Thai national Sebastian Karasek grew up in Phuket with a passion for the ocean, surfing and fitness.
Growing up surfing small fickle waves only a few months of each year how did his surfing get so good?
Traveling and being scared was a big part of the process
What does surfing offer you, give you, teach you? I am not religious but surfing is like going to church for me. As much as it is physical activity – you are also always in the moment, observing the ocean, how the water moves, where to go to increase your chances of catching a good wave. Surfing allows me to enter the ocean in a variety of conditions with confidence and respect mother nature. But most importantly it keeps me humble – I am always a better person when I come in after surfing. Hayden talks about surfing being our medicine and it is true – surfing commands respect and positively impacts all area’s of my life.
What’s your best advice for swell starved surfers and maintaining surfing fitness? Challenge yourself, travel, explore other islands around Sth East Asia and if you can’t get any waves spend time in the ocean regardless. Swimming helps a lot, flexibility helps a lot, using surfing exercises to stay in shape is a good idea.
How did you develop your mind and body so that when bigger, heavier surf arrives you can handle it. I feel there’s a fair balance of physical and mental training involved. Knowing your limit is the most important. Being aware of what you can and can’t do and knowing when to push it that little bit further is very important. Sometimes you just have to go and find out. One thing I’ve learned in surfing is that when I doubt my self or ability to make it (a wave) – It does not end well. Obviously having great surfing fitness and being in the water as often as possible is a game changer.
Maintaining surfing fitness is vital when you live in a spot with a long flat seasons – how do you stay surf fit and ready for bigger waves. Bigger waves means more energy in the ocean and usually means longer wipe outs and heavier hold downs. Being in top physical surfing fitness is huge when catching big waves, especially when needing that extra speed to get into the wave early. I aim to get in the water as often as possible and also use surfing exercises to keep my confidence high.
Surfing paddle fitness – what’s you take on it ? In short = if you don’t have good paddle fitness surfing is a lot less fun. Without good paddle fitness you catch less waves and your shoulders just don’t seem to work they way you want them too. Paddling fitness is key to any surfing exercise program, so during the flat season I am to swim, paddle and of course explore other islands with great surf.
How about duck diving and just catching loads of waves – any tricks or techniques? The best advice is to improve your paddle fitness and paddling technique – you will catch SO MANY more waves. Paddle fast into approaching waves to duck-dive… look for rip currents to help you paddle out in… and paddle fast to get through the break line after each wave.
Leaving Phuket for 3 – 4 years inland studying at university – how did that feel? Oh man it was so tough. Surfing fitness went straight downhill once I left to Europe. I was super happy to come back to an island with the ocean, in preparation for my return I did a few sessions at the gym just to activate my muscles and get in the right head space.Phuket is a pretty amazing place – I was psyched to be coming back.
Any future surfing dreams… ? I’m looking into learning how to shape – not necessarily to sell but I’m interested in making my own surfboard – and obviously continue to surf around the world.
Remember, surfing is our medicine – for private performance coaching to improve your surfing fitness or your surfing mind-body, contact Hayden at firstname.lastname@example.org
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