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Bethany Hamilton to Star in New EPIX Documentary, ‘The Current’

Written on March 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm , by

Written by Jordan Clifford, editorial intern

Life-altering events can happen quite unexpectedly, this we all know. Sometimes they’re amazingly good occurrences (like nailing that CrossFit move you’ve been working on forever), and other times, there are tragic things that happen, often begging the question, ‘why me?’ For elite athletes and thrill seekers, tragedy can be exceptionally devastating; ripping away the things you’ve spent your life aspiring to. But to overcome adversity is a show of true strength. Pro surfer Bethany Hamilton knows just what I’m talking about. In 2003 she lost her left arm in a tiger shark attack, but  didn’t let that stop her. A mere month later, Hamilton returned to the water and went on to realize her dream of becoming a professional surfer. She shared her story with the world in her 2004 autobiography, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. And then of course came the 2011 film based on the book, which caused the nation to fall even more in love with the blonde beach babe.

Now, Hamilton is back in an EPIX original documentary, The Current, premiering tonight at 8 p.m. EST. She’ll share her story along with five other athletes with disabilities who explore the deep wonders of the ocean and the healing freedoms it can supply.

We caught up with Bethany to talk about her workouts, surfing career and what it was like to be a part of The Current.

The Current is mainly based on the idea of using the healing powers of water and the ocean as a way to rediscover the freedom of movement. Can you tell us about that? What is about the ocean or water that has helped you?

I believe God’s given us the ocean and the outdoors as a place of healing. I remember when I first started surfing [again] after losing my arm, everyone was like, ‘Aren’t you scared of sharks?’ But for me, I was more scared of not surfing and not being able to spend time where I love to be most: in the ocean. So that was kind of just the start of my whole recovery. And even to this day, when things are getting stressful it’s nice to be able to get in the ocean. I don’t know, everything can kind of just melt away and you can just get out there and enjoy creation.

Did you get the chance to meet any of the other athletes? What was it like to hear their stories?

I got to spend time with Grant Korgan [the first adaptive athlete to ski 80 miles in the South Pole]. He was in a snowmobiling accident and just got annihilated, and broke his spine. He’s been told he’s never going to walk again, but he’s slowly getting feeling back [in his legs] and he’s just working endlessly to recover his body. It’s been pretty incredible to get to know him and his wife and their story, their perseverance. We went scuba diving and got to experience some of the most beautiful places in the underwater world. It was pretty incredible.

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Surfer Lakey Peterson Talks Hardcore Leg Workouts, Half-Marathon Advice and Sporty Swimsuits

Written on March 3, 2014 at 12:49 pm , by

Peterson knows how to catch waves in style. (Photo by Willie Kessel for Hurley)

Imagine waking up at the crack of dawn every day to paddle out into the ocean to catch waves and watch the sun rise. A dream, right? For one of the world’s leading female surfers, Lakey Peterson, this dream is a reality. The blonde bombshell has taken over the surf world, proving at a young age that she can hang with the big leagues. She’s known for her sick aerial moves and is the first female to ever perform an aerial maneuver in competition. At 19, she’s a true force to be reckoned with, and we talked with her about living the surf life, her favorite bikini, and rubbing elbows with marathoner Joan Benoit.

It seems like surfing requires you to have crazy strong legs. What are your favorite exercises to keep your legs beach ready?

Surfing is quite the leg burner! When I am training in the gym I do a lot of front and back squats, side lunges, box jumps and lots of explosive, quick sprints. Those are a few of my primary legs workouts to stay fit and looking good![Editor's note: For fit legs like Lakey, check out this Nike Training Club (NTC) workout.]

Those exercises must have been helpful when you were training for the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, back in October. Since it was your first half-marathon, what would you say was your biggest challenge?

That was such an amazing race and I felt so honored to have been a part of it! My biggest challenge was staying on a strict training schedule. When I was training for it, I was literally right in the middle of my surf season so it was hard to balance surfing, gym training, and then the half-marathon training. But I did it and had so much fun! It pushed me to do something that I wasn’t sure I could do, but I got to prove myself wrong. I loved seeing all of the other women cross that finish line and achieve such a huge goal.

