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General Category => Random => Topic started by: 805StandUp on June 10, 2018, 07:23:53 AM

Title: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: 805StandUp on June 10, 2018, 07:23:53 AM

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/jun/10/why-laird-hamilton-is-still-making-waves-surfing-legend-lifestyle-guru
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Dusk Patrol on June 10, 2018, 09:33:44 AM
I DO kind of use Laird as a reference point for health & fitness, being approx the same age. I’m actually one year older, which is the reason for the difference in our physiques.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 10, 2018, 11:28:28 AM
Yeah also used him as a reference for fitness.

Quite interesting to read and see where he is at today.  But never realized he was younger than us as well.  Just remember those vids where he is working out like a madman in the gym and blasting monster waves on his foil.  That was inspirational.

Vids were actually a big motivator to get a squat rack and decline bench and use our free weights more.  Actually has been the best thing ever from a muscle building perspective as was losing it before.  So it is possible to build some muscle -> even against age related sarcopenia and somatopause.

https://youtu.be/WasniaqLQIw
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Quickbeam on June 10, 2018, 12:32:49 PM

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/jun/10/why-laird-hamilton-is-still-making-waves-surfing-legend-lifestyle-guru

Excellent article. Thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: surfcowboy on June 10, 2018, 07:11:03 PM
i wish he'd do a bit more internal and spiritual work as "suck it up" doesn't always work for all things (like emotional wounds from a rough childhood for example.) But most of his advice is sound even if I don't buy the brand.

I've shared waves with he and Don and Don is a monster. He was like 75 at the time and smoked me on every wave. So fun to see and inspiring.

Note that he's claiming to hit 50 mph on those big waves with that tiny aluminum foil. Interesting....
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: SUPcheat on June 11, 2018, 09:40:19 AM
https://www.adventuresportsnetwork.com/sport/surf/laird-hamilton-stays-awake-during-hip-replacement-surgery/

Laird is a member of the hip replacement SUP club.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 11, 2018, 11:13:48 AM
What’s with all the hippy dippy crap about electrical signals from the earth making their way into your feet?

Much as I admire what Laird has done, and enjoy listening to him, it’s hard to take nutritional or lifestyle advice from someone who just doesn’t care about what science has to say.

Maybe cut down on those 5 espressos you have for breakfast, Laird. No wonder you are feeling vibrations from the cosmos through your feet :)
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 11, 2018, 11:33:36 AM
Yeah after reading a bit and watching a couple recent vids -> seems he is a bit out there on nutrition and especially lifestyle.  Guru?  Hmm?
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: connector14 on June 11, 2018, 02:48:24 PM
Which one is Laird in the upper photo?  :o
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Bean on June 11, 2018, 05:30:17 PM
Note that he's claiming to hit 50 mph on those big waves with that tiny aluminum foil. Interesting....

I would tend to believe that.  I wonder what the speed record is for a non-powered watercraft? Trace?
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Beasho on June 11, 2018, 06:14:07 PM
https://youtu.be/g3AV1LJwQus
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Beasho on June 11, 2018, 06:14:27 PM
The guy is impressive on many fronts.  Most of which are in the surf.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N01vrLwAWiM
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: surfcowboy on June 11, 2018, 07:56:53 PM
I don't doubt the speed. Those tiny foils and massive waves could generate that for sure.

As to the science side of things, I'd need a control where I live in Malibu and Hanalei with wealth enough to just prioritize eating well and surfing in order to see if it's just genetics or if his ideas have merit. Anyone want to fund my research?
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: 805StandUp on June 11, 2018, 08:19:19 PM
i wish he'd do a bit more internal and spiritual work as "suck it up" doesn't always work for all things (like emotional wounds from a rough childhood for example.) But most of his advice is sound even if I don't buy the brand.

