Surfing Big Waves, Innovative Training Techniques, and Being the Youngest Person to Surf Mavericks
Luca Padua is a big wave surfer and all around stellar athlete. At 13, Luca was the youngest person to ever surf Mavericks, and has never looked back. We got to catch up with Luca about how he got into surfing, his off-season training regimen, big waves, and what it’s been like to live and train with Laird Hamilton for the last three years.
For more info about Luca, follow him on Instagram.
Organizations, Surf Legends, and Exercise Bikes mentioned in the episode:
05:43 In addition to being pretty good at surfing, Luca smoke Juliet and Kelly in cornhole the last time they were together
06:03 Luca has been living with Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece in Malibu and Kauai for the last three years
06:45 Luca runs us through how he got into surfing, and it has a lot to do with the Half Moon Bay Junior Lifeguards program and growing up so close to Mavericks
09:15 Luca’s dad was a sailor and his mom grew up in the midwest, neither were surfers, but Luca was fortunate to grow up by a beach
09:28 Kelly drops another old adage, “If you want to control a wild bull, you put it in a big field”
09:55 Luca’s dad put him in baseball up to high school which he didn’t appreciate at the time, but he gets it now
11:20 One of the instructors in Junior Lifeguards introduced Luca to surfing during one of their free choice water development breaks
12:30 Half Moon Bay surfers are exposed to many different types of surf which helps an athlete progress more quickly
13:35 Taking small incremental risks all the time
16:50 Luca takes us through the day he decided to surf Mavericks for the first time which his parents definitely know about; Tim West
18:05 Kelly tells the story of adolescent GSP winning a fight and then lying about his black eye after, at which point, his dad slides a newspaper across the table with him on the cover
GSP pod episode
19:50 After he surfed Mavericks, Tim told him he didn’t need to mention it to anyone, because they’d know
23:40 At 14 Luca had his first real season surfing Mavericks and surf legend Jamie Mitchell started staying with Luca’s family during the season and helped him work towards getting sponsors
26:15 Once Luca decided to get serious about surfing big waves, he stopped going out and started training; Schwinn Airdyne
28:20 How do parents handle it when kids participate in very high risk sports?
28:42 Luca primed his parents by throwing his helmet in a bush and bombing a hill on his skateboard at 12 – he woke up in his dad’s truck with skull fractures, brain bleeds, and a concussion
30:38 Luca has been fortunate to have great mentors all along the way
31:10 When one of his mentors moved to Malibu, Luca was fortunate to participate in one of Gabby’s HIGHX workouts while visiting
34:12 Luca’s first view into Laird’s training style was seeing a video of him swimming in the pool with a giant west vest on doing a workout called “King Cardio”
37:25 After a couple months of surfing Luca went to the library and grabbed the first book about surfing he could find and Laird was on the front page so training with him is pretty special
38:00 XPT pool training explained i.e. controlled drowning
41:53 The pool is an amazing place to be courageous in a controlled environment
42:50 The pool work has had a huge impact on surfing big waves
44:29 “Big waves aren’t measured in feet and inches, they’re measured in increments of fear”
45:00 A day in the life in the off-season; Mark Roberts
46:43 Opportunities for surfers and adventure athletes to better with new types of training and nutrition; Travis Rice
48:36 Focusing on training, nutrition, and recovery gave Luca something to focus on while he can’t surf big waves
50:00 For the most part, Luca is a bit of an anomaly given his training style
51:43 Gabby might say that Luca is just about as grumpy as Laird when there’s no surf
52:30 Luca has definitely had some large animal encounters, turns out elephant seals are MEAN
57:45 We’ve been in a La Nina cycle which isn’t great for big surf but Luca is hopeful
58:15 Jaws and Mavericks are Luca’s favorite waves
59:10 What’s next – Big wave season is coming!
59:30 Luca is chipping away at the TRS Movement & Mobility 101 course
59:40 Luca’s socials
59:53 The Rook explained
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