Meditating on Mavericks


Meditating on Mavericks
By: Kyle Thiermann

This winter in particular I’ve become slightly obsessed with Mavericks. It is a relatively new goal of mine to eventually make it into the Mavericks contest, and it’s quite an undertaking to do so in a responsible way.

Sometimes it feels like big wave surfing is an entirely different sport from regular surfing. I’m learning so much. It’s even inspired me to pick up free diving, which is a sport I’ve wanted to try for a while but never pulled the trigger on. By the way, did you know that free divers, people who go deep underwater with only the air in their lungs, are more likely to have girl babies because of the pressure on their sperm?! I didn’t find that out until this year. Crazy.

The main thing that I’m learning is breath control, and the biggest way I’m practicing breath control is by going to the 7:00AM classes at PPY. I’ve done yoga sporadically for the past few years, but as I’m taking big wave surfing more seriously, I’m congruently taking yoga very seriously as well. In the past, I practiced yoga to get more flexible. If I wasn’t becoming flexible as quickly as I expected to, I would get frustrated, ‘try harder,’ and get even more frustrated: obviously not a very safe or sustainable way to do yoga.

Now, however, with my intention to practice breath control in the studio, it’s allowed me to soften around the whole experience because, all of the sudden, I’m not trying to control something external, my flexibility, but rather, turn my focus inward on my breath. This, ironically, actually increases my flexibility… whew, exhale!