As someone that has practiced yoga and martial arts for many many more years than I have surfed, I tend to agree.  That said with his intensity I suspect he will continue to find his solace in big waves.  Interestingly some of what he is doing now were done by others way before him (e.g. Aikido's O'Sensei and his practice of Misogi seem similar to Laird's ice water baths and Chinese medicine believes in the benefits of walking barefoot and walking on river stones)... That said, I personally have not had a great deal of interest to partake in his coffee products or XPT however one of the Surf shop owners that I was talking to did tell me Laird seems to have found generating income from these lifestyle brands much easier than selling boards.  I do hope that someone picks up the board distribution after Nidecker concludes because I do love his boards.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Zooport on June 11, 2018, 09:19:18 PM
Holy cow!  Holding weights in overhead water in a swimming pool and jumping to get a breath?  Sinking down to the bottom and repeating over and over?  That sounds pretty tough.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 12, 2018, 12:58:40 AM
Holy cow!  Holding weights in overhead water in a swimming pool and jumping to get a breath?  Sinking down to the bottom and repeating over and over?  That sounds pretty tough.
Really? I was just thinking how easy and achievable that sounded - like the sort of thing I’ve done for fun for many years. It’s not hard. Much easier than some of the other things that Laird does. I doubt it helps your swimming a huge amount though. If you want to swim well, you have to swim, not jump up and down on the bottom of a pool. But he’s got a brand to maintain, so has to generate wacky new exercise ideas to fill the lifestyle magazines and sell his coffee enemas or whatever it is he sells. Special golf balls to roll your feet on, perhaps, to go alongside the motorised golf cart? You gotta love what this guy has achieved in the water, and SUPers have a lot to thank him for. But he’s becoming a kind of self-parody. I feel that the Laird brand is about to jump the shark.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: addapost on June 12, 2018, 03:04:38 AM
Holy cow!  Holding weights in overhead water in a swimming pool and jumping to get a breath?  Sinking down to the bottom and repeating over and over?  That sounds pretty tough.
Really? I was just thinking how easy and achievable that sounded - like the sort of thing I’ve done for fun for many years. It’s not hard. Much easier than some of the other things that Laird does. I doubt it helps your swimming a huge amount though. If you want to swim well, you have to swim, not jump up and down on the bottom of a pool. But he’s got a brand to maintain, so has to generate wacky new exercise ideas to fill the lifestyle magazines and sell his coffee enemas or whatever it is he sells. Special golf balls to roll your feet on, perhaps, to go alongside the motorised golf cart? You gotta love what this guy has achieved in the water, and SUPers have a lot to thank him for. But he’s becoming a kind of self-parody. I feel that the Laird brand is about to jump the shark.
Agree 100% Kinda sad to see really.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: ukgm on June 12, 2018, 04:02:47 AM
There is some weird stuff that doesn't stack up but I can vouch for a lot of what he suggests. Strength and conditioning is essential post 40 and i can recommend barefoot for improving balance. I wear vibram five finger shoes a lot as I discovered quickly it was improving my board handling.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Bean on June 12, 2018, 04:08:46 AM
I'll bet we will be having this same conversation when Laird is 86.  "He's peaked"... "what"? ;D
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 12, 2018, 05:45:54 AM
There is some weird stuff that doesn't stack up but I can vouch for a lot of what he suggests. Strength and conditioning is essential post 40 and i can recommend barefoot for improving balance. I wear vibram five finger shoes a lot as I discovered quickly it was improving my board handling.
Yeah but strip away the weirdo nonsense and you are just left with the same advice that any fitness instructor would say these days. And let’s remember that a few years ago the instruction was all about high carbs and low fat!

Anyone who regularly uses wetsuit boots when surfing or SUPing knows the effect that it has on balance. But I doubt that not wearing shoes makes balance ability, rather than balance performance, any better. It might even be better to train in thick boots but compete in bare feet.

But I think what is going on here is Laird going mainstream. He’s got a limited lifespan (as an athlete, because of age) before he has to go down the Gerry Lopez “mystical guru” route to get a gig, so he needs to go mainstream and flog a lot of product as fast as he can now. To go mainstream you have to simplify your message to the point of banality, and rely on the “horoscope effect”.

Unfortunately a similar thing is happening with SUP round me. It’s wall-to-wall beginners on £200 inflatables on a sunny day. They have NO idea, and most probably have never done any other sport to even a moderate degree before. So the general discussions on social media etc are so mind-numbingly basic that it is kinda disengaging the previous early-adopter SUPers (who usually had a solid background in other sports before SUP), who are moving on to foiling, almost as away of distancing themselves from the “inflatable flotilla”. At the same time a bunch of largely self-appointed “experts” have appeared to service the wallets and questions of the inflatable newbies, and often their advice is based on pretty limited experience (and a desire to sell whatever they are selling) so it is a bit dubious sometimes.

SUP never was that cool. But now it has become very obviously uncool (at least, where I live). Maybe SUP is about to jump the shark itself, and Laird is just leading the way, as he always has done.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 12, 2018, 12:10:57 PM
"Strength and conditioning is essential post 40 and i can recommend barefoot for improving balance."

Try running barefoot on cool asphalt or any other hard surface to get your feet to feel the ground.  Your foot nerve endings will awaken.  All the while your running technique will adapt and improve.  Did this around 5 years ago and have never looked back.

Since then use Vibrams to detune the ride or zero drop with minimal cushion for running in the mtns.  But do use plenty of cushion for walking.

For SUP like to go barefoot or Vibrams or thick booties depending on water temp.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Zooport on June 12, 2018, 03:05:28 PM
Holy cow!  Holding weights in overhead water in a swimming pool and jumping to get a breath?  Sinking down to the bottom and repeating over and over?  That sounds pretty tough.
Really? I was just thinking how easy and achievable that sounded - like the sort of thing I’ve done for fun for many years. It’s not hard.

Depends on how much weight you are holding onto. 
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 12, 2018, 04:39:36 PM
"Strength and conditioning is essential post 40 and i can recommend barefoot for improving balance."

Try running barefoot on cool asphalt or any other hard surface to get your feet to feel the ground.  Your foot nerve endings will awaken.  All the while your running technique will adapt and improve.  Did this around 5 years ago and have never looked back.

Since then use Vibrams to detune the ride or zero drop with minimal cushion for running in the mtns.  But do use plenty of cushion for walking.

