Stab Magazine | The 'It' Training That Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Steph Gilmore And More Are Doing

The ‘It’ Training That Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Steph Gilmore And More Are Doing

This is how you train when you live in Malibu.

news // Aug 17, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Wim Hof breathing method has become the ‘it’ exercise for surfers. And, earlier today, before Laird Hamilton and wife Gabby Reece’s XPT (extreme performance training) Malibu experience – which starts tomorrow and finishes on the 19th – Kelly Slater, Steph Gilmore, and Frankie Harrer joined Laird for an “underwater morning,” as Steph called it.

The full XPT “experience” includes pool and recovery sessions at Gabby and Laird’s home. Don Wildman, the founder of Bally’s Total Fitness (the fittest man in America over 75!) hosts a beach workout. There’s also a SUP adventure, hiking, nutrition and so much more! But, if you’re in Malibu and have the $5k it costs to participate, you can’t, because the “experience” is sold out.

laird use

So, Wim Hof is a Dutch gent who’s been gaining notoriety in the surf world. He’s got Kelly (who passed out during a session), Koa and Alex Smith (who start each day off with the breathing method and swear by it), and Laird as devoted followers. Today, Steph and Frankie gave it a go, and more and more surfers are tapping this breathing exercise.

They call Wim Hof, The Iceman, since his tolerance to cold is practically inhuman. He’s renowned for “countless ice endeavours” which include sitting in a cylinder filled with ice up to his neck for 90 minutes-plus, long distance swimming beneath polar ice, running marathons barefoot and climbing Mt Everest bare-chested wearing shorts. Consistent use of the method claims to teach you how to control your nervous system and prevent disease.

In short, here’s how it works: It’s essentially hyperventilation. You lay on your back, or in meditation position, and breath 30 steady power breaths (or for about three minutes). On your last breath, you breathe as deep as possible and exhale until your lungs fill like dehydrated raisins. Until your body forces you to breathe again, hold it. Then repeat three times. After the fourth go, you flip over and do as many push-ups as you can before you pass out. Then lay back down and recover. Or jump into an ice bath as we see dear Frankie doing right here:


“Working up my ice cream headache tolerance,” Frankie. Photo: @frankieharrer

According to Wim, after the body scan of the previous exercise, you’re ready to let your body embrace the cold. It is very important to try to relax as much as you can, really be with the cold, only then can your body process the signals and start thermogenesis. As Wim says, “the cold is your warm friend!”

I did a session once with Koa Smith. As far as its ability to fight off disease, I have no input. All I can tell you is that afterwards, it releases adrenaline and serotonin. You feel a high similar to psychedelics or MDMA… no wonder people dig it.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

This Is How You Win The Backdoor Shootout

The Mason x Snapt4 highlight reel is a must-watch.

Jan 22, 2022

Carissa Moore, John Florence, Caity Simmers and Jai Glindeman are the 2021 Stab Surfers of the Year

Plus, Caity Simmer and Jai Glindeman take Best Juniors, 'Sonic Souvenirs' wins Best Edit, and…

Jan 21, 2022

John John Florence Could Win The 2022 World Title Traveling By Sail Boat

And here is exactly how.

Jan 21, 2022

50 Years Of Kelly Slater

Day 28: Masked, by Morgan Maassen.

Jan 21, 2022

You Can Ride Jack Robinson’s Stab In The Dark Boards

And so many others. See you at Camp Shred, the largest board demo in the…

Jan 20, 2022

Stab Surfer of the Year: Kelly Slater and The Stab Premium Members

Day Ten: You typed, we tallied up and Kelly Slater slid into our DMs.

Jan 20, 2022

Surf Fans And Athletes Urge WSL To #PutMaseInTheMasters

Mason Ho is the fiscally responsible wildcard decision.

Jan 20, 2022


Do You Have What It Takes To Surf The Triple Crown In A Single Day?

Harry Bryant & Micky Clarke take on the trifecta, the GOAT returns, Ivan Florence finds…

Jan 19, 2022

Why The WSL Is Going Back To Lowers

And is it the right call? Let's explore, and hear from Jessi Miley-Dyer.

Jan 18, 2022

The WSL Just Revealed Its 2022 Finals Location

It's not what you think.

Jan 18, 2022

Surfing Progressed At The Da Hui Backdoor Shootout

The all-female team stole the show. Here’s a recap, and a photo gallery from Arto…

Jan 18, 2022

Rivvia Projects Is The Fourth High-Profile Surfer-Owned Brand

Here’s what we know about Julian Wilson’s new endeavour.

Jan 17, 2022

Mason Ho & Snapt 4 Take Out The Da Hui Backdoor Shootout

Honorable mention to Kala Grace for his tapped 12-point ride.

Jan 17, 2022

Stab Surfer of the Year: Italo Ferreira, Bettylou Sakura Johnson, Matt Meola, Leo Fioravanti and Alex Knost

Day Nine: The calm before the Premium Members have the final say...

Jan 17, 2022

The Backdoor Shootout Finals Are On, Watch Here

The leaderboard is tight, and the waves are firing.

Jan 16, 2022

Surf Parenting: How I Became The Very Thing I Hated Most

A cautionary tale.

Jan 16, 2022

Tonga Underwater Volcano Erupts, Triggers Tsunami Warnings In US, Australia, Japan, NZ

Satellite footage is wild.

Jan 15, 2022

How The Yin & Yang Logo Stayed Hot At 50

Timeless design, quality product.

Jan 14, 2022