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Tai T. Tran, Lina Lundgren, Josh Secomb, Oliver R.L. Farley, G. Gregory Haff, Robert U. Newton, Sophia Nimphius and Jeremy M. Sheppard

The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a drop-and-stick (DS) test method and to assess dynamic postural control in senior elite (SE), junior elite (JE), and junior development (JD) surfers. Nine SE, 22 JE, and 17 JD competitive surfers participated in a single testing session. The athletes completed 5 drop-and-stick trials barefoot from a predetermined box height (0.5 m). The lowest and highest time-to-stabilization (TTS) trials were discarded, and the average of the remaining trials was used for analysis. The SE group demonstrated excellent single-measures repeatability (ICC = .90) for TTS, whereas the JE and JD demonstrated good single-measures repeatability (ICC .82 and .88, respectively). In regard to relative peak landing force (rPLF), SE demonstrated poor single-measures reliability compared with JE and JD groups. Furthermore, TTS for the SE (0.69 ± 0.13 s) group was significantly (P = .04) lower than the JD (0.85 ± 0.25 s). There were no significant (P = .41) differences in the TTS between SE (0.69 ± 0.13 s) and JE (0.75 ± 0.16 s) groups or between the JE and JD groups (P = .09). rPLF for the SE (2.7 ± 0.4 body mass; BM) group was significantly lower than the JE (3.8 ± 1.3 BM) and JD (4.0 ± 1.1 BM), with no significant (P = .63) difference between the JE and JD groups. A possible benchmark approach for practitioners would be to use TTS and rPLF as a qualitative measure of dynamic postural control using a reference scale to discriminate among groups.

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Lenny D. Wiersma

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.

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Josh L. Secomb, Jeremy M. Sheppard and Ben J. Dascombe


To provide a descriptive and quantitative time–motion analysis of surfing training with the use of global positioning system (GPS) and heart-rate (HR) technology.


Fifteen male surfing athletes (22.1 ± 3.9 y, 175.4 ± 6.4 cm, 72.5 ± 7.7 kg) performed a 2-h surfing training session, wearing both a GPS unit and an HR monitor. An individual digital video recording was taken of the entire surfing duration. Repeated-measures ANOVAs were used to determine any effects of time on the physical and physiological measures.


Participants covered 6293.2 ± 1826.1 m during the 2-h surfing training session and recorded measures of average speed, HRaverage, and HRpeak as 52.4 ± 15.2 m/min, 128 ± 13 beats/min, and 171 ± 12 beats/min, respectively. Furthermore, the relative mean times spent performing paddling, sprint paddling to catch waves, stationary, wave riding, and recovery of the surfboard were 42.6% ± 9.9%, 4.1% ± 1.2%, 52.8% ± 12.4%, 2.5% ± 1.9%, and 2.1% ± 1.7%, respectively.


The results demonstrate that a 2-h surfing training session is performed at a lower intensity than competitive heats. This is likely due to the onset of fatigue and a pacing strategy used by participants. Furthermore, surfing training sessions do not appear to appropriately condition surfers for competitive events. As a result, coaches working with surfing athletes should consider altering training sessions to incorporate repeated-effort sprint paddling to more effectively physically prepare surfers for competitive events.