For SUP like to go barefoot or Vibrams or thick booties depending on water temp.
I’ve gone a step further than this. This is my own routine to enhance foot sensitivity and flexibility:

I lay out 100 cornflakes on a large baking tray and then give myself 5 minutes to move them one by one from the tray and into a large mug, without breaking any, using only one foot. Then I repeat with the other foot.

It was very hard at first. But now I’ve mastered it, just about, and the extra foot sensitivity means that I can now hop on one foot up and over a set of sand dunes near me that are half a mile long, without stumbling. Before I started the cornflake exercise I was falling all over the place. My wife has even bought me my own packet of cornflakes to do this with, and the local press heard about this new fitness routine and came and took some photos of me on the dunes. Shortly afterwards I was offered a position in a local gym to develop the idea for groups of people, and we just had our first group session last Friday, with 16 people. We got through a lot of cornflakes and the vacuum cleaner was doing overtime, but it’s amazing how the people actually seemed lighter on their feet as they left. I’m sure that being able to be lighter on your feet will be a positive thing for the SUPers amongst them. They’ll be able to float on the water so much lighter that they might need to get lower volume boards.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 12, 2018, 04:51:57 PM
Wow.  Thought you were going to say you ate them after moving them.  ;D
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 12, 2018, 04:53:33 PM
Wow.  Thought you were going to say you ate them after moving them.  ;D
No, that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 12, 2018, 05:00:46 PM
About as much as the flexy SB organic porpoise advert.  ;D
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: SUPcheat on June 12, 2018, 05:18:07 PM
Nothing worse than athlete's foot cornflakes.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 12, 2018, 05:19:47 PM
Nothing worse than athlete's foot cornflakes.
Yum yum.

https://youtu.be/D-n8G_V24uw
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Bean on June 12, 2018, 05:30:55 PM
Aren't you concerned you may become a cereal killer...
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 12, 2018, 05:47:08 PM
Fonzarelli JTS.  ;)

https://youtu.be/ahxG3iPeVcU
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: PonoBill on June 12, 2018, 08:02:43 PM
Laird's been saying exactly the same things as long as I've been aware of him. I heard him expounding on the "energy from the earth" stuff twenty years ago at Jacques restaurant in Maui. Same words. The weights in the pool thing has been going on for a decade or more too, and it's not the little thing he made it sound like. It's a mashup of the Wim what'shisname breath hold stuff and extreme effort underwater. There are only a few people he can do it with. There have been some pretty funky mishaps. I recall an article a few years ago when the writer was trying to do that with Laird and nearly drowned. He blacked out and need to be pumped out. Then he tried to do some of Laird's breath control stuff and pitched off the couch in convulsions.

From my vantage point, which is a step away or so, I'd say the reason Laird is still fascinating is that he actually does a lot more than the hype. He's actually a lot better than his legend. That's what I get from people who are close to him who like him and people who don't. I've seen him paddle SUP at Peahi--I've never seen a SUP move that fast before. Visibly different, just moving from the right side over to the left. I've seen him surfing Ho'okipa on a 14' SUP in crazy conditions, with no one else out. Cranking wind, 10 to 15 foot Hawaiian. Insane. Admin shot a video of it that was on the home page for a long time. Most people would have been wiped out just trying to paddle out. He did it effortlessly. I couldn't even understand how he was doing it, and I watched for at least an hour, trying to figure it out.

I sound like a fanboy, and I don't think I am, I'm just relating what I hear from the people I know, like Dave Kalama, Brett Lickle, Loch Eggers. They all say about the same thing. That he's a lot better than what's reported.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 12, 2018, 11:24:18 PM
Yeah, that’s why the steady move to self-parody of the Laird brand is so painful. You gotta seperate Laird the person from Laird the brand. Laird the person is remarkable. Laird the brand is looking a bit cliched, IMO, and getting more so as he becomes a mainstream fitness “guru”. He’s got competition these days from Kai Lenny (ironically, perhaps) who seems to be doing fine without too much self-parody.

As for the dangers of the fitness recommendations, this is hardly a positive. A fitness instructor who encourages their friends to engage in activity which causes a medically dangerous situation needs to take a look at themselves. As Laird has said, he’s off-the-scale competitive. Maybe he has a need to crush his friends in the gym as much as in the water? That kind of drive can lead to self-parody too.

It’s a shame that he never competed. Everything to lose and nothing to gain, I suppose, in terms of the brand. The brand relies on us believing that the guy is superhuman and would beat all comers at everything. Maybe he would. Or maybe he’s got himself in the position where even one sign of weakness and the brand evaporates. That’s kinda sad, really. Even Usain Bolt had his off days, and time catches up with us all. Maybe he should start emphasising a little more how to maintain a bit of equilibrium in one’s life: the “everything in moderation, including moderation” bit is a good line. How do you do that when you are a ball of animal drives and ego that makes you want to push yourself and others around you to stupid levels? I’d like to hear a bit more about that rather than the Lance Burkhart “you don’t have to be crazy to work here but it helps” type stuff. He could certainly do that - he’s a thoughtful guy. But the mainstream will take his brand into self-parody and risk destroying it in the process.

