Gearing Up for Hawaii's Winter Swells with Isaac Stant

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Whether it’s paddling out into 6 foot, 7 foot, 8 foot, 10 foot or 25+ foot surf, we all have our uncomfortable moments while in the water.  Your lungs shrink, your arms turn to twigs and you kiss the sky when Mother Nature folds its giant load of wet laundry right in front of your face.  Next thing you know you’re in the spin cycle, hoping it will stop before your colors bleed. Heavy?  Yes.  Serious?  Very!  Come every winter our Honolua Surf Co. Watermen put themselves in very extreme situations to reap the rewards of getting the barrels/rides of their lives.  We caught up with Honolua Surf Co. young gun, Isaac Stant, to get some tips on how he prepares mentally and physically for some of the biggest and heaviest waves in the world.  He spends a great deal of time at CrossFit Upcountry, rigorously training with some high profile CrossFit athletes like Andrea Ager. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a short video chronicling a typical day of surf and training with Isaac from his very talented friend and videographer, Jon Spenser. Be sure to watch the video and read Isaac’s top three Big Wave training tips below! 

Isaac on strength training: “Through CrossFit, I train explosive Olympic lifts like the clean and jerk and snatch.  Olympic lifts recruit compound muscle groups from head to toe, teach an insane hip explosion and firing of the glutes, hamstrings and quads, and require your nervous system to be on point which translate into stronger bottom turns and a better drive for off the top snaps and power turns.” Core and anaerobic training: “Core control through gymnastic movements like muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, pull-ups and hollow body holds. I do CrossFit WODs, high-intensity anaerobic workouts, about three to five times per week at my CrossFit affiliate, CrossFit Upcountry Maui, or at home in my garage.  For me it’s just really important to have these in your daily training on land that translate over to surfing.  Having a strong core will really make your turns easier to maneuver and more powerful.” Strengthening your mind: “High heart rate short duration exercise pushing past mental thresholds.  Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable by constant varied functional movements. Switching up exercises; This helps me in crucial situations.  For example when I take a bad wipeout and I’m under forever and my mind is telling me I need air, but really you have a lot more than you think you do, and it’s just about fighting pass that mental threshold.  That’s why becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable can save your life.” This upcoming winter, Isaac will be surfing where ever there are good waves but Peahi (Jaws) will be his main focus, eventually making his move over to the Mainland to charge Mavericks.  Good luck, Isaac!