Any advice for first time half-marathoners? 

A marathon is a big commitment for anyone. There will probably be times when you are training, or even when you are racing, that will make you want to quit. However, I can promise you that you can do it, and when you cross the finish line there is no better feeling. Make sure to enjoy it and be proud of yourself! 

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How Pro Surfer Carissa Moore Stays Balanced On and Off the Waves

Written on September 4, 2013 at 11:19 am , by

 

Moore stays balanced both on and off the board. (Photo courtesy of Target)

Written by Kristen Haney, editorial intern

It’s no secret that surfers look great in a bikini, but balancing on the board isn’t the only thing that keeps them in killer shape. To keep in top competition form, pro surfer Carissa Moore relies on a winning combo of hitting the gym with a personal trainer and relaxing with her family, and her work-life balance has definitely paid off. The laidback Hawaii native scored a Target sponsorship in 2009 after becoming the youngest surfer to win a Vans Triple Crown, was the first woman to grace the cover of Surfer magazine in 14 years, and is the top contender for the ASP Women’s World Tour Champion title this year after winning the U.S. Open with two events left. Oh, and did we mention she accomplished all this before turning 21? Before she jetted off to France and Portugal to compete, Moore spilled on Hawaii’s down-under equivalent, the workout equipment that even throws off her stability, and her surprisingly laid back plans for a milestone birthday.

How did you first get involved with surfing?

I started when I was four or five years old, and it was actually my dad who got me into it. We still surf together almost every day, which is really cool.

It sounds like you’re very close with your family. How do you balance those relationships with your busy competition schedule?

I just have a really good support team. Everyone around me makes time for me and they want to be there when they can, and I’m very fortunate that I can bring both my dad and my boyfriend on tour with me. It just keeps me really happy on the road. I have fun balancing it all.

What’s been your favorite place to visit?

New Zealand is beautiful. If I had to live anyplace else it would probably be there because the people are really close to the type of people in Hawaii, where they’re just really warm and welcoming and easy to talk to.

How do you prepare for something like the U.S. Open? What  different workouts do you do on land?

Of course, I think the best training for surfing is surfing, but I do have a personal trainer that I work with about three times a week when I’m at home. I do most of my training when I’m home, and then when I go on the road it’s more of just maintaining and being healthy, happy and surfing really well.

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Win a Customized C. Wonder Surfboard!

Written on August 1, 2013 at 9:56 am , by

 

One of these customized beauties could be yours! (Photo courtesy of C. Wonder)

Written by Emily Mitamura, editorial intern

When you’re out riding the waves this summer, we want you to do it in style. What’s one of the hottest trends this season? Chevron, chevron and more chevron. But instead of just flashing it on our clothes (or suit), C. Wonder is slapping it on totally customized-to-you surfboards—and if you live in the East Coast (or are visiting), you could win one! Long-time (we’re talking more than 25 years) surfboard architect and graphic designer Gavin Schuck recently created a new line of printed boards for the popular brand, and they’re offering three lucky winners the chance to take one home.

Created and designed exclusively for this contest, the ikat-patterned surfboards pictured will be the only ones of their kind. Each is valued at $1,800, so we suggest throwing your hat in the ring right now. How to enter? Visit any C. Wonder pop-up store any time before the store closes on Monday, September 2, and tell an employee you’re there to win and they’ll hook you up.  Here’s where and when you’ll see the pop-ups this summer:

Southampton
5 Main Street
Southampton, NY
Mon – Thurs: 10am to 7pm
Fri – Sat: 10am to 8pm
Sun: 10am to 6pm

East Hampton
48 Main Street
East Hampton, NY
Mon – Thurs: 10am to 6pm
Fri – Sat: 10am to 7pm
Sun: 11am to 6pm

Nantucket
16 Federal Street
Nantucket, MA
Mon-Sat: 10am to 8pm
Sun: 10am to 5pm

If you love to surf, always wanted to try it out, or just want some beach-inspired décor, it’s time to enter. After all, doesn’t everyone love free?

