Jesse Richman: The Man Who Rides Mountains
In IKSurf Magazine's Issue 79, Jesse Richman, winner of 2020 Red Bull King of the Air and the jack of all trades, gives us the most 'analytic approach to riding mountains that you will ever read.'
"Peahi (aka Jaws) isn't merely a wave, to a small group of dedicated ocean athletes, it's a way of life." Jesse explains how his training is all about cycles; "training, preparation, game day, recovery, repeat." Year in, year out.
"It's genuinely about strengthening the mind and body together to be able to endure anything you might encounter in the ocean and have the confidence to make decisions under extreme pressure. It's not just your life on the line, everyone out there is relying on each other to be ready for anything".
"Where the real gains are made is in the mind by taking time to focus on the breath and reprogramming your body to be able to deal with a lack of oxygen and a build-up of carbon dioxide".
Jesse recommends to anyone wanting to become more comfortable and confident in the ocean taking the Big Wave Risk Assessment Group (BWRAG) and going through a freediving course.
"BWRAG goes through everything from a life-saving perspective and helps people prepare to rescue someone in need. All this becomes extremely relevant in intense conditions. In a freediving course, you learn all about what happens when you hold your breath both scientifically and spiritually. It is by far, one of the best ways to train for big waves and confidence in the ocean".
Photo Credit: Fish Bowl Diaries
As for the equipment, Jesse goes into detail as to how being in tune with and trusting your gear is key for his performance.
"The kites make it simple as they do what we want (if you're riding a badass kite, like the North Carve)".
"The key is to maintain a relaxed and chill mindset". "When fear is processed in a specific way, it can be harnessed to become fuel for perfect focus."
As the winner of the 2020 Red Bull King of the Air, Jesse explains how he "accessed a completely different mindset from year past". "I happened to be more excited by big waves than big air. Even more paramount, I have a new family that is the most magical experience I've had thus far. I realised that if I win or lose at the King of the Air, it didn't really matter, life is still going to be amazing! With this new mindset, I was able to maintain an incredibly relaxed vibe the entire day".
Jesse advises on how to embrace the cycles that mother nature provides; "Waves are going to come back every winter and thus give us a long summer to train. If we embrace these cycles and utilise the time to progress every day".
With insider perspectives from Kai Lenny, specific training tips from Jesse Richman, be sure to read the full article here and who knows, maybe one day you'll be riding these perfect picturesque monsters too.
Check out Jesse in action kitesurfing Jaws here.
Photo Credit: One More Photo
"Jaws is unlike any other wave I've seen. It focuses millions of gallons of water upwards into a perfect picturesque monster." - Patri Mclaughlin, Jesse's jet ski partner and team member
For more information about Jesse Richman, see his Team Rider Profile here.