pro, Tenerife, Canary Islands
PHOTO CREDIT WSL / LAURENT MASUREL

Lay Day Today Las Americas Pro, Tenerife

Time to relax, rest up, eat and focus on some heat strategy.  The contest set up looks amazing the warm up days were full of good surf with a good quality swell running.  Unfortunately the first day of contest the waves were not contestable.  Better opportunity later this week to see how good this wave works.

 

When the swell was running, a really nice racy take off not really a high scoring barrel section more of a float section working to some nice lip sections to hit around the corner.  Occasional bigger sets will swing wide with a much slower carving face forming to a nice inside wall.  Under analysis we have seen competitors in the prelims pushing each other too deep and sectioning the wave looking to go.  We also noticed the medium sized waves created a better shape as the previous wave drains the inside reef.

 

The call for the girls event is at 1100hrs tomorrow Leonor is in heat 5 and you can watch it live on this link

Leonor Fragoso WQS Las Americas Pro

WQS Las Americas Pro, Tenerife surfing pro surfer surf contest
WQS Las Americas Pro, Tenerife

First couple of days in Tenerife @lasamericaspro waxing up, surf today looking great.  The set up left is solid with good shape.  Seems to work on various tides and swells.  Couple of bigger but slower sets swing wide but all open with various opportunites to hit the lip.  There is a similar warm up wave next to the contest area.  We arrived a few days early to get used to the surf environment, analyse the set up, tides and see how some of the local rippers approach the set up.

 

Our focus is Leonor's back hand attack, more vertical lip approach.  Contest strategy have fun, focus on achieving two scoring waves in the first ten minutes of the heat, gradually up the risk to better the first two scores.

 

Nutrition has been spot on and trying out some new boards.  The forecast looks like the swell is dropping so we have found a smaller peak to warm up on and breaking out the Lacrau Surfboards small wave epoxy.

 

Let's go.

Surf HiiT training for results.

What is high intensity interval training?

 

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is when you alternate between high and low intensity exercise(s) or between high intensity exercise and a short period of rest.

 

Why is high intensity interval training so important?

 

It’s physiologically impossible to sustain maximal intensities during exercise for an extended amount of time. This is because of how our bodies use fuel.  Let’s say I tell you to go outside and run as fast as you can for 20 minutes.

 

Stage 1 – Phosphocreatine

The first 10 to 20 seconds are going great! You’re sprinting like the wind! That’s because you’re using a high-intensity energy source known as phosphocreatine.

 

Stage 2 – Lactic acid and anaerobic glycolysis

After about 20 seconds, your phosphocreatine start to run low, and anaerobic glycolysis would predominate. At this point, more lactic acid would be produced and used as a fuel source.  You’re still be running as hard as you can, but you’d be slowing down, and your lungs are working overtime.

 

So why can’t you work at maximal intensity for an extended amount of time?

 

Oxygen: The molecule that makes the magic. One reason is the supply and demand of oxygen when working so hard.  Nature is full of trade-offs. In this case, we trade efficiency for intensity.  When you work at a lower intensity (such as during a brisk walk), aerobic metabolism predominates.  Your body uses oxygen to break down carbohydrate and fat for energy.  This is very efficient, but you can’t work at top speed. With aerobic metabolism, you gain efficiency but lose intensity. Evolutionarily, this would be useful for traveling long distances while foraging for food or water.  When you work at a higher intensity (such as sprinting), anaerobic metabolism predominates.  Your body can’t get oxygen to where it needs to go fast enough. This is very inefficient, but it lets you produce short bursts of speed or high energy — very handy when you’re running away from a sabre-toothed tiger.

 

So, we have these two systems, both of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.

 

With HIIT, you alternate short bursts of very intense exercise (such as 10-20 sec of sprinting) with periods of lower intensity (such as 1 min of walking).

 

The higher intensity periods create a metabolic demand that is very effective for long-term fat loss and overall conditioning.  The lower intensity periods let you recover and use the aerobic energy system.

 

 

Hormones

 

Hormone release during exercise depends on exercise intensity.  Gentle movements such as yoga, tai-chi, or a pleasant stroll outside can lower stress hormones.  But when you approach 85 to 95% of VO2max, growth hormone, testosterone, endorphins, epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline), cortisol, and aldosterone all increase. These hormones all have effects on body composition and anabolism.