Anyway, if Laird had told you about the cornflake exercise you’d all have your feet in breakfast cereal right now. So I guess he’s doing something right, after all.

Btw. I met this guy Ross Edgely a couple of days ago. He was taking a sleep on his boat before his next 6-hour stint in the water (he’s doing 6 hours swim, six hours rest, continuously) so a bunch of us paddled out to his boat before he set off and spoke with him. He came across as very friendly and unassuming. Tough for someone that build to swim so much, I’d have thought. He must have the hydrodynamics of a brick. But I can tell you that swimming in UK waters is not for the delicate. It’s so damn cold and murky, even in the summer, and the weather can turn windy and foul at any time (in fact it’s going to be 60 knots in the UK tomorrow, up North). I can’t even think about the amount of chafing that must go on with the wetsuit. But maybe chafing is small beer compared to swimming 100km while tied to a tree, or rope climbing the height of Everest.

https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/ross-edgley-great-british-swim
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: ukgm on June 13, 2018, 01:57:06 AM
Anyone who regularly uses wetsuit boots when surfing or SUPing knows the effect that it has on balance. But I doubt that not wearing shoes makes balance ability, rather than balance performance, any better. It might even be better to train in thick boots but compete in bare feet.


Nope, tried that and it was a disaster. Its the equivalent of training to bench 40kg and then being asked to do a different exercise on race day. The foot muscles are completely underdeveloped and won't fire properly and it leads to increased fatigue that eventually travels up from legs to hips. The reverse would be ok though.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 13, 2018, 02:44:06 AM
Anyone who regularly uses wetsuit boots when surfing or SUPing knows the effect that it has on balance. But I doubt that not wearing shoes makes balance ability, rather than balance performance, any better. It might even be better to train in thick boots but compete in bare feet.


Nope, tried that and it was a disaster. Its the equivalent of training to bench 40kg and then being asked to do a different exercise on race day. The foot muscles are completely underdeveloped and won't fire properly and it leads to increased fatigue that eventually travels up from legs to hips. The reverse would be ok though.
“Foot muscles underdeveloped”? Don’t you walk around at home with bare feet? I think this is all in your mind. Paddling with wetsuit boots on enters a huge amount of error variance into your proprioception (a bit like standing on a wobble board on top of your board), so it would develop your “foot muscles” and proprioceptive awareness even more.

But it it is hugely more pleasant to paddle with bare feet, and you get much more of a sense of what your board is doing, which can help significantly with your balance. I’ve been paddling for the last couple of months in the UK with bare feet (both sea and inland) and I’m dreading having to go back to boots for winter. I don’t really see the point of the Vibrams etc - if it’s warm enough to wear them then I’d rather wear nothing.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: PonoBill on June 13, 2018, 08:53:09 AM
That's been a standing joke with my wife and I for years--that if Laird walked around with underwear on his head in three weeks there would be a Skivvy(TM) hat and everyone would be wearing it.

Laird is one of those people that rarely gets bullshit called to his face, so everything he believes--real or not, gets continually reinforced by the sycophants around him and random reinforcing experiences. I think that's why and how celebrities get so weird.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Bean on June 13, 2018, 10:04:47 AM
Yes, you are absolutely correct PB! ;D
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: SUP Leave on June 13, 2018, 10:39:08 AM
My wife and I were watching some Laird thing on TV a while ago and I told her that Laird and myself were the same height and weight. (6'2, 220#).

She said "Well his bones must be made of iron then".
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Dusk Patrol on June 13, 2018, 10:43:34 AM
Laird is one of those people that rarely gets bullshit called to his face, so everything he believes--real or not, gets continually reinforced by the sycophants around him and random reinforcing experiences. I think that's why and how celebrities get so weird.

Think of the deficit to his brand caused by the flakiness (no offense to Area10)... in other words, what he could be achieving if he had a 100% credible message, instead of a 50% credible message.     
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 13, 2018, 11:34:10 AM
Yeah, people treat Laird as if he’s a powerful god. Power does funny things to you.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/power-causes-brain-damage/528711/

Tough to keep your (bare) feet on the ground - and grounded in an electrical sense :) - when everyone treats you like a real-life Marvel superhero.

I’m off now to do a headstand on a golf ball.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Dusk Patrol on June 13, 2018, 12:31:47 PM
I followed the link to the Atlantic article and was greeted by an ad from Vibram for their reef shoes, which is an interest of mine on another thread. While not surprising, the speed at which these things happen still amazes.

Lucy Liu also wants me to join her at The Mandarin Oriental, so I got that goin' for me...
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 13, 2018, 01:25:55 PM
I followed the link to the Atlantic article and was greeted by an ad from Vibram for their reef shoes, which is an interest of mine on another thread. While not surprising, the speed at which these things happen still amazes.

