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How To Prep For XXL El Niño Year | Surfer

Nic at Mavericks. | Photo: Pompermayer


Rusty Surfboards team athlete and professional big wave surfer Nic Vaughan recently caught up with the crew at Surfer Mag and gave some tips on how an experienced surfer can prepare for an XXL winter, which is exactly what we're expecting this year thanks to El Niño. Check out some snippets from their interview below, but be sure to check out the article in its entirety HERE.

1. Match your boards to the type of wave you’ll be surfing

“First, think about what kind of wave you’ll be chasing before you decide what size and shape of board to ride. I’ve been working with Clint and Rusty Preisendorfer to build shorter, thicker and wider boards that will provide the needed paddle-power, but will be more maneuverable once you get to your feet. Be sure to work with an expert shaper who really knows the science behind surfboard design when preparing your big-wave battle spears."

2. Prepare your safety equipment

“First and foremost, when it comes to safety, never rely on anything man-made. It’s imperative to put in the hard yards yin terms of training and physical preparation so your body can survive any situation."

Nic with his 2015/16 winter quiver shaped by Rusty and Clint Preisendorfer. | Photo: Bryce Lowe-White

3. Study your target big-wave spot

“Studying the intricacies of a big wave you’re interested in surfing is hugely important. Watch as much footage as you can of your target wave, good conditions, bad conditions and everything in between, and try to visualize how you would successfully ride that wave."

4. Start your training regimen early

“It doesn’t really help to be big and muscular when it comes to the big-wave game. You want to be as gazelle or cheetah-like as possible. At the gym, I focus on low-weight high-repetitions with all of my exercises. Speed, agility, flexibility, and endurance are the pillars."

Nic at Jaws last winter. | Photo: Pompermayer

5. Keep your eyes peeled on the forecasting models

“If you’re a surfer going after these types of waves, I’d hope you have some basic knowledge of how to forecast a swell. Stormsurf and Surfline are both great tools for this. Keep your eyes on the models and before you know it, you’ll start to see some pretty colors swirling."

Read more from Surfer Mag HERE.