 

What you should know about HIIT

 

Exercise can range from gentle movements to maximal efforts.  HIIT and heavy weights can elevate stress hormones.  Most high intensity physical activity is a state of “crisis” in the body.  It endangers oxygen supply to tissues, increases body temperature, reduces body fluids and fuel stores, and causes tissue damage.  Intense exercise creates endocrine and defense reactions that are similar to those elicited by low blood oxygen, high blood carbon dioxide, acidosis, high body temperature, dehydration, low blood sugar, physical injury and psychological stresses.  Hormonally, your body basically freaks out. Then it brings out the big guns to deal with the problem. High intensity exercise stresses the body so much that it’s forced to adapt.

 

Why HIIT?  HIIT is excellent for:

  1. losing body fat (while retaining lean body mass)
  2. strengthening the cardiovascular system
  3. developing sport-specific energy systems
  4. developing “work capacity” (i.e. the ability to tolerate a high level of intensity for a longer period)
  5. improving fat and carbohydrate oxidation in skeletal muscle
  6. developing “mental toughness”
  7. challenging the fast twitch muscle fibres — the fibres that are great for strength, power and looking buff
  8. HIIT is extremely efficient. It lets you get a bigger training effect with less time spent. And compared to a 45-minute jog, 5 min of HIIT is a lot easier on the joints.

Below is a little sample video of your coach JW putting himself through a HIIT session.

Is cold water surfing good for your health?

Wim Iceman Hof
Wim "Iceman" Hof

iceman method BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS

Wim Hof nicknamed "The Iceman" for his ability to withstand extreme cold, is the holder of 20 Guinness World Records for withstanding extreme temperatures.

 

He has climbed Everest and Kilimanjaro in only shorts and shoes, stayed comfortably in ice baths for hours, and run a full marathon in the highest desert (50 degrees celsius, 122 Fahrenheit) with no water & food.  

 

I became fascinated with breathing techniques from trying to increase free diving depths & during surf coaching encouraging students to focus on breathing techniques before, during, free surfing & competition to de-stress, aid mind & physical preparation.  At the end of this article I have outlined a simple technique you can start to implement now.

 

Wim attributes his abilities to exposure to cold, meditation and breathing techniques #mindovermatter  Extensive research & testing on the Wim Hof phenomenon conducted by Drs at Yale University School of Medicine (see the study parameters & results sourced link) discovered that such methods caused "voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans".  Both the autonomic nervous system and innate immune system were regarded as systems that cannot be voluntarily influenced. 

Wim Iceman Hof Cold therapy lowers oxidative stress
Wim Iceman Hof Cold therapy lowers oxidative stress

The present study demonstrates that, through practicing breathing techniques mixed with cold water immersion, the sympathetic nervous system and immune system can indeed be voluntarily influenced. Healthy volunteers in the study learned the techniques exhibited profound increases in the release of epinephrine, which in turn led to increased production of anti-inflammatory mediators and subsequent dampening of the pro-inflammatory cytokine response elicited by intravenous administration of bacterial endotoxin.  Increased oxygen retention in the cells leads to a greater state of alkalosis & reduced production of the stress hormone cortisone.  It is well thought of in modern medicine that stress is a major underlying cause of many illnesses. 

 

Wim Hof method is very simple, deep breath retention slow exhalation & gradual immersion into cold water.  A similar practice of many yogis for thousands of years.

Wim Iceman Hof cold water submersion techniques
Wim Iceman Hof cold water submersion techniques

1) Get comfortable

Sit in a meditation posture, whatever is most comfortable for you. Make sure you can expand your lungs freely without feeling any constriction. It is recommended to do this practice right after waking up since your stomach is still empty or before a meal.

 

2) 30 Power Breaths

Imagine you’re blowing up a balloon. Inhale through the nose or mouth and exhale through the mouth in short but powerful bursts. Keep a steady pace and use your midriff fully. Close your eyes and do this around 30 times. Symptoms could be light-headedness, tingling sensations in the body.