Lucy Liu also wants me to join her at The Mandarin Oriental, so I got that goin' for me...
Don’t forget to wear your Vibrams when you join her.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: addapost on June 13, 2018, 02:05:32 PM
Laird has the 1-in-a-million genetics of a professional athlete such as a football or basketball player. A combination of size, strength, stamina, drive, grace etc. that are all off the chart. With those genes in place, his fitness could be achieved via any one of a dozen variations of what state of the art training programs pro athletes use today. The reason he stands out is because he is playing in an arena that neither requires nor really rewards those genetics. If he were a pro football or basketball player his body type and fitness would be utterly unremarkable compared to his peers, he'd be average among them. It's almost a joke. It's like an adult playing soccer with a bunch of U-10's and running circles around them with everyone crying, "look how good he is, look how good he is!" No shit.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: connector14 on June 13, 2018, 03:14:12 PM
 "...and was greeted by an ad from Vibram for their reef shoes, which is an interest of mine on another thread"

Amazing how fast that happens huh? I also am now getting bombarded with ads for that Vibram brand after having clicked once to check them out!
Hey,  back in the day my first SUP lesson from Hannah Hill.....don't ever wear shoes or anything on your feet...you need to "feel" the board. I guess sooner or later my bloodied feet (from walking across our oyster beach on Hood Canal) would "harden" to the task! ):.........
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 14, 2018, 08:31:48 AM
"Studies suggest that landing on your forefoot is the most effective running style as it allows the arch of your foot to act as a natural shock absorber"

"By being a forefoot runner that allows you to actually engage your ankle as you are landing so you are cushioning your landing much more and that should take some pressure off the knee and hip joints but you are potentially loading the ankle joint more"

"It's really making all those little intrinsic muscles of the foot power up and start working and it actually works in conjunction with the extrinsic muscles of the foot as well"

Found that changing from heel strike to -> mid-forefoot strike allowed me to run down any hill without pain.  While my soleus built up like crazy.  Speed also increased a lot.  Overall very positive -> but would transition very very slow as your muscles and tendons and bones do need a lot of time to adapt and strengthen up for the new different loads.  ;)

https://youtu.be/OOv9wdPvCFk

https://youtu.be/9F01JqhaoAU
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: stoneaxe on June 14, 2018, 11:41:47 AM
I admire Laird a lot, just as many of us do. Shit...I feel like I owe the guy in a way. But I agree the brand suffers from some of the weirdness. But that's only with folks that are rational. How many have bought hologram bracelets or magnets to help their balance? Coffee and lifestyle are bound to work better than those anyway.... ;)

A10 ...Deadening your feet by wearing booties doesn't build propreoceptive awareness. Propreoception depends on quality feedback, deadening your sensors won't help.

While I don't believe I'm tapping into the earth energy I do know that being barefoot makes me feel better. I used to go barefoot pretty much all summer when I was a teen, at least when I could which was most of the time. I never used to think about what it did for me. Now I do it concsiously to help with my balance and taking shoes off always feels good anyway. Getting all the muscles and bones engaged, feeling the texture of the ground, etc..all increases propreoception. A little that gets lost when you encase it in leather or rubber.


Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 14, 2018, 11:52:13 AM
Show me the physiological evidence that you can “build proprioception”. By the logic you are using, tickling the bottom of your feet with a feather should help your balance. If anything, bring barefoot might make you less sensitive to touch because you’ll be thickening the skin on the soles of your feet.

I doubt that a sense of touch is something that can be taught.

Being barefoot just feels nicer, that’s all, and it makes you less wobbly because you are getting more proprioceptive feedback, and you have a tighter connection with your board. But put the boots back on and your balance won’t be any better than it was in boots before you went barefoot. Whereas if you are right, it would be. Placebo effects are real, and are everywhere.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: stoneaxe on June 14, 2018, 02:56:49 PM
Physiological evidence like it being a core concept of physical and vestibular therapy.....??? Building proprioception is also at the core of every high level athlete, dancer, you name the physical job. Without the ability to improve it Baryshnikov would not exist.
https://physioworks.com.au/treatments-1/proprioception-balance-exercises

From 2014...a study on studies if you will concerning training proprioception for improving motor function...the summary

In summary, our aim was to review the available literature in order to provide clarity to the notion of training the proprioceptive system. There is converging evidence that proprioceptive training can yield meaningful improvements in somatosensory and sensorimotor function. However, there is a clear need for further work. With respect to improving motor function, an amalgamated approach may be most advantageous. Those forms of training incorporating both passive and active movements (i.e., proprioceptive and sensorimotor information) with and without visual feedback appear to be most beneficial. There is also initial evidence suggesting that proprioceptive training induces cortical reorganization, providing evidence for the notion that proprioceptive training is a viable method for improving motor function.

Full text
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4309156/
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 14, 2018, 03:19:01 PM
Interesting review, thanks. But the term proprioception, as that article puts it, “refers to the conscious awareness of body and limbs and has several distinct properties: passive motion sense, active motion sense, limb position sense, and the sense of heaviness (Goldscheider, 1898)”.

