Big Waves & Fearless Fun: The Psychology Of Surf with Garrett McNamara #282

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By Luke Storey. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We’ve had some pretty heavy episodes lately, but this week we’re keeping it chill. And how can we get more chill than a conversation with international big wave explorer Garrett McNamara (and his adorable daughter)?

Garrett has done some insane stuff in his days, much of which is documented in his wild memoir "Hound of the Sea: Wild Man. Wild Waves. Wild Wisdom." We’re talking about things like surfing Tsunami waves generated by caving glaciers in Alaska, getting smashed by a 50-foot wave at Mavericks, and breaking the world record for surfing the largest wave in Nazaré, Portugal.

We also get into the fear of death that you feel facing these monstrous waves and how Garrett got over it, his top biohacks for healing and recovery, and when to rely on Western medicine versus Eastern healing philosophies.

This episode is a whole lot of fun, with some absolutely wild stories, but there are also some great lessons to learn about maintaining your body and health. I mean, this dude was competing at the highest level of big wave surfing in his 50s with kids half his age, so I’m taking notes.

08:30 — Garrett’s upcoming documentary

  • The documentary will cover surfers who have experienced injuries and were told not to go back to big wave surfing

12:05 — Garrett’s rough childhood and how that contributed to his determination to succeed

  • He had to work for everything
  • Developing an unwavering focus on achieving something great
  • His experience with drugs

15:00 — Surfing tsunami waves created by a caving glacier

  • The goal: surfing a wave created by a force other than a low-pressure system
  • Possibly the craziest and dumbest thing Garrett’s done?

19:15 — Facing the fear of death (and getting over it)

  • The process of mastering fear
  • A short glossary of need-to-know surf terms
  • Naming his kid “Barrel”

26:00 — What it was like riding the 78-foot wave in Nazaré

  • Garrett thinks there have been bigger waves ridden since then
  • He wasn’t even planning to surf that day
  • He was actually really frustrated on the wave at first
  • How do they measure big waves? It’s surprisingly controversial
  • What’s it like being put on a pedestal within your field?
  • "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Pocketbook Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams" by Deepak Chopra
  • The impact of drug legalization in Portugal

36:40 — The history of surfing and the first humans on record to do it

  • It started in Hawaii as the sport of kings, and only kings could surf

37:50 — His deep relationship with the sea and why he connects so profoundly with the water

  • Surfing was a long-time passion, becoming a pro was a fluke
  • Garrett is actually allergic to saltwater
  • McNamara means Hound of the Sea

41:15 — The epic tale of getting smashed by a 50-foot wave at Mavericks

47:00 — Garrett’s relationship with pain and how he gets through it

  • When to rely on Western medicine Vs. Eastern philosophies of healing
  • The x-ray of Garrett’s shattered foot
  • How Garrett felt violated after some of his surgeries
  • We can choose how we react in any moment

01:03:50 — Garrett’s experience with plant medicines

  • A love-filled family San Pedro experience
  • Garrett’s ayahuasca experiences

01:11:35 — The key to holding your breath for a ridiculously long time

01:14:45 — The one time Luke went surfing

  • Garrett’s recommendation for people new to surfing
  • Go out with a teacher when you go for the first time
  • Use a 10-12 foot stand up board

01:18:00 — Garrett’s special Mercedes surfboard

  • Why Mercedes wanted to create a board
  • Working with engineers to create the best board

01:21:00 — What’s next for Garrett?

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

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