A Phenomenological Investigation of the Psychology of Big-Wave Surfing at Maverick’s

in The Sport Psychologist

Click name to view affiliation

Lenny D. WiersmaCalifornia State University

Search for other papers by Lenny D. Wiersma in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Extreme sport athletes perform in environments that are characterized by danger, unpredictability, and fear, and the consequences of a mistake include severe injury or death. Maverick’s is a big-wave surfing location in northern California that is known for its cold water temperatures, dangerous ocean wildlife, deep reef, and other navigational hazards. The purpose of this study was to use a phenomenological framework to understand the psychology of big-wave surfing at Maverick’s. Seven elite big-wave surfers completed in-depth phenomenological interviews and discussed the psychology related to various stages of big-wave surfing, including presurf, in the lineup, catching the wave, riding the wave, wiping out, and postsurf. Big-wave surfers described a variety of experiences associated with surfing at Maverick’s and discussed several ways that they coped with its challenges. The results provide a greater understanding of the psychology of participating in an extreme environment.

The author is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, CA.

Address author correspondence to Lenny D. Wiersma at lwiersma@fullerton.edu.
  • Collapse
  • Expand
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 2302 853 167
Full Text Views 170 41 2
PDF Downloads 169 66 4