 

3) The Hold, retention after exhalation

After the 30 rapid successions of breath cycles, draw the breath in once more and fill the lungs to maximum capacity without using any force. Then let the air out and hold for as long as you can without force. Hold the breath until you experience the gasp reflex.

 

4) Recovery Breath

 

Inhale to full capacity. Feel your chest expanding. When you are at full capacity, hold the breath for around 10 seconds and this will be round one. The breathing exercise can be repeated 3 rounds after each other.

 

5) After having completed the breathing exercise take your time to enjoy the feeling afterward. This feeling will be more and more like a meditation. 

 

When you start doing these exercises we recommend to take your time recovering from the breathing exercise. After doing the breathing exercise and you feel good, you can start with taking the cold shower. 

 

Watch the documentary of Wim Hof he outlines & proves his extraordinary simple methods.

 

Sources:

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA

http://www.pnas.org/content/111/20/7379.abstract

Author: Justin West

Surfer, Freediver & MMA enthusiast runs surfing & training programs in the Portuguese Algarve, Maldives & Madagascar.


Is it OK to destroy our oceans?

Kelly Slater talks about his commitment to ocean conservation.

Beautiful film from Kelly Slater and Outerknown, discussing both Slater’s and the brand’s concern for our ocean & its connectivity to all our lives. 

 

Outerknown is doing its part to raise awareness and funds for Ocean Conservancy, donating 100% of the sale of their It’s Not OK t-shirts to the organization.

 

They are asking people to share their stories of ocean pollution, using #itsnotok to compile them.  Get involved take a picture or tell a story of your local ocean environment.

Outerknown Spring 2017 Collection
Click on link to see Outerknown Spring 2017 Collection

sustainable clothing Kelly Slater Outerknown surfing surfer surf coaching
Kelly Slaters Outerknown brand aspires to engage with civil society, governments, the private sector, and peers to affect systemic change of labor and environmental challenges in countries where we live and work.

Bucket list wave?  Fiji maxing on mad Monday

cloud-break your balls

Coudbreak is one of those waves I have never been to and have always dreamed of.  It is a "will surf it one day wave".  Seeing it like this freaks me out!  The swell looks like its on the edge of maxing out.  The drone footage conceals how big it actually is.  The jet ski assist a definite advantage, you really don't want to be caught inside and dragged up the shallow reef.

Wave Gardens; the future or a quick surf fix?

Wave Gardens Kelly Slaters Artificial Wave Surf Surfing
Wave Gardens....the future of surfing or just another branch of the tree of surf?

Wave abundant Australia is planning to build a wave pool, strange? 

Wave abundant Australia is planning to build a wave pool, strange? As a surf coach & waterman who has worked and played in the ocean all of my life, I believe ocean knowledge is fundamental to the surfing experience.  Over time your knowledge increases and you are rewarded with a wave.  

 

So what does surfing an inland, man made wave pool offer?  Is it a useful training tool for improving surf technique?  Is it a surf junkies quick fix?

 

True reward is gained through patient sustained effort and learning. Something gained too easy often leaves you feeling empty, like a one night stand....

 

Andy King, surfing Australia’s national coach is quoted to have said, “Three days in that pool is equivalent to three months’ ocean training”.  

 

From a coaching perspective I can really see the advantage in setting a string of manoeuvres, to focus on flow.  Compound improvement through repetition & feedback.  Kelly (Slater 11x World Champ) explains that his wave pool design is ideal because you can change the shape, speed & pitch for training purposes, controlling the learning environment.  An artificial wave will also give surfers the ability to go all out and risk everything & repeat.  In this future I can see wave park specialists developing new tricks performed specifically in parks, kick flips and wake boarding type aerials.  There would be no reason not to have fixed straps on smaller lighter equipment as you don't necessarily have to paddle into and pop up on a wave.  Manoeuvres are likely to be less "functional" and more "aesthetic".

 

From a commercial point of view a wave pool is an obvious choice to venue & promote surfing world wide.  Consistency and the ability to flick a switch for a contestable wave will make it the perfect choice to showcase surfing 2020 Olympics in Japan.  A virgin audience where the subtleties of wave selection, line up tactics maybe lost to them.  

