After all, what can CBD do for the surfer? Picture this scene: Hawaiian surfer Nathan Florence “baked” in the sun. He has just surfed what he describes as a three-day Hawaiian swell.
He surfed giant Pipeline, then flew to Jaws for a tow-in session and came back that same night straight to Oahu’s North Shore to surf the Banzai Pipeline again the next morning.
“Two droppers full,” he says, “should hopefully reduce the inflammation of traveling and surfing Jaws and living at that pace all the time,” he adds.
In recent years, Nathan and many of his big-wave contemporaries have come to rely on CBD as a vital supplement for their often exhausting surfing routines.
But what about the surfers who don’t regularly throw themselves into the monstrous Jaws, a wave surfed by very few humans on the face of the earth?
Could a few daily drops of non-psychoactive hemp extract do similar wonders for those of us who prefer to glide casually along a meter wave?
The popularity of the cannabinoid at the other end of the surfing spectrum, in the traditional longboarding world, for example, suggests that there must be benefits beyond repairing muscles torn apart by the power of the world’s biggest waves.
Longboarder Kassia Meador first discovered CBD when she was looking for ways to treat her mother, who suffered from multiple sclerosis.
It was the beginning of CBD, so Kassia decided to try it too, in order to demonstrate to her mother that it was not a psychoactive substance, “and I felt good,” she says after feeling the effects.
“CBD helps me sleep,” she recounts; “it fights jet lag if I have it; it helps my body recover from training and surfing, and it’s also good for helping neurological function because I’ve suffered a lot of severe concussions in the last few years.”
CBD and the surfer
After winning some CBD oil at a charity auction, surfer Sam Bowden, 25, from Devon, England, began trying it to treat himself for residual pain from fractures in his ankle and hand. However, this is how he discovered more powerful effects of cannabidiol.
“I suffer from seasonal affective disorder in the dark months, which leads to other conditions,” he said. “But CBD had an extremely positive effect and really changed my mental health – for the better.”
“I think CBD is amazing because it’s one of the most amazing natural anti-inflammatory substances,” Adam continues. “Whenever you exercise, your muscles work and you tear the fibers, and that creates inflammation. So in order to recover, you need to reduce that inflammation. I felt he was a great asset for that.”
Adam is also the father of one of Britain’s most exciting longboarding talents, Jordan, who he says also uses CBD to calm his nerves.
“It’s something that helps, you know,” Adam says, “like eating the right food helps, stretching and resting helps. I can’t surf like Jordan surfs anymore, he’s 18, I’m 53, it’s a little different!”
While there are several solid scientific studies supporting claims that CBD can reduce pain, help with social anxiety, and improve sleep, throughout its history, the real gateway to understanding the full range of benefits has been hearing first-hand accounts of those who use it.
It is true that, like everything in the world of health and wellness, CBD does not work for all people, for all ailments, and should always be taken along with what the doctor prescribes.
However, as surfers, we are always looking for ways to maximize our time in the water, relieve shoulder burn on intensive surf trips or even after a long fall in the backyard at home, and of course, improve our chances of surfing into old age.
Based on science and the reports of everyday professional surfers, CBD can be a valuable part of the toolkit that helps us achieve just that.
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