More from FITNESS:

Why Surfing on the East Coast May Be Better than Catching Waves in Hawaii (Seriously!)

We Dare You To: Go To Surf Camp

6 Exercises to Get You Surf-Ready for Summer

Adventuring in North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

Written on July 23, 2013 at 9:30 am , by

Climbing to the top of Cape Lookout is roughly the equivalent of climbing to the top of a 12-story building!

In our July/August issue (on newsstands now!), we explored the best sporty activities in the top 10 most visited cities across the country. But that doesn’t mean others don’t have something fun to offer! After visiting North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, it’s safe to say there are plenty of fit activities to take advantage of if you’re looking for more than a “lay on the beach and drink all of the margaritas” type of getaway. Here, some of our personal faves:

Surfing. Hang ten in these waters and you can definitely call yourself a surfer. The waves vary from two- to three-feet high—perfect for beginners—and can get all the way up to 19-feet during a tropical storm (obviously better for those well-versed on the board). We loved our lessons from Mike over at Hot Wax Surf Shop, but if the adrenaline rush isn’t quite your style, they also offer more low-key stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).

Beach Running. Rent a house from Emerald Isle Realty and you’ll only have to take a few steps before you’re at the beach. Perfect for lounging and getting in a quality workout! We were hosted by the company in one of their beachfront homes, and had a personal walkway leading straight onto the beach—no crazy maneuvering required! Waking up to the sound of the ocean each morning had us leaping out of bed and lacing up the sneaks for a quiet, peaceful jog along the water before diving into the day. If your feet are ready for it, head closer to the water and forgo shoes for some barefoot running so you can really feel the sand beneath you (and burn up to 60 percent more calories!). Watch the sun fully rise post-run and indulge in a little seaside yoga for a true feeling of bliss.

Lighthouse Climbing. If you want to see the Southern Outer Banks from a higher perspective, head over to Cape Lookout National Seashore over on Harkers Island. Accessible by ferry, we suggest packing a picnic to enjoy by the water, then climbing the 207 steps to the top of the lighthouse! The breathtaking 360 views allow you to take in miles of uninhabited territory, except for the wild Spanish mustangs over on Shackleford Banks. The park is a sea turtle nesting area, too, so keep an eye out for hatching nests. Once you’re finished, ask the ferry driver to slowly bring you over to the Banks, where you can get a closer view of the elegant horses. If you’re extra lucky (like we were!), you may just get a little show from the wild dolphins while you zip back to land.

Sightseeing in Beaufort. A short drive away, this quaint little town is not only voted America’s Coolest Small Town, it’s also the famous location of Nicholas Sparks’  A Walk to Remember (and we know you’ve seen that movie!). Stroll the waterfront docks while the sailboats and yachts come in and out, spot the wild mustangs from across the water, or tour the historic area of town. Definitely a walkable town for those who love window shopping, this is a fun way to take in a cool movie location, soak in a little American history and log those 10,000 steps!

Now you tell us: What’s your favorite way to explore a new place while on vacation?

Why Surfing on the East Coast May Be Better Than Catching Waves in Hawaii (Seriously!)

Written on July 16, 2013 at 9:50 am , by

Post-wave riding with my Hot Wax Surf Shop instructors!

Surfing. It’s on everyone’s bucket list. And when you imagine yourself crossing that particular item off the to-do list, I’m sure you envision white sandy beaches, lots of palm trees and, well, hot surfer dudes in Hawaii. At least, that’s how I pictured it.

