Physical preparation for extreme sports
When people see an extreme stunt on the internet they can think “how easy could it be”, you just have to practise it for a while then you can go. In this article I would like to introduce the endurance, desperation and difficulties that is behind all the progressive extreme sports.
For us, who are not professional extreme sports athletes, we don’t have the chance to practise our stunts every day. It is obvious that Hungary is not the paradise for eihter snowboarding or kitesurfing.
Let’s see some statistics from the last seasons. The average time the riders from the team spent on the ski-slopes was 8 days. Last year in Hungary there were like 40 days with good conditions for kitesurfing. I was lucky and could spent also an other month on Nomad Kite Trip in Greece. Still I had 300 days in the year when I was “stuck” in the city with studying or working.
Of course I’m not a machine I’m not working during all the time while I’m in the city. Also I want to prepare myself for the big moments when I’m in action and I can try my new stunts. Since I’ve been always doing sports in my life and also because I want to be the best on water and on the ski-slopes I train hard on the days when I’m not in action.
So I say that physical preparion for extreme sports is very important. Things it will teach or help you with:
- Rule your body
- Improve your stamina and strength
- Know your abilities
- Protect your bones
These are 4 most important things you can be better if you train hard.
Rule your body
Ruling your body means, that your arms and legs doing the right thing in the right moment. Extreme sport manouvers require a good control of your body. If you want to improve fast or perform an advanced trick you will have to do the right move in the right moment. If you do a lot of sports your muscle memory will improve. It means you can learn and rememer new movements easier.
Improve your stamina and strength
Good thing about kitesurfing and snowboarding is that most people have the ability to do it. You see riders with age above 60 years every year. They can enjoy the sport, which is a very nice thing (I’ll also want to do it). In this article I would like to mention more the progressive extreme sports.
If you want to improve fast you will need to spend a long time in action during your session. If you are a snowboarder you should start when the lift opens and finish around sunset. Also if you want to kitesurf in a storm or perform a handle pass the technique won’t be enough. You will also need strength.
For this I do a lot of swimming and street workout. My record is 112km surfing during a single kitesurf session. I always try to be the first and the last on the slopes. This is how you can improve fast.
Know your abilities
Other good thing about physical preparation for extreme sports is that you will see your abilities. You will know the chance of success.
If the wind is above 35knots I still use 9m kite. I knew I will be able to handle it. When I had some technical problem I could perform a self rescue.
When I kitesurf I always think about what will happen if the wind drops. I know how much I can swim so I can choose the distance from the shore with having these in my mind.
Also if you never ever did any backflip on a trambuline or in water it can very dangerous to start it in the funpark where you can ruin your skiing trip with an injury.
If you train on ground you will be able to judge situations better.
Protect your bones
It doesn’t matter how much you train, how talented you are, the moment will come when you will fail.
- Learning a new snowboard trick will result a lot of crashing.
- Gusty winds can ruin even the move that you can jump 10 times out of 10 tries.
- Wind can drop during a megaloop.
Sooner or later during your progression you will feel the power of Mother Nature. Or at least how hard can it be to hit the ice or a slide box. The good thing is if you build your muscles it can reduce the chance of getting injured. A thick muscle layer can protect your bones from breaking or cracking. Also well trained muscles can protect you from fractures.
Universitas swimming competition
So I was writing a lot about the importance of physical preparation. Let’s see what I was doing recently.
I’ve been swimming for a long time, actually I also heard about kitesurfing from my swimming coach (Dusi). This is good for strength and stamina. This semester I qualified to the BME’s (Technological University) swimming team. I was training every day. I managed my time so the practises could fit into my schedule (work and studies). I was lucky because the swimming pool was next to my university.
A good motivation for the training was the Universitas swimming competition. On 6th May all the Budapest University’s students could compete in different swimming types and distances.
The Uniersitas was about sprints (50 meters) and a 200m mixed swimming. I decided to swim on the 50m freestyle so I can qualify to the university’s team for the relay swimming. Also I was training mostly for the 200m mixed.
On 50m freestyle I was the fastest in the BME team (27.2 sec). So I qualified to the 4x50m relay and the 10×50 freestyle.
On 200m mixed I beated my personal best. My new record is 2:33. It was enough for the 5th place.
On the 4×50 relay it was a real joy to swim the last 50 meters in freestyle. I knew I was compiting for the gold medal. Unfortunatelly my speed after the 200m mixed was just enough for the 2nd place. 0.2sec behind from the first and 0.2sec in front of the third.
In the 10×50 we got the clear 2nd place.
It was real joy to compete. I would like to congratulate to all the winners. The results still motivates me to swim hard, so I can compete on the Balaton crossing and on the MEFOB in November.
I have told you in my article about how important is the physical preparation for extreme sports. Also it is a great fun / hobby when you don’t have chance to go out to the mountains or glide on water.
Hope you will work hard!