Laird Hamilton: Surf Legend Chooses Costa Rica Destination to Promote Health and Fitness
Laird Hamilton: Surf Legend Chooses Costa Rica Destination to Promote Health and Fitness. Most of us would probably agree that surfing is the best activity to maintain your surfing fitness. But is it enough? What about the times you can’t be out in the water?
If you have ever not surfed for a few weeks or even months and then gone back in the water, you know the feeling of being out of surf shape, even if you are still in great regular shape.
So, is there a way to train and stay on top of your surf game even when you are not surfing regularly? Is it possible to prepare for an upcoming surf trip when you don’t have waves at your disposal? What if surfing is not your thing, but you wouldn’t mind looking and feeling more like a surfer?
A weekend like this in Costa Rica
could change your life!
Who better to show us how it’s done than Laird Hamilton, named by Surfer Magazine as “the sport’s most complete surfer.” He is a living surf legend, having pushed the boundaries of big wave surfing and helped to pioneer the sport of stand up paddle boarding and hydrofoil boarding. Hamilton has also become a fitness and wellness icon. In better shape than most surfers half his age, the 55-year-old powerhouse charger is essentially the poster child for an all-around healthy lifestyle that surfers can embrace anytime, anywhere.
It just so happens that Costa Rica is where Hamilton will soon be sharing his tips and techniques firsthand during the XPT Experience, a three-day wellness retreat geared to all kinds of athletes and fitness enthusiasts including surfers. When Las Catalinas hosts the event June 20-22, it will be the first time XPT Experience participants will have an opportunity to surf, train and learn from Laird Hamilton himself. It will also be a first for him.
“I have never surfed in Costa Rica, and I can’t wait to paddle out,” he said when asked about the retreat location. “I have always heard of great spots like Pavones, Witch’s Rock, and Ollie’s Point and especially Playa Grande, where we will be surfing for the Experience. I’m looking forward to that adventure.”
Keys to Staying in Surfing Shape
To perform at our best in the ocean, a combination of flexibility, endurance, strength and balance is the key to maintain good surfing form. Surfing fitness also requires proper nutrition, sufficient hydration and a rested body.
Exercises that promote flexibility, core stability and the ability to flow from one movement to another will help keep your muscles limber and lubricated. Yoga, swimming, and cross-training that focuses on your specific surf muscles (triceps, biceps, deltoids, trapezius, abdominal muscles, latissimus dorsi, obliques, pectoralis major, quadriceps, gluteals and gastrocnemius) can be beneficial during dry spells.
A clean diet rich in lean protein, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, as well as at least two liters of water a day, is vital.
Basically, surfing is a whole lifestyle, and the best way to stay in at least semi-surf shape when you are not consistently surfing is to maintain the other components of the lifestyle.
Ideal fit for XPT
With Costa Rica long recognized as a surf and wellness destination, deciding to host the three-day “fitness vacation” here seemed like a no-brainer for Hamilton and his wife, pro-volleyball player and wellness guru Gabrielle Reece. The celebrated sports couple created the XPT Experience in early 2016 as a way to share their exercise and lifestyle philosophy to promote balanced and healthy lifestyles.
“Costa Rica will be the perfect place to bring our XPT curriculum and to explore new activities such as underwater ocean training and surfing,” Hamilton said. “It’s an adventure our whole team is looking forward to.”
Las Catalinas, north of Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo, was hand-chosen by Laird and Gabrielle for a variety of reasons. As a car-free beachfront community on one of northern Guanacaste’s most picturesque coastlines, it was designed to promote a healthy, active, and sustainable lifestyle. People from all around the world come here to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities ranging from yoga to snorkeling and scuba diving. There are some surf breaks to the north and south, as well as three uncrowded and pristine beaches. The bay is protected and typically very calm for paddle boarding and ocean strength training. There are also 40 kilometers of mountain biking and hiking trails through Las Catalinas, where the panoramic views will take your breath away!
With diet and nutrition being significant components of the XPT way of life, Costa Rica is also ideal for enjoying an easily accessible, colorful and delicious selection of fresh, locally sourced food. Laird and Gabrielle promote a paleo-based diet.
Above all, Costa Rica is a place that naturally inspires spending more time outdoors and in nature. It is difficult to stay inside and inactive in such a lively and mesmerizing destination.
It’s a place where even non-surfers can take a page from Laird Hamilton’s playbook in connecting with a more physically active and healthy self. It may be easier here than anywhere else to attain or maintain that best version of yourself. Say goodbye to gyms and hello to ocean, sand, and mountain fitness. A weekend like this in Costa Rica could change your life!
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