There may be some evidence that exercise aimed at training these things (e.g. limb position sense) may alter athletic or everyday performance. But the point I was making was what is the evidence that not wearing boots (on a SUP) trains any of these things? As I asked before - don’t you guys have bare feet at home? So why if you have bare feet at home for hours and hours a day will being on a SUP with bare feet (rather than wearing boots) suddenly have some dramatic effect that hours of walking/standing around at home won’t have? What is the evidence that a sense of touch, which is presumably what you are talking about when you talk about what bare feet gives you (since standing on a board with bare feet will require substantially the same other physiological systems as standing on the board in boots) can either be trained, or that it leads to changes in proprioception? As I said before, I doubt this evidence exists.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: addapost on June 14, 2018, 04:54:58 PM
There are at least three very different systems involved in what we call "balance". They are integrated to produce the phenomena we call "balance" but they are very different things. One can probably not be changed but the other two most certainly can.
1. First is the sensory input system. The brain needs information about what is happening to the body.
2. Next is the brain processing that input and deciding what to do about it. And finally...
3. The skeletal-muscular system actually carrying out whatever action the brain decided on.

When it comes to the first step- sensory input- "proprioceptors" are just one of at least three different input systems along with vision and inner ear. Proprioceptors are different than "proprioception" as defined in the article. Proprioceptors are nerve endings in tendons and muscles that send stress information to the brain. They are either stimulated (and send a signal) or they are not. I am with the camp here that you cannot train to improve the function of the sensory input system. Therefore, wearing boots to mask nerve endings in the feet (different from the proprioceptors but similar result- signal information sent to the brain) is not going to improve their function when the boots are removed. In fact, I would argue that any time spent in boots (inaccurate input) is valuable time lost to training the brain to react to accurate sensory input. (Along with proprioceptors you also receive information about position and movement from vision and the inner ear vestibular organs.) Arguing that masking sensory input will help improve that system is the same as saying vision can be improved by wearing a mask or hearing can be improved by wearing ear plugs. It doesn't work that way. Luckily though you can train to improve the two other parts of the balance system.

What "balance training" refers to are the other two pieces of the "balance" trifecta. First is the brain's processing of all the sensory input it receives. The quicker it makes sense of the input the quicker it can enact a reaction plan. That's where repetitive practice comes in, the more often you receive specific sensory input the quicker the brain recognizes what it means and the quicker it can do something effective about it. As an example, think of when you first started SUSing. I remember when I first started, incoming swell hitting my tail from behind would always throw me backwards off the board. It was a completely new feeling and I didn't know what to do about it. After about 20 or 30 times of falling over backwards my brain had figured out what that feeling was and knew what to do about it. It's not the speed that the signal gets to your brain, that is fixed by biochemistry, it's how long does my brain take to recognize and understand what those signals mean.

Finally, what are you going to do about it? After your brain has recognized what is happening to the body and has decided on a plan to change the future, it is up to your muscles to actually pull it off. Are they strong enough to offset the momentum of your falling body? That's why basic strength training is so important to balance; it really is all you have to change the future position of your body.

Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: stoneaxe on June 14, 2018, 08:00:02 PM
It's not a question of improving proprioceptors, I don't think you can likely do that either, but proprioception. Addapost has it.  Proprioception simply put is the sense of where your body/body parts are in space and getting all the pieces of the balance system working in harmony is key to it being good. Proprioception isn't just about the proprioceptors, it can be thrown off by vision/lack off or conflicting signals, I understand that all too well. I feel like I'm floating 3' from where I am 1/2 the time.

The point I'm trying to make is that going barefoot helps in the calibration of the parts. You improve proprioception by combining the use of them all at the same time, not by deadening one or the other. Deadening one is what screwed me up....using them all at once and recalibrating is what helps. I don't need more evidence than that. I have a theory why SUP is such an effective balance therapy and it is simply because we are using it all in difficult conditions. Barefoot and adjusting our bodies to trim constantly while having a broad perfectly flat horizon as reference is what makes it work so well where other therapies fail or are less effective.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: ukgm on June 15, 2018, 12:25:33 AM
Show me the physiological evidence that you can “build proprioception”.

There is a big difference between building proprioception and restoring it. I'm wondering if I'm more centred on the latter. Remember, we weren't designed to wear shoes to start with. Getting muscles to fire properly isn't snake oil. Many of us who run or cycle may well have had to be treated in the past for under-used or misfiring glutes in the past. Same thing as far as I'm concerned.

Its the wrong argument to say about putting boots back on and expecting improvements - it wouldn't as they do not allow the foot to function. This all said, all I've got is my N=1 anecdote that after wearing vibrams extensively, I've found using my board easier..... and that's when wearing water vibrams before and after.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: PonoBill on June 15, 2018, 06:31:17 AM
Show me the physiological evidence that you can “build proprioception”. By the logic you are using, tickling the bottom of your feet with a feather should help your balance. If anything, bring barefoot might make you less sensitive to touch because you’ll be thickening the skin on the soles of your feet.

I doubt that a sense of touch is something that can be taught.

Being barefoot just feels nicer, that’s all, and it makes you less wobbly because you are getting more proprioceptive feedback, and you have a tighter connection with your board. But put the boots back on and your balance won’t be any better than it was in boots before you went barefoot. Whereas if you are right, it would be. Placebo effects are real, and are everywhere.

I think you guys are all arguing on the same side with minor differences in emphasis.

