Professional wind surfer reflects on lessons learned
BY ROBBIE SWIFT
I can't quite believe it, but I am now one of the oldest riders on the PWA World Windsurfing Tour at 32. I have been competing professionally since I was 15 years old and have attended every single Wave event since then (except perhaps 1 per year during the 4 years when I suffered broken bones or ligaments). For several years I competed in Freestyle and Slalom too.
Although I am now one of the older competitors in a sport which is extremely tough on your body, I still feel like I can train for as long or longer than any of the younger guys and I am sure that a big part of it is due to nutrition. The coach I had between the ages of 17-25 taught me about the benefits of eating right and also introduced me to supplements. He recommended Hammer products to me for the premium, natural ingredients, so I have now been taking them for over 10 years. I have enjoyed seeing the introduction of many new, fantastic products during that time.
In the fi rst two events this year, I placed 5th and 6th and have only lost to the sailors ranked number 1 or 2 in the world. I have also had some of the highest heat score totals of my life, so I feel completely on my game and ready for the remaining four World Cup events of the year. The highlight of my year so far was my final heat in Tenerife which, even though I lost to the current world champion by a couple of points, it was the most complete heat I have ever sailed and the highest heat score I have ever attained. In fact, it was the 3rd highest score of the year so far by any sailor. I was able to do a pushloop forward (a back fl ip followed by a front fl ip in the same jump) and a double forward loop plus an 8 and a 9 point wave ride, scoring 9+ out of 10 in 3 of the 4 scoring categories and 8 in the 4th. That heat was also the 5th heat I had sailed in concession on a day. We had been at the beach since 7am and I finally sailed it at 3pm. Those are the kind of heats where I am most grateful to have learned about Hammer supplements.
On race day, I generally only eat small bites of Hammer Bars (unless we have a long break for lunch) and I put HEED or Endurolytes in every bottle of water. I have a tendency to over-hydrate myself at events due to nervous, unconscious sipping at my bottle when waiting for my heats, so I use the Purist Hammer water bottle to make sure that I only drink 1 bottle per hour. Fifteen minutes before each heat, I take a single serving of Hammer Gel. (Nocciola is my current favorite flavor, and Orange is a close second). At the end of every day of competing and every training session, I take a Recoverite (either Orange-Vanilla or Strawberry) and really notice the difference if I run out and can't take it for a few weeks.
Due to all my injuries (3 lisfranc fracture dislocations of the mid foot and 1 broken tibia/fibula), I now have 10 titanium screws and several anchors holding my bones and ligaments in my feet and ankles together. As a result, I am quite prone to aches and pains in the mornings. I take Tissue Rejuvenator every day with an EndurOmega and I definitely feel that they help me. Since I spend 6 months per year on the road, I also try to take Premium Insurance Caps and Phytomax with me to make sure I have all the vitamins and nutrients I need even if I can't always cook my favorite healthy foods. This year was the first year that I have discovered Nasol and Clear Day too. Since I suffer from bad hay-fever in several locations on tour, I am very happy that I have found a natural solution to the Benadryl I used to take, which made me very drowsy.
Last but not least, I also love my Compex muscle stimulator that I have had for about 4 years now. I do a lot of cycling and leg work outs to keep my legs, knees, and ankles in shape for the heavy impacts of jumping on the windsurfer. I really find that the Compex helps me wake up fresher the next day after these kinds of workouts.