Stab Magazine | Conner Coffin, Telos Islands
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Conner Coffin, Telos Islands

In a sport as heavily reliant on fortune, subjective grading systems and pop cultural shifts as surfing, is intelligence a credit or a curse? “We did this thing for Hurley where they set up questions to figure out which out of four categories we fell into and I was an analyser. And it was so […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by Jimmy Wilson
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In a sport as heavily reliant on fortune, subjective grading systems and pop cultural shifts as surfing, is intelligence a credit or a curse?

“We did this thing for Hurley where they set up questions to figure out which out of four categories we fell into and I was an analyser. And it was so true. If I go out in a heat I think about everything. I head bang myself all the time,” says 17 year old Conner Coffin.

The Santa Barbra raised surfer is intelligent and self-analytical. He knows the key to an extended journey through pro surfing is equal parts surfing ability and personality. But knowing too much about this sport definitely has a flip side.

“Surfing is hard in general but as far as competitions go – with the waves it’s not like it’s a court. And once you start losing a lot you get on a streak and you start second guessing yourself,” he says.

To combat the mental grate, Conner reads up on sports psychology. He’s particularly attracted to the notion that thinking positive leads to a positive subconscious state, which in turn affects your conscious state. It’s something he practices but it wasn’t enough to stop an over-think during a session at the heavy left of Nokanduis during our super grom trip. One that saw him injured.

“I was like ‘Damn, if I pull into this closeout I might hit the reef.’ I overanalysed it and (Conner makes the noise of a crunch, referring to the perforated ear drum). I know you’re safer in the barrel and that I should have pulled in.”

Despite the tapestry of variables, surfing still has constants you can rely on. Here Conner’s found one that keeps him coming back.

“If I don’t surf for a couple of days, things just start going bad for me. I’m not a happy person,” he says. – Jed Smith

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