Gary Linden: surfing Jaws with a wild heart | Photo:WSL/Fred Pompermayer

Gary Linden, vice-president of the Big Wave World Tour, is excited. At 65, he rode his first big wave at Jaws.

Greg Long told him: "No, you can't do it, I don't think you can do it, Gary." That was the trigger. Linden had never tasted the power of Peahi before, so he had to go for it.

"I had an arthritic hip and some heart problems and I'm going, 'it's probably not going to happen'. I'm bringing all that baggage on the day. But I've still got my suit, I've still got my vest, just on the odd chance that I thought I could do it I would," Linden tells World Surf League.


Bruce Irons: barrel boy | Photo: Volcom/Bielmann

Bruce Irons wants to win the 2015 Volcom Pipe Pro, at Banzai Pipeline. The Hawaiian dominated the first round of competition held in 10-to-15 foot barrels.

Irons, 35, competed in a special 40-minute wildcard heat against Gavin Beschen, Alex Gray, Kawai Lindo, JD Irons, Kaimana Henry, Derek Ho and Makua Rothman. With a near-perfect 9-point ride at Backdoor, Bruce stole the highest score of the day.

"I want to win this contest. I want to win again out here. I want to win the Pipe Masters. I want to get in the Pipe Masters. I want to win, period, and out here is the place I want to do it. That's why I'm here," declared Irons.


Swimming: some techniques become powerhouse workouts for critical surfing moves | Photo: Red Bull

You can't always surf. There, it's been said. It's super frustrating - even depressing - but it's true. No matter what your relationship to surfing is (from weekend city refugees, to surf-season nomads, to growing up on the North Shore) there will be many reasons on many days why going out just isn't an option.

In the downtime, a lot of surfers don't know what to do with themselves. When the season comes back around, or the waves kick up again, many find themselves out of shape and struggling to keep up. It's a disheartening prospect, especially when the highs of making surf progress are so potent, and the benefit to physical and psychological well-being so profound.

The most obvious counter-measure to this scenario is simple: swimming. When conditions - weather or otherwise - make surfing impossible, keeping in shape for surfing is best achieved by staying in the water.