First of all, yeah, Laird's message is nutball, and I agree that it's why his brand is declining. Nutballs will agree with him, and there's no shortage of those, but it's not mainstream, though apparently, it's enough to get you elected president.

Then again, I don't get A10's blanket statement that a sense of touch can't be trained. The difference between mediocre and good at doing any complex task is training a sense and the related response and mental processing to perform better than the norm. Touch is certainly no different. There's endless physiological evidence for that. All of the senses we use are modeled in our brains, which are capable of building better models and revising them. I've measured the skew of my pupils after my double vision episode last year--it's improved, and the eye is tracking better, but it's still not perfect. My brain has revised the way the model gets processed. People adapt to ship motion, which means all their balance models and inputs get reworked. Step back on a stationary dock and the world swirls for a moment.

There's no such thing as an isolated sense--sight, touch, balance, hearing, taste--all just sensors feeding your brain, and not only is the data from your nerves pointless without modeling, the quality of the data is much lower than the quality of the model. High resolution stereoscopic vision? Take a look at the bit rate--can't happen. It's a model. Your actual field of high resolution vision is only a few inches across at reading distance. Hold up something with big type and see where you can read it. It's why we have to move our eyes to read--low rez. But our perception, based on the model, is of edge to edge full resolution, color and depth perception--even though we can't recognize a large type letter an inch out of our center of high resolution.

Models can be adapted and changed easily in your brain. There's nothing different in balance, touch, or the result of a bunch of data feeding a proprioception model. It's a model and it can be tuned. Even sensor deficits can be overcome in the model. You catch a glimpse of someone in your peripheral vision, and without knowing exactly why, or even being sure, you recognize them. Turn your head to check, and yes, you're right. Good model building from sparse data. Not enough to form a 3D model of your friend, but enough to recognize them from sparse cues. And that can be trained to work better. Probably every goofy variation of testing of what can be trained has been tested by now. It is, after all, a limited field, and there are plenty of test subjects available. As far as I can see, everything that is actively modeled can be changed.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 16, 2018, 08:54:15 AM
“think you guys are all arguing on the same side with minor differences in emphasis“

Yes, I think that’s right. We’ve got ourselves a bit tied up in knots because of different interpretations of particular terms.

So, in plain language, what I was saying is that I cannot see that it is self-evident that “training” a sense of touch in your feet will lead to better balancing on a SUP.

It may be the case that it does, in which case you should spend a lot of time eg. tickling the bottom of your feet with a feather, or maybe doing two-point discrimination exercises on the soles of your feet, or judging the temperature of your bathwater using the soles of your feet etc.

But this is an empirical question, as far as I’m concerned - I don’t know of any evidence that improving the sense of touch on the soles of your feet will lead to better balancing ability on a surface in motion. (This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, only that I don’t know about it.)

However, I fully believe that going barefoot would improve pretty much anyone’s *performance* in balancing on a moving surface. But that’s not the same as saying that I could (a) train a sense of touch in the soles of my feet and (b) that will automatically improve my ability to balance on my board, which seems to be the claim that I’m reading here.

Incidentally, the brain can be surprising compartmentalised in its processing of different stimuli. It has to be that way because if there was too much cross-talk we’d be in a right pickle, getting all kinds of signals mixed up. There is certainly some integration of the signals of course, but that’s a long way from saying that signals of one type, source, and modality (e.g. sense of touch on the bottom of your feet) can “reprogram” the neural pathways and representations that are responsible for other kinds of signals in separate neural systems (like joint position sense in eg. the hips, that would help with balancing). That’s something that would have to be tested, I think, rather than taken for granted.

http://www.brainfacts.org/~/media/Brainfacts/Article%20Multimedia/Educator%20Section/Olson%20Handout.ashx
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 16, 2018, 09:36:09 AM
1. First is the sensory input system. The brain needs information about what is happening to the body.
2. Next is the brain processing that input and deciding what to do about it. And finally...
3. The skeletal-muscular system actually carrying out whatever action the brain decided on.

Finally, what are you going to do about it? After your brain has recognized what is happening to the body and has decided on a plan to change the future, it is up to your muscles to actually pull it off. Are they strong enough to offset the momentum of your falling body? That's why basic strength training is so important to balance; it really is all you have to change the future position of your body.

Yep.  Most peeps miss this part of the equation.  Or maybe know about it -> but simply chose not to do much or anything about it.  Def does work in my estimation.  ;)

"In simple terms, your brain sends electrical contract or relax messages to your muscles. Your joint movement response is detected by your sensory nervous system and reported back to your brain for fine tuning and improvement with repetition of the process. 



In other words, perfect practise will eventually mean proprioception perfection."

https://physioworks.com.au/treatments-1/proprioception-balance-exercises
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 16, 2018, 09:56:47 AM
Yes, but none of this relates to the claim that is the centre of the discussion here, which is whether SUPing with bare feet improves balance ability (ie. rather than just balance performance while you have bare feet), such that you’d then perform better with boots on than before you had the period barefoot.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 16, 2018, 10:10:11 AM
Yeah that was not my claim or assertion.