When I actually crossed it off my list earlier this year, though, it happened somewhere I never would’ve expected: North Carolina! More specifically, North Carolina’s Crystal Coast at Emerald Isle Beach. I met up with Mike Crews, owner of Hot Wax Surf Shop, who’s been surfing since he was five years old, and instructing for the last 15 years. After getting zipped up in an oh-so-sexy wetsuit (insert sarcasm here), I hit the beach – not the water – for lessons on how to power through the waves, nail my timing, paddle like I’m about to die, and pop up to catch and ride that glorious wave.

One lesson Crews stressed that I wasn’t expecting: yoga is a critical component to successfully surfing. Wait, what? I knew you needed balance, core and upper body strength. I felt I had a decent amount of all three, but hadn’t been “om-ing” regularly. Would I be able to hang ten?

Not only does Crews instruct surfing, he’s also been teaching yoga for the last 15 years. So it made sense to get the low-down on both sports from him. Read on to find out what the big deal is, and why you should pop up on the Crystal Coast this summer (August kicks off their season). Spoiler: While I definitely got knocked around a bit, I rode a wave by the end of the day. Success!

Why are yoga and surfing so closely related?

Yoga is something most people have at least dabbled with, so if I make the connection between the activities, it’s often easier for them to relate the two. They understand that when they’ve popped up on the board and are riding, they’re basically in a Warrior II pose. Downward-facing dog is another similar pose because it’s how you shift from lying on the board to popping up to that Warrior II pose – if you can jump between those two poses quickly, then that simulates jumping up to the position you need to catch a wave. The only major difference is you’re on a surfboard instead of a yoga mat.

What are some top poses you recommend for surfers outside of the water?

I would always recommend that you do a few sun salutations before you go out. They’re going to stretch your entire body every way, and it gets your breath going. Yoga is so great for surfing because it helps with flexibility and expanding your breath, which are both critical components to being a successful surfer.

Why is the breathing part so important?

A lot of different yoga programs teach retention of the breath, which helps you inhale quickly, hold the breath and then release it slowly. If you’re about to hit the water, you need that quick inhale. As you swim to the top, you’re not necessarily holding your breath, but slowly releasing it. By the time you run out, you should be at the surface. So the practice of letting it go slowly and deliberately can really help you out. Yoga and breath retention helps you learn to keep calm during stressful situations, too, which is big if and when a scary situation pops up.

Um, scary situation? 

A lot of people forget how strong the ocean is. If you get stuck under water, it can be like God holding his thumb down on you. You have to be able to maintain that sense of calm while having a lot of lung expansion. You don’t want to panic and  fight – that only makes it worse.

How often would you recommend a beginner surfer practice yoga?

If you asked that in a yoga class, the instructor would likely say, “Do whatever you feel comfortable with.” While that’s true, I would say that you should really become proficient at yoga and go around three times a week if you want to surf.

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Talking Waves and Wipe Outs with Roxy Pro Surfer Lee Ann Curren

Written on July 1, 2013 at 10:18 am , by

Just another day at the office. (Photo courtesy of Roxy)

Anytime a surfer comes into the office for a meeting, I’m immediately jealous. The tan, the sun-streaked hair and the overall free-spirited attitude they all seem to encompass has me tempted to trade in my cubicle for a surfboard (except for the tiny issue of having absolutely no idea, nor the courage to learn how to surf). But though she may seem laid back, Roxy pro Lee Ann Curren is a busy lady! Between competing in the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour at the Roxy Pro Biarritz this month in addition to rehearsing with her band Betty the Shark in her free time; Curren’s fearless spirit is completely contagious. Below, Curren chats about her workouts, favorite places to surf and more.

Your dad is surf legend Tom Curren. Did you feel pressured to surf growing up?