 

An artificial wave environment will give other countries a chance to introduce the sport of surfing to their inhabitants.  Certainly for me it will increase the number of potential clients world wide who might have grown up surfing a pool but want to have guiding or coaching on how to take those skills to the ocean.

 

As a purist I still prefer to see the ocean throwing up a warp in the face, an unexpected chandelier in the tube, a sudden close out section....the very essence of a wave, the fact that no two waves are ever the same means a surfer who is in tune, who is in sync blows our mind by reacting to the waves quirks, for me this defines a surfing "master".  His or her ability to adapt to change, to see things in the ocean that others do not.   

 

In a surf contest, experience and wave knowledge is paramount, choosing the right line up and knowing which wave to paddle for, reading the swells characteristics as it approaches the bank or reef often determines a heat win.  It certainly keeps the surfing world title race edgy and exciting with this element of luck.  This unique ability matures as we can see Kelly just announcing he has no plans to retire and will continue to seek a 12th World title at 44 years of age, with many still believing he has a very real chance!

 

Out of the root of surfing we have seen many branches and off shoots like skateboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, long boarding, short boarding, body boarding all share the same family tree.  I feel that wave pools will just be another relative of the family of surfing with similar characteristics but a personality all of its own.  

 

I can see the World Surf League (WSL) adding a wave pool like Kelly Slaters Wave Company to the world championship tour.  However, I think the ocean will always be the testing ground for a true waterman.  The WSL has just purchased a majority stake in Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC) "May 24, 2016, Santa Monica, CA -- WSL Holdings, the parent company of the World Surf League (WSL), today announced an agreement in principle to acquire a majority stake in the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC)".  

 

With the proviso that, "the partnership between the WSL and KSWC will be dedicated to promoting the growth of high-performance surfing around the world. KSWC’s revolutionary technology creates a number of possibilities for the future of the sport. The WSL and the KSWC envision the build-out of a global network of WSL-branded high-performance training centers utilizing this wave technology".  

 

Kelly Slater vocalises in his own words what many surfers feel about this development and pretty tidily sums up the feeling of my article; “While surfing for me will always be about adventure, travel and the ocean, this wave brings a new opportunity to the sport without taking away the soulfulness that attracted many of us to surfing in first place, surfing great waves in a controlled environment adds a new dimension, as there is no hassling for waves, no stress over who got the best wave – they are all good. Everyone can relax, have fun and focus on improving their surfing.”

 

 

Sources: http://kswaveco.com/press-releases/wsl-holdings-to-acquire-kelly-slater-wave-company

Author: Justin West

© www.justinwestcoaching.com


Madagascar Local Surf Crew

The swell in the afternoon was a bit too much for the outer reefs to handle.  Rita and I took a walk up beyond Befasy village to watch the local kids surfing a knee high pointbreak on skegless pieces of wood.

 

These kids were having so much fun.  Reminding me that surfing is not always about competition, sport, lifestyle but something much simpler.  

 

Surfing is about getting naked, submerging youself in nature and simplifying your life.  You dont need a wetsuit, you dont need a surfboard.  Just you, yourself and the ocean waves.

 

As we filmed the kids many thoughts came to me like should I be filming kids naked, should I go back to the surf lodge and let the kids use some of our foam boards.

 

I stopped and realised that all these thoughts were so restless so always needing to be more and stressing about a crazy parts of culture that we left far behind.  Why could I just not accept the purity of the moment? 

 

I thought that I was the teacher but these kids taught me so much more, to remember to just enjoy the simplest pleasure of the moment and forget the need to always grasp and strive for more.

 

 

Just surf, smile, love, laugh and live......

 

Thanks to Madagascar Surf Lodge for the experiences.

 

Book a surf trip with surf coaching to Madagascar.

 

 


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Equality through opportunity

I was reading through some articles on Apple Education with the view to help my daughter have access to extra curricular learning resources through her Ipad.  At only 9 years old she tells me she wants to study medicine.  The material really impressed me.  

 

I am currently involved with building a village school in rural south west Madagascar, part of the Madagascar Surf Lodge Community School Project and wondering what resources would be useful for the Malagasy kids.

