Keala Kennelly shares her pre-race preparation - Mon Wellness
Keala Kennelly shares her pre-race preparation

Keala Kennelly shares her pre-race preparation

IIn 2020, professional surfer Keala Kennelly won an award she would have preferred not to have received: Wipeout of the Year. (Not that you can not find a hint of pride in her voice as she says, “It was usually a men’s award – only men had ever won it before.”)

Kennelly, 43, dubbed “the best female surfer on Earth,” has long been known for her fearless approach to the waves that few (if any) other women would try to catch. The wipeout award came from a walk in the Jaws Big Wave Championship in Maui, when, just as he was trying to fall in, a gust of wind blew over her board. “The board hit me in the leg, then overturned and hit me in the ribs, then he got up again and hit me in the chin, then I lowered a wave of 50 feet,” he recalls. The strap, which attaches the board to a surfer’s ankle, pulled her foot from its slot on the road down, and began tearing the labyrinth at her hip.

Over the next year, her mistake tore her a little more every time the leash pulled Kennelly’s leg into a wipeout. But before the surgery, she wanted to win the Red Bull Magnitude, exclusively for women on the big wave in March 2021. So she made her own chest belt to which she could attach the leash to distribute the power to her torso instead. for her leg. It worked. He got the title at home, then did an MRI and scheduled the surgery.

Now, after eight months of not being able to surf, Kennelly is not only returning to the water, but embarking on a tour of the Challenger Series of the World Surf League, which starts on the Gold Coast of Australia on May 7th.

This is her first time returning to tour since 2006, when she stopped mainly due to homophobia she experienced after leaving. “Most of my career as a touring professional was in the closet, I was just afraid to go out and live this double life,” he says. In a sport notorious for athlete hypersexuality, the negative reaction to its true sexuality was so intense (including rejection by most of its sponsors) that it decided it was not worth the emotional tax.

Sixteen years later, things – fortunately – became more acceptable. Now she is returning to a community that has changed its treatment of women — largely because of its own activism. Along with a handful of other women surfers, Kennelly has long fought for equal opportunities for women, including equal pay and changes to licensing systems that previously barred women from surfing some beaches. (Charlize Theron production company is currently developing a Netflix feature film about their story.)

“I have done all this work for equality and I have never really benefited [it]”Well, it would be nice to like, measure the temperature where the tour is and see these positive changes.” He adds, half jokingly, “I will check.”

How does she prepare to fight at her best?

After many years in the water, Kennelly is well aware of what makes her body and mind ready to compete.

1. Performs hip stabilization exercises diligently

After her surgery, Kennelly now trains with a trainer twice a week to strengthen her hips. They focus on stabilizing exercises, doing squats on braces such as discs, Bosu balls or crushed foam pads to “trigger all the different small stabilizing muscles”.

Learn how to do a squat with the right shape and then try to transfer it to an unstable surface like Kennelly does:

2. Uses music to get into the band

A DJ on the side (she had several residences where she lives in Honolulu), Kennelly uses music to get her head in the right place before competitions. “I keep quiet and get away from people, I just listen to music and watch the waves, I watch where they crack,” he says. Although she has “a million playlists”, house music is her favorite.

3. Leaves tampons for a more water-friendly alternative

Having a period on a racing day is never ideal, but it is no longer as much of a hassle as it used to be. “[When you’re] “Tampons, every time you get in the water, you get wet and you feel so uncomfortable,” says Kennelly. he does not even notice when he is inside.

4. She opens her body with targeted stretches

Before climbing onto her board, Kennelly focuses on stretching. “My ankle is very tight,” he says, referring to the buttock muscle at the back of your hip joint. It also targets the flexors of her hips (in front of her hips) and loosens her shoulders for rowing.

Open your own elbows, hip flexors and other muscles with this targeted yoga flow:

5. Keeps its goals in perspective.

Despite her resume full of bad wins and awards, Kennelly is very clear that as a 43-year-old competing in her 20s, she keeps track of her tour expectations. “There is always this fear of failure and mockery,” he admits. “I mean, these young women are very hungry. Each new generation replaces the previous generation – surfing gets better and better. I’ll not put too much pressure on myself. I’re just trying to focus on having a cool experience, doing a good show and have fun. “

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