June 2009, somewhere in the Mentawai Island chain off the coast of West Sumatra, Indonesia: Surf stars like Mick Fanning and Sofia Mulanovich were brought together with the hottest upcoming talents at Red Bull Surfing Mentawais to strengthen their precision, performance and team spirit.
All of this is designed to help the athletes realise their dreams and realise their goals
After ten days of surfing perfect waves on the many reefs to be found around the Mentawai Islands, just a few of the accolades tumbling from the mouths of some of the world’s top professional surfers as they completed the Red Bull Surfing Mentawais Trip 2009: "One of my top five trips, ever." (Mick Fanning, 2007 ASP World Tour Champion); "Best surf trip of my entire life." (Adriano de Souza, current world number five); "Best barrel session of my life." (Sofia Mulanovich, 2004 ASP World Tour Champion).
In a world first for surfing, a group of pro surfing’s stars and hottest new talent were brought together for this ground-breaking event. What made it so special? This was the first time World Champions, explosive young talent and current World Title contenders shared cabin space aboard the surf charter ‘Indies Trader IV’ with a group of specialised performance coaches. Sports science equipment and high-level coaching expertise were brought into the surfers’ realm in this most swell-pounded of regions.
Never before has such a coming-together of elite athletes, specialised coaching and perfect conditions occurred in the surfing world. Surfers were able to monitor their paddle speed, surfing speed and heart-rate during surfing sessions. Blood samples were taken to monitor lactic acid build-up and hydration data. Warm-up and warm-down sessions were introduced to enhance athletic performance. These were just some of the techniques deployed during the trip.
In the hunt for perfect waves the ‘Indies Trader IV’ took surfers on an epic quest around the reefs and beaches of this most exotic of locations. Palm-fringed, white sand islands were the achingly beautiful backdrop for some of the most progressive surfing seen in the world of pro surfing. With machine-like waves reeling across the reefs providing the perfect canvas for high performance surfing, the event allowed for the boundaries to be pushed ever-higher with some very rare and special moments.
Andy Walshe, surf-coaching supremo at Red Bull summed it up by saying: "The basic goal is to provide these surfers with training and techniques to give them the opportunity to be the very best surfer they can be. Whether that’s us putting them in world class waves, whether that’s putting the junior surfers next to the best elite surfers we have, whether it’s providing some scientific analysis of what they’re doing in the water and how they can improve on that, or if it’s just basic coaching techniques … all of this is designed to help the athletes realise their dreams and realise their goals."