As much as I love living in the Tetons and all of the sports they have to offer, surfing has been my number one passion.
Obviously the biggest challenge for me has been taking the time to travel for my wave fix.
For me, this means not just casual week long trips to mellow spots, but month long sojourns during off season to world class waves around the globe. For the longest time I relied on muscle memory from years in the water and a general level of fitness from mountain sports to keep me in the game.
But lo and behold, 2 years ago at age 50, while visiting my parents in California during an epic run of winter swell, I had a shocking realization that I was out of surf shape, and unable to perform like I always had in waves of consequence. My paddling was weak. My pop up slow and unnatural. I missed several good sets and took some heavy beatings.
That's when I decided to call Crystal. I think she was bemused that a 50 year old in Victor Idaho wanted a "surf fit" program, but that's what we set up. 2 days a week of surf specific (paddling, mobility, etc.) and one general fitness class a week. Needless to say, this saved my surfing life and has kept me in the game where I want to be in: heavy surf and barrels!
The past two winters I've been able to still charge on the North Shore Oahu. Fall trips to Portugal and its islands. And this spring, an extended trip to Namibia in Southwest Africa where I was fortunate to score the fabled Skeleton Bay which is the longest barreling left on earth at just over 1.5 miles!
A barreling wave requires extra confidence, split second maneuvering, mobility, and strength. And as seen in the photos, one of my favorite Crystal exercises..... Squats! The 2 minute rides were exhausting, the beatings heavy, but the mile and a half walk up the point after each wave was the actual defining challenge which kept my wave count down to 4 over a 3 hour session.
I am incredibly fortunate to have been at the right place at the right time for that day, but more than anything Crystal, Anika, Victoria, Brett and Devin have kept me physically and mentally in the surf ! Couldn't have done it without Wright training..... Shaka!!!