But can say that going barefoot or using Vibrams or using thick boots -> gives me different sensations to build my propriocepton receptors.  Very useful as improving balance is a huge reason why we like SUP so much.  Can say that my Vibrams actually do grip my board better than my wet feet do.  But still the feel of barefoot feels so nice.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 16, 2018, 11:25:23 AM
Show me the physiological evidence that you can “build proprioception”.
Its the wrong argument to say about putting boots back on and expecting improvements - it wouldn't as they do not allow the foot to function. This all said, all I've got is my N=1 anecdote that after wearing vibrams extensively, I've found using my board easier..... and that's when wearing water vibrams before and after.
This in part is what ukgm stated.  Who made that claim that you talk about?
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 16, 2018, 12:37:34 PM
"Strength and conditioning is essential post 40 and i can recommend barefoot for improving balance."

Try running barefoot on cool asphalt or any other hard surface to get your feet to feel the ground.  Your foot nerve endings will awaken.  All the while your running technique will adapt and improve.  Did this around 5 years ago and have never looked back.

Since then use Vibrams to detune the ride or zero drop with minimal cushion for running in the mtns.  But do use plenty of cushion for walking.

For SUP like to go barefoot or Vibrams or thick booties depending on water temp.
“I can recommend going barefoot for improving balance”.

I interpreted this as meaning that going barefoot improves balance ability rather than that it is just easier to balance when you aren’t wearing boots.

Others like Stoneaxe then took up this position, as I understand it.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 16, 2018, 02:29:11 PM
Yeah anyways was not my quote.  But agree that "Strength and conditioning is essential post 40".

From my perspective any activity that can build proprioception is good.  And that changing my running technique has made running now pain free.  Even have learned to enjoy doing sprint repeats.   :P
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: addapost on June 16, 2018, 03:41:42 PM
The benefit to your feet from going barefoot (or near barefoot) isn't from any improvement to proprioception, it's from rebuilding the structural integrity of your feet.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 17, 2018, 05:42:40 AM
The benefit to your feet from going barefoot (or near barefoot) isn't from any improvement to proprioception, it's from rebuilding the structural integrity of your feet.
That certainly sounds like a much more plausible explanation to me.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 17, 2018, 06:42:52 AM
The benefit to your feet from going barefoot (or near barefoot) isn't from any improvement to proprioception, it's from rebuilding the structural integrity of your feet.
That certainly sounds like a much more plausible explanation to me.

"It's really making all those little intrinsic muscles of the foot power up and start working and it actually works in conjunction with the extrinsic muscles of the foot as well"
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Eagle on June 17, 2018, 09:25:06 AM
"We’ve over-supported our feet [in running shoes] to the point that our foot doesn’t have to do what it’s designed to do," says Irene S. Davis, PhD, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and director of the Spaulding National Running Center. "When you support a muscle, it doesn’t have to work as hard. When it doesn’t have to work as hard, it gets weak."

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/new-exercise-trend-barefoot-running#1

Found that my foot and leg muscles were indeed very weak before vs after.  But for max speed -> cushion is a bit faster for me.  ;)
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: ukgm on June 17, 2018, 10:57:04 AM
The benefit to your feet from going barefoot (or near barefoot) isn't from any improvement to proprioception, it's from rebuilding the structural integrity of your feet.
That certainly sounds like a much more plausible explanation to me.
As I said, it’s restorative rather than an enhancement effect.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: stoneaxe on June 18, 2018, 06:34:09 AM
So improving the feedback from some of the sensors and important ones at that. (feet) doesn't have any effect on the overall system? Sorry not buying that. I don't think medical science knows for sure...so pretty sure we certainly don't. Saying that it's because of one thing and not another? Unless you know of some research I haven't found in the last 14 years of looking into what can effect balance I'm not sure how you say that. Not doubting that improving structural integrity is part of it but it's saying that's all it is? There is no direct research that I know of. Feet have a high density of proprioceptors, when has it ever been good for the performance of a system to deaden sensors?
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: PonoBill on June 18, 2018, 08:41:45 AM
Not that it really matters what I think, but I agree with Bob (which is rare). Perhaps you are reacting to Laird's woo-woo pseudoscience, or perhaps its a matter of subtle emphasis that doesn't transmit easily in the written word.

It seems you all agree that being barefoot gives better muscular control of balance. Certainly everyone understands the importance of toes in balance, the rest of the foot is equally important. Feet don't have as many nerve endings as hands, but still plenty of them and the pressure and position of foot components is a big part of controlling balance and weight distribution. I can't think of a single balance sport where minimizing the effect of shoes isn't important. Watching a woman walk in inappropriate shoes is a lesson in form over function. Ballet dancers never make that mistake, or if they do it's to demonstrate to the audience that they can be graceful and retain balance even without that handicap.

Where is the disagreement here?
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: Area 10 on June 18, 2018, 09:03:21 AM
Ok, so now we are disagreeing about whether there is disagreement? :)

Maybe time to call this one a day.
Title: Re: Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves...
Post by: spirit4earth on June 18, 2018, 11:41:13 AM
Ok, so now we are disagreeing about whether there is disagreement? :)

Maybe time to call this one a day.

Right, and we’re not talking about Laird anymore.