There really wasn’t any pressure, because I loved surfing when I was younger. It was cool having my dad always there and looking after us and it was something we could share with him. I have four brothers and we all surf, so it’s kind of like family bonding time. Read more

Roxy Pros Reveal How You, Too, Can Rock The Waves and Teeny Bikinis

Written on May 7, 2013 at 9:17 am , by

When asked her favorite surfing destination, Monyca gushed about Mexico’s fun waves but as far as culture goes, she said, “I think Bali is really rad.” (Photo courtesy of ROXY)

“Follow your heart and dare!” The DVF Loves Roxy Spring 2013 line’s motto perfectly describes the collaboration’s bold prints and playful silhouettes. In celebration of this laid-back but confident surfer sprit, Roxy pros Kelia Moniz and Monyca Byrne-Wickey flaunted the new bikinis for the camera after lending a hand in the design process. We sat down with the two gals to hear about their recent epic ride. Read on to learn about Kelia and Monyca’s swimsuit requirements, bikini-friendly diet and why fitness is not just a passion, but their lifestyle. 

How did you two get into surfing?

KM: My dad was a professional surfer, so it was in the family. We were raised going to the beach—pretty much on the beach. My mom homeschooled us so surfing was a big part of my life. Every day after school (and during school!) we’d go to the beach and surf. And I have four brothers—it was something we did for fun. Being in Hawaii, there’s not much to do so the beach is pretty much our playground.
MBW: I grew up in a really small town—like literally two general stores, one gas station. There’s not a ton of stuff to do and so the beach is kind of like our playground. That’s where everybody goes after school to have fun. My family didn’t really surf. My sister surfed a bit, but I mostly learned from my two best friends growing up…they’re all boys and boys usually pick up surfing a lot easier than girls do so I always was trying to be as good as them and keep up. They’d really push me.

What do you look for when searching for the perfect suit?

MBW: Comfort is very important, especially in the water because you need something that’s tight to stay on, but at the same time you don’t want it digging into your neck or imprinting on your sides. You want it to stay on so a cross-back top is always really good. Something that’s not adjustable here [points to rib cage] so you’re not flying open. As far as bottoms go, I prefer regular—no ties or anything like that—because a lot of times you’re standing up on your board and you could get them caught on your hand…I want something that’s functional, comfortable and also looks cute on the beach. So if you’re going to the beach, the waves aren’t looking good and you decide you’re not going out, you’re still going to be really cute. And just as cute as all the other girls who aren’t surfing. I also prefer a smaller bottom just because I think it’s more flattering and you don’t get as crazy tan lines.

Do you draw your color/pattern inspiration from Hawaii or other places you visit during competition?

MBW: Sort of. I feel like there are some places we go that there’s definitely more of a style that we don’t see at home in Hawaii. In Australia, all the girls wear structured tops, like mostly bra tops and florescent colors. I do like a bra top, but I feel like for surfing, if you’re going to be out there for hours it can get really uncomfortable. It’s super cute; I still love it. I prefer pastels, florals and solids mostly. All the girls we travel with and all the girls on our team completely enjoy a different thing and the great thing is we’re all with Roxy and they have such a wide array of all that—there’s a print for everybody, there’s a style for everybody and there’s a color for everybody.
KM: [Monyca] loves, just like she said, a cross-back and I love triangle adjustable tops. I love tie sides.
MBW: And we’re super different surfers. I ride a short board and she rides a long board so she could even get away with wearing a bandeau because it’s not as rough.
KM: I’m above the water most of the time and I’m not duck diving where my top’s going to come off so I wear bandeaus all the time, especially to stay away from tan lines. Read more

Snowboarding Legend Kelly Clark Stomps Competition

Written on November 28, 2012 at 11:39 am , by

Kelly pushes her half-pipe limit with speed and major air! (Photo courtesy of Blotto)

Written by Jennifer Fiorentino, editorial intern

Olympic gold and bronze medalist Kelly Clark is considered to be the greatest female snowboarder of all time. Kelly, a three-time Olympic team member, has won every major snowboarding event and title in the history of the sport. She was the first woman to land the 1080 in competition! We spoke with the Olympic veteran about training, fuel and success. Here’s what we learned:

Do you have a fitness motto? Train smarter, not harder. Include rest days and hard fitness.

Tell us about your diet. What are some healthy eating tips you try to live by?
Just eating healthy isn’t enough…It’s really about recovery food and keeping my energy levels up while I am being active. I eat a lot of meat. My body responds well to protein. Chicken, beef, coupled with salad and veggies.

