Film: Etienne Aurelius
Eli Olson Has This Surf x Training Thing Pretty Dialed
What better practice for hold-downs than Jiu Jitsu?
I genuinely appreciate the North Shore's tube specialists. You can write them off as one-trick ponies or straight-hander Randalls, but I dare you, or anyone, to paddle into the lineup at Pipe, sit patiently, and see if you want anything to do with the waves they turn on. It's bewildering to most that a human would choose to paddle into something moving so quickly with such a steep entry. The shallow reef below only adds to the drama.
To train for these heavy-water situations, guys like Eli Olson put in hours at the gym, in the pool, and on the mat. I've never tried it, but I'd say jiu jitsu is a pretty logical land-practice for surfing. It works on your balance, strength, feeling comfortable in "compromising" positions... and breathing. (It's worth noting: jiu jitsu doesn't seem to help much with the air game. Maybe add trampolining to the regiment?)