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Surfing, fitness and dreams

Surfing, fitness and dreams

SURFING: One day I wrote down my dream to be a ROXY girl and then I started doing everything I could to improve my surfing performance. Hayden would call that ‘focus’, and believe me, there is work and effort involved with any dream. Luckily my family backed me 100%, so I am very blessed. Thank you Mum, Dad & Zane.

By Hayden Rhodes

Sunday 21 May 2017, 11:00AM

Sienna says that the ever changing playing field is what makes surfing the best sport in the world.

Sienna says that the ever changing playing field is what makes surfing the best sport in the world.

There is something uniquely special about being on a beautiful beach and surfing with waves. Nothing compares to the way I feel when I surf – I am truly in love with surfing. It’s such a beautiful sport that connects you with nature, keeps you in great shape, and allows you to meet amazing people all around the world. Having a dream involved around what I love to do has been very powerful to consistently push my limits.

Surfing is physically and mentally demanding, especially surfing more powerful waves in crowded oceans. I am lucky that I can surf A LOT, yet specific surfing exercises help keep my body stronger, flexible and balanced for surfing. In Bali I did some Yoga with Hayden – it was pretty intense. He reminded me though, that alignment is key to power development and fluidity of movement for life; especially for any athlete. He reminds all surfers that staying, ‘younger for longer’ and ‘injury prevention’ (especially as you age) are massive benefits of surfing fitness training.

Surfing is a dynamic sport and the ocean is an ever changing median. You never know what surfing is going to throw at you. Being surf-fit allows you to be in the right place at the right time to catch the best waves.

When you started out, why was paddling fitness important?

Paddling fitness is vital because you need to be a strong paddler to get out the back and to be able to catch waves. It’s also important to be able to get out of the way of other surfers!

Starting out – was it easy?

The hardest challenges I found when I first started to surf was learning how to duck dive under waves, reading the ocean, and knowing which waves to take and which waves not to.

Surfing challenges and role models

The most challenging thing for me would be making myself surf in all types of conditions, whether it be surfing over sharp shallow reefs, dealing with the unbelievable crowds at snapper, but most of all being a girl surfer; is getting waves in a crowded line up and having the respect of all the boys.

Your top five surfer?

My top five all time favourite surfers would be: Stephanie Gilmore, Lakey Peterson, Nikki Van Dijk, Tatiana Weston-Webb, and Tyler Wright. These five are my favourites because I love the way each of them surf and their power and speed that comes with it. Their personalities and dedication are inspiring too.

Is being able to hold your breath underwater important?

Absolutely yes! Especially when you are challenging yourself to surf bigger and bigger waves. Having the ability to hold your breath under extreme conditions gives you confidence in large and heavy surf.

Your ideal surfing holiday and crew?

Above all, I have always wanted to challenge myself in Hawaii as these are the most challenging waves in the world. I would love to share this experience with my Dad and Brother.

What scares you about surfing?

Nothing really scares me about surfing, but if I have to name something that I dislike it would probably be; surfing alone, the possibility of sharks being around at some surf spots, and being held underwater by a wave for what seems like a long time.

Growing up with a surfing legend… how has your dad influenced you? Is he like a coach? What’s the best surfing life lessons Dad taught you?

I guess the main influence is being taught that surfing is more of a lifestyle than just a sport. Yes, dad is my only coach, whether it be coaching me about ocean awareness, body dynamics, surfboard design, and just surfing in general. Dad has taught me to respect those who respect you and always strive to improve yourself in all aspects of life, and to always be happy and friendly to all.”

Is surfing the greatest sport on earth? Why?

Yes! 100%, surfing is the best sport on earth! Because the playing field is constantly changing and no two surfs are ever the same.

What does surfing teach you?

Surfing teaches me that believing in myself makes all the difference. What you believe you can do, is what you will be able to do. If you go out surfing with a negative attitude chances are you’ll have a bad surf. With regard to performance and life; it’s not always the strongest person, but the best informed that performs the best. In other words, for surfing; there is no substitute for hours spent in the ocean.

Future contests, what’s the goal?

To me, the competitive side of surfing is not necessarily the ‘be all and end all’. So my future goals in surfing are to push myself further and further and to be the best I can possibly be.

Kicking Out…

Surfing is an amazing sport, the whole lifestyle is pretty incredible. I’m so lucky to be able to travel at such a young age and surf world class waves. In Bali earlier this year I surfed with my brother Zane, Scott James and Hayden – that was a great experience. Surfing delivers so much more to my life and as long as I have it with me I will be one happy girl! It’s like Hayden say’s, surfing is our best medicine.

Hayden Rhodes (Club Manager of Phukets Finest Health Club - RPM Health Club) is the creator of Surf Training and is known for his enthusiasm and lifelong love of health, fitness, personal development and surfing. He has been helping people improve their surfing and snowboarding around the world for more then 20 years.

Hayden believes everyone has the ability to improve their lives and promotes health as much as he promotes fitness. He continues to study, surf and snowboard around the world and looks forward to helping you up grade your lifestyle. Visit

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