What is your go-to post workout fuel? Chocolate milk.

What is your favorite moment in your snowboarding career? I’ve had a very long career; this will be 14th X Games. I would say winning the Olympic gold medal when I was 18 in my home country— that would be the pinnacle of my career.

You are considered to be one of the greatest female riders in history. How do you feel about that? There are a lot of riders who inspired me; they showed me what is possible to do on a snowboard. At the same time I want to continue to be successful. It’s not about doing well but staying motivated.

How have do you deal with the pressure of this title? It is something that you learn. It look me 15 years of competing to figure it out…I think the core of my success comes from the fact that I am very comfortable in my own skin. I also set goals that I am happy with achieving. This model has lead to a lot of consistency. I am doing things because I want to, because it is a goal. Being internally motivated is key.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not on the slopes?
I like to read, play the guitar and fix my home. In the summer I enjoy outdoor sports that are all training-related like surf trips. I have been surfing since I was 12.

Do you have a favorite surf spot? Destination: Nicaragua. I went there this past summer and I loved it.

What is one insider secret you have to share? I would encourage people to figure out who they are apart from what they do. Learn to operate from that place of identity not search for it.

Why is the Kelly Clark Foundation and giving back so important to you?
I received a lot of help along the way and I had a lot of people believing in me. I took a step back and looked at my career. I began to think about how I could have a lasting impact and the Kelly Clark Foundation does just that. It is now an accessible sport to everyone and that’s what I wanted to make possible.

Kelly is set to compete in the upcoming Winter Dew Tour, Winter X Games, the U.S. Open and the 2014 Olympics. Learn more about the Kelly Clark Foundation and stay up to date with the snowboard legend’s upcoming season on Facebook and Twitter.

Surfing Star Bethany Hamilton Shares Tips for Rocking the Waves

Written on September 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm , by

Bethany's happy place? On a surfboard, obviously. (Photo courtesy of Ormco Corporation)

Back in 2004, the nation was rocked by the story of Bethany Hamilton: a year earlier, at only 13 years old, the young surfer was attacked by a tiger shark and lost her left arm. Did that stop her from chasing her dreams? No way. After her surgeries, she popped back up and started winning competitions, placing first in the 2005 NSSA National Championships a year after her attack! She’s gone on to place in numerous competitions, has a movie about her journey (Soul Surfer), and a book so you can hear how it all happened, from her point of view.

With all of her success came a lot of press. Not content with her smile, Bethany was soon under the care of the Damon System, who turned her pearly whites into a show-stopping grin. We stopped by a recent event Damon hosted with Bethany to see her smile shine in person, and to find out who’s inspired her lately.

Surfing can be intimidating. What advice do you have for people who are testing the waters for the first time?

First of all, surfing is one of the most exhilarating sports, and I recommend everyone get out there and give it a go. A few tips that can really build up your confidence:

  • Focus on just swimming first. Build up your confidence in being able to swim before you bring the board into the picture. That way, once you’re in the ocean, you’re fine. Whatever happens, you know you can swim.
  • Work on balance, as well as both lower and upper body strength. Think about how exercises in the gym, like burpees, can translate into helping you surf. You need strength to be able to pop up onto the board.
  • It’s really important to get instruction your first time because it’s a very tricky sport, and you need to learn to understand the ocean. So just having someone there to watch and instruct you can help because they can correct you and it’s a safety net – you know someone has your back.
  • Start small. Try little waves and use a big longboard – both make it easier. After teaching surfing to some of the contestants on season 13 of The Biggest Loser, I’m confident everyone can get out there and try it. Every one of them did such a great job.

I watched that episode of The Biggest Loser and it looked like so much fun! What was that experience like for you?

Oh my gosh, it was so exciting! It was one of the coolest TV show experiences I’ve had. And I definitely would never think of any of them as “losers.” I had a blast with the whole gang.

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