 

My political view often swings between capitalist and socialist.  I am probably not alone in this view.  I feel every human has the right to create wealth and security for themselves and the future generations of their family but I also believe in equal opportunity for all.  So how do we create a world where individuals can advance personal wealth but also share it amongst the world community?

 

The “rich” could share their wealth to the wider community in need or the “poor”.  But equally "the poor" could benefit more by helping themselves.  The usual method is through government taxation and a heavier presence of “state” in the equalisation of wealth and of course international aid.  The argument of the capitalist is that the interference of “state” slows the potential for growth.  The argument of “state” is they require funds to run programs, health service, education etc….and so the political balancing & politicians chasing their tails on our tax $ continues.

We are entering the dawn of a new age both exciting and full of hope.  Words such as “citizenship”, “globilisation” and "ethical programs" are positive signs we are moving beyond relying on antiquated systems of “national government”.  There are still decades to go but we have started…do we need the “middlemen” to rule our resources, allocate opportunities?

 

The grass roots of potential is in the business of technology as in all great periods of human advancements, technology holds the greatest possibilities of our universal evolution.

 

We see crypto currencies avoiding the centralisation control of banking & governement regulation putting peer to peer value exchange back in the hands of the people.  Crypto currencies flow beyond borders and national lines drawn on maps and have the potential for more efficient global transactions.

My time in Africa I have seen technology advancing this idea.  We’re not used to Africa taking lead in new technology. Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention and it couldn’t be more true in case of Africa, where pre-paid airtime is the fastest growing ‘virtual’ currency, overcoming conventional currency exchange, government corruption, huge fluctuations in currency value and lack of banking infrastructure.

 

There are over 100 million mobile phones in Africa, and it is one of the fastest growing mobile regions.  Smartphones are already used for music & movie downloads, messaging, social media debate and personal piggy banking.

 

Kenya is home to an impressive cutting-edge Vodafone mobile tool: M-PESA, a system for sending both minutes and money via SMS. (The “m” stands for mobile. Pesa is Swahili for money.) Airtime minutes automatically load onto the phone of their recipient. 

Seeing the development of phone credit currency in Africa got me thinking of the idea that with a simple smartphone any child in the world suddenly has access to first world education opportunities.  Its a real game changer. 

 

In the words of educationalist Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange when talking about equality of educational opportunity for black African Americans, “Education is a civil right. Access to education is access to opportunity. It is the path to career advancement. The key to closing the income gap. It can drive equity in housing. It is a proven determinant of overall health and wellbeing. It will mold the future African American leaders of industry, politics and social justice.”

 

These words, these ideas are true not just for young black Americans but for our world children.  I am so positive of technology being the conduit of change and oportunity for all.  Perhaps building a school in the traditional sense from bricks and mortar is old fashioned like building a bank with a vault for storing cash.  Maybe the answer is to raise money to provide Ipads & mobile technology and acces to online education resources in multiple languages.

 

To help with the the Madagascar Surf Lodge School Community Project you can simply share this article and the Fundraiser on Facebook where, if you can spare it, donate.  Even a small amount, goes along way in Madagascar.


Leonor Fragoso WQS Las Americas Pro

WQS Las Americas Pro, Tenerife surfing pro surfer surf contest
WQS Las Americas Pro, Tenerife

First couple of days in Tenerife @lasamericaspro waxing up, surf today looking great.  The set up left is solid with good shape.  Seems to work on various tides and swells.  Couple of bigger but slower sets swing wide but all open with various opportunites to hit the lip.  There is a similar warm up wave next to the contest area.  We arrived a few days early to get used to the surf environment, analyse the set up, tides and see how some of the local rippers approach the set up.

 

Our focus is Leonor's back hand attack, more vertical lip approach.  Contest strategy have fun, focus on achieving two scoring waves in the first ten minutes of the heat, gradually up the risk to better the first two scores.

 

Nutrition has been spot on and trying out some new boards.  The forecast looks like the swell is dropping so we have found a smaller peak to warm up on and breaking out the Lacrau Surfboards small wave epoxy.

 

Let's go.

Is cold water surfing good for your health?

