Makani Adric talks about using jiu-jitsu to help her surfing

Makani Adric is preparing for the Red Bull Magnitide contest this winter and spoke to FanSided about some of her training methods.

Riding the biggest waves on the planet is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. Each winter surfers from all over the globe rush to Hawaii and other big wave locations around the world in hopes of finding the biggest ride of their lives. This year the ladies of big wave surfing are getting the chance to once more show the world that they know exactly what it takes to tame these monster waves.

The Red Bull Magnitude contest is the only female-inclusive big wave contest of its kind. Over the next three months, the athletes will have to ride waves over 15 feet in order to win this digital contest. One woman who has some experience already at this event is last year’s People’s Choice winner Makani Adric. Adric sat down with FanSided to discuss this year’s event, the training that is involved to ride huge waves, and winning the People’s Choice prize last year.

Makani Adric is seeking consistency with her unconventional training methods

“I always try to train my hardest for any competition and I’m kind of doing it more for the fun of it, and the experience,” Adric said. “But I think I do want to push myself in trying to catch bigger waves but I just want to stay consistent. So for me, consistency is key, then maybe trying to surf different outer reefs. There’s a lot of good competition out there.”

The prizes awarded for this contest consist of five categories, overall champion, best tow-in, best ride, biggest wave presented by Yeti, and a people’s choice. The Overall Champion will take home a $35,000 purse. The rest of the awards come with a $5,000 purse. Last year Adric was named the People’s  Choice champion.

“Winning the People’s Choice Award was really special to me. It meant a lot only because it’s coming from the people,” Adric said. “So it really showed me how many people were following my journey watching my surfing and my training. Then I know I had a lot of family and friends out there that wanted to vote for me and they all really believed in me.”

To be one of the top big wave surfers in the world, these athletes have to be at the top of their game. The dangers of the ocean go beyond what some people might think of as sharks or riptides. The biggest waves in the world can hold a surfer down. They can be hit with multiple sets one right after the other and being ready both physically and mentally is a big part of training for surfers. This is a reason many surfers choose to do their land training in jiu-jitsu gyms. Adric is one of the surfers who practice BJJ and she spoke a bit about how this helps her stay safe and ready in the water.

“I’ve been training at training jujitsu for quite a while now. It’s such a good community to be a part of men, women, they all want to surf then they all want to train,” Adric explained. “I think that if you are trying hard in Jiu-Jitsu, you don’t want to get submitted or choked out. You learn different techniques and ways of training. You want to better yourself every day and that’s the same with surfing. If you want to get better you practice, you be around different people and different waves. I always had it stuck in my mind that when I catch a big wave I know I’m going to be held down under for a while I think about it like, ‘Okay, I’m getting choked out, and am I going to defend and fight my way through this? Or am I going to tap out?’ And so it’s not bad to tap but you do want to try and defend.  So that’s what I think with surfing.”

Toughness is a requirement when entering the lineup at some of these big wave spots. Because of the digital nature of this contest, the riders will have to battle it out with not only each other at some spots but the crowd as well. Adric wants fans of Red Bull Magnitude to know that these ladies are willing to charge and bet the winning rides.

“I think that being out there and trying to catch waves with the guys, it’ll show everyone watching this event, how much work and sacrifice girls put in order to win this competition,” Adric said. “We’re always surfing with guys, surfing has always been a male-dominant sport. So to see the amount of girls out there trying, I think that we’re earning our respect and we’re paying our dues being out there with the men.”

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