Mark Herd, on how EMS training allows him to go from zero to wave speed on the ocean.
Surfing has been part of Mark’s make-up since he was 10 years old. Having moved to Sedgefield with his parents, he bought his first surfboard for a mere R100 and has lost count of how many boards he’s had since then. “Surfing is addictive as it is so much fun, pure exhilaration and a complete rush of adrenalin. When you’re on a wave, especially a big one, the unpredictability of what it can do to you and riding it like you are in control, makes you feel like you’re on top of the world!” explains Mark. “Every wave is a new event and challenge, so you never get bored and always look forward to the next wave.”
For many people, sport is just for fun or for a competitive edge, but when surfing is as big a part of your life as it is Mark’s, there’s more to it. “Being out at sea or in the waves gives me such a sense of freedom and tranquillity. It’s like an escape from the rat race, and gives my mind a chance to decompress,” says Mark. “Luckily, I live very close to the water (80m), so I have the luxury of surfing as soon as the weather or conditions are great.”
When a friend of Mark’s opened BODYTEC Steenberg and explained that it was a 20-minute full-body workout using electrical impulses, Mark didn’t believe him. His background in electronic engineering told him otherwise. “But then I tried it and was totally ‘shocked’ at how intensely my body responded!” says Mark, with a laugh. “I’m not a fan of exercise unless it’s fun, so this sounded too good to be true. I was keen to open a studio myself, and a shop became available next to my existing business in late 2012. BODYTEC Sunset Beach opened in 2013.”
With many forms of surfing being available, including kite surfing, stand-up paddling (SUP), short & longboard surfing, and not getting to surf as often as he used to, Mark has found that keeping strong out of the water is crucial to getting the most out of a surf session when he does get the chance. “EMS has helped tremendously in being able to accelerate quickly to catch a downwind swell and the endurance keeps me on a run for longer,” explains Mark. “I can also catch more waves easily due to the extra strength I have, in short bursts of effort to accelerate from zero to wave speed. I then also have more energy while riding the wave to perform various manoeuvres as I’m not broken from the effort of getting onto a wave.”
Mark encourages those who are keen to give it a try to get down to the most popular surf spot where there are plenty of surf schools. “Surfing is a great family sport, so get down to the beach, get wet & keep your kids out of the malls,” he says with a smile.