Wim Iceman Hof
Wim "Iceman" Hof

iceman method BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS

Read More

Is it OK to destroy our oceans?

Kelly Slater talks about his commitment to ocean conservation.

Read More

Wave Gardens; the future or a quick surf fix?

Wave Gardens Kelly Slaters Artificial Wave Surf Surfing
Wave Gardens....the future of surfing or just another branch of the tree of surf?

Wave abundant Australia is planning to build a wave pool, strange? 

Read More

Catching a wave - "the take off"

Kelly Slater surfing surf coaching surf technique
Kelly Slater; making the impossible look possible

JWC talks about the dynamics of catching a wave.

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NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS; make that list...

we make that list but how often do we stick to it?

surfing surf surfers life coach surf coach coaching
Leading light in the darkness hahahahah

I am a happy, positive person although I have not always been this way, through trial and error, through pain and a bit of suffering I have found what works for me;

  • Self discipline for me is key to everything else
  • Be dedicated & motivated & prepared for change
  • Do the things that others don't want to do
  • Reduce material possession - I am always much freer and less stressed without clutter, grasping, fixing or holding. 
  • Be original don't be afraid to follow your own path as long as your heart is full of good intention
  • Surround yourself with positive, interesting & motivated people
  • Refrain from ALL intoxicants; you don't need them if you live a satisfied whole existence.  You will always lose they will always win.
  • Stop watching TV; this device corrupted, manipulated and infested my free thought for years.
  • Walk more often and leave the car at home - whilst walking my mind is super active and alert.
  • Immerse yourself in nature as often as you can.
  • Consume organic, locally produced, non packaged, no GMO food - one of the many reasons I now live in Portugal.
  • Take a back seat - sometimes its good to sit back and listen to friends or watch the world go on around you.
  • Think more local, act more local - supporting my fellows, a good word here, directing people there always works.  Banging your head against the walls around international politics is pointless; be the seeds of change.
  • Seek out visionaries of the future - change will come and those who adapt quickest will thrive and be able to help others.
  • Keep physical exercise & activity a priority in your life - you will never regret a healthier life.
  • Encourage, Support and be the facilitator of positivity in those around you
  • Be compassionate but distance yourself from those that act or talk about others in a negative way
  • Give people your views on how to make their lives happier, more content they will pretend not to listen but they actually will.
  • Seek knowledge & learn new things; with the internet it is possible to study subjects & interests without ever paying a University fee, after all who cares about a degree certificate, education is truly free.

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POSITIONING IN THE SURF

Justin west coaching notes.....

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Algarve U14 & U16 Champs Training Camp

justin west coaching notes.....

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Algarve Sub 14 & 16 Champ Training Camp 2

justin west coaching notes

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Great to see Marcus & Yvonne again.  Yvonne and I have had a few coaching sessions over the last few years, I think this for Marcus is a total of 8 days coaching with me so we can really see progression from absolute beginner to improver, taking off on some nice green waves, looking down the line of the wave, timing the position one or hands to the rail, improving paddling technique, stand up, foot positioning and general stance.

 

Key learning objectives:

 

Marcus:

  1. Paddling technique
  2. Positioning on board
  3. Nose tail control with head
  4. Position 1 hold, gain control & direction
  5. Front foot positioning less than 45 degrees
  6. Twist in position one
  7. Chin up in take off look down the line of wave not straight or down
  8. Stance...bring hips forward less leaning most of the weight on front foot
  9. Compress using legs not bending at the waist

*to work on:

  1. Stand up drills in front of the mirror 50 reps per week

 

 

Key learning Objectives:

 

Yvonne:

  1. Head & body positioning whilst paddling to gain better Nose to Tail trim control...using gravity to assist wave catching
  2. Engaging rail from take off, higher line
  3. Looking at the approaching wave
  4. adjusting direction
  5. Judging the degree of angle take off
  6. angle take offs 
  7. paddling entry angle
  8. leaning inside rail in position 1
  9. mid face turn
  10. back side surfing
  11. front side to back side turn

*to work on:

  1. Looking straight ahead & down
  2. Look down the line of the wave through the whole stand up routine
  3. Drills stand up drills 50 